Thursday, September 5, 2013
I like to read foreign newspapers to keep up on world events. I look for events in foreign countries that are similar to events in the United States. Yesterday, I discovered an unusual correspondence between two events, one in the U.S and one in India. We all know about Sybrina Fulton’s and Tracy Martin’s heroic refusal to accept the Sanford Police Department’s inaction and bogus excuses for failing to recommend that the prosecution charge George Zimmerman with murder or manslaughter. Their grace and persistence inspired millions of people around the world to support their cause. Even though the trial ended badly, they continue to seek justice for Trayvon setting an example for all of us to follow.
A similar story is underway in India.
On August 15th, a 16-year-old girl told her mother that a man named Asaram, who describes himself as a “godman,” sexually assaulted her for an hour and a half inside his ashram after locking all the doors and turning out the lights. The girl went to the ashram that day to undergo an exorcism conducted by Asaram. At his request, the girl’s mother spent the hour-and-a-half outside the ashram praying for a successful exorcism.
The girl’s mother immediately notified the police and they commenced an investigation. Two weeks later, Asaram’s influential and vocal supporters were controlling the message. The girl’s parents responded with a hunger strike declaring they would not eat until the police arrested and charged Asaram.
Police arrested Asaram on Sunday.
According to the Hindustan Times, the father said,
“We were not aware that he was a beast masquerading as a spiritual guru,” the girl’s father said in Lucknow on Sunday. “Not only did we donate 7 acres of land, we also contributed money for the ashram. There was immense pressure on us to withdraw the complaint. From threats to money, Asaram’s supporters tried every trick in the book.
One should not have blind faith on the self-styled godman, he added. “Asaram took my daughter to his private quarters to perform rituals to ward off evil spirits and then he assaulted her.”
On Monday police arrested one of Asaram’s aides and charged him with aiding abetting.
Asaram remains in jail without bail pending his next court hearing.
We now have two excellent examples of parents peacefully demanding thorough police investigations and formal charges.
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