Dear parents of Shahzeb Khan, we fought for your son
Dear Parents of Shahzeb Khan,
Your fight was a fight to bring about justice for your son, Shahzeb Khan, but it was never just that. Justice for Shahzeb was about just ‘justice’ too. It was about the hundreds of thousands of people who took a stand for your son and for justice. The ones who stepped out of their comfortable air-conditioned lives to stand in the sweltering heat and shout till their throats became hoarse.
It was about the average human who had hoped for a more equitable tomorrow in the land of the pure. It was about the girls who suffer from eve-teasing every day. It was about every brother who would happily sacrifice his life to protect his sister. It was about every common man who can only dream of united support from the masses and from the media for attaining justice. It was about the commoner who stood up as a witness despite the threat of life and grievous harm to his loved ones, just so that justice may win.
Justice for Shahzeb was was about the country that had united in rebelling against a system which operates to quash and silence the common masses. It was about the value of human life and a lesson for those who valued it so little.
We can understand that there were pressures; we also understand duress. What we don’t understand is why you did this when you had the whole nation’s love and support. We would have stood by you just as we did for justice for your son. We believe the rumours of accepting monetary compensation are false, for our heart does not believe that a parent could weigh his son in gold or that any jewel could replace the joy of seeing your child continue the life that was his right.
We understand your plight but we don’t understand why you gave up so close to the finish line.
We don’t resent you, we are just thoroughly disappointed, for no one will dare to dream again. No one will bother to stand up for a cause or for an individual. No one will dream about justice again for justice has died.
We are wounded because girls will continue to be eve-teased and even raped as brothers will stand by and watch helplessly afraid of intervening for the fear of their own lives. We’re scared officials will continue to exploit the masses and will no longer be scared of their true masters, the masses – the common man- and au contraire, will work to their opposition in any fight for justice, if there ever will be. We’re scared that accountability will not be a lesson learnt by the spoilt and the value of our lives will continue to depreciate.
The country that had just started awakening will go back to sleep. The suffering is not just ours; it’s yours too, for Shahzeb’s death will amount to nothing more than that, a suffering soon forgotten. He will no longer be an inspiration for a revolution. He will become a mere statistic, just like the rest of us will.
Sincerely and apologetically,
A defeated commoner.
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