Millennium Post

Yet another victim of power

The death of former air-hostess Geetika Sharma, through suicide, once again highlights the misuse of power by influential men and the tragic consequences that follow. An innocent life, with all its prospects, has been snuffed out for little reason. Sharma, in her suicide note, has alleged that Gopal Goyal Kanda, who, till recently, was Haryana’s minister of state for home, and his employee, Aruna Chadha, had been harassing and cheating her. The ex-air hostess accused the former minister of ruining her life. He now stands accused of abettment in her suicide. The facts of the exact relationship between Sharma and Kanda are unclear, not even known fully to family, and will emerge only after an investigation by authorities. Yet it is clear, prime facie, that that the girl felt the pressure of the relationship to such an extent that she took the extreme step of ending her life. It is clear that there was some amount of hounding involved, which the girl was not in a position to end and could not handle.

Kanda, as the home minister of Haryana, was in an immensely powerful position. He could, if he wanted, shower patronage and benefits on this girl and on others in a similar position. He could also, if he turned hostile, or experienced rejection, hound her and make her life miserable. This is not the only such case of this kind, for their are many similar ones in which powerful politicians have utilised their positions to exploit women in need. In many such case, their victims are helpless and powerless, suffer in silence, and have no recourse to justice, while the powerful get away. This is a gender asymmetery that needs to be corrected. It is also a sad reflection on our system, in which the delivery of services is made difficult so much so that individuals have to depend on the largesse of others to survive. It is, therefore, for the police to freely and fearlessly investigate the circumstances of this suicide, not taking into account Kanda’s political connections and ever remembering that however high position a person holds, the law is above him or her. Justice must be done in this case, as in all such cases, and the powerful must not escape.
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