Tosha was just another Indian student studying a good program at a good institution. She ‘was’ till her life was brutally cut short by someone staying in the same accommodation block for some ‘unknown’ reason.
|Anth kaal Raghuvir pur jayee||If at the time of death one enters the Divine Abode of Shri Ram,|
|Jahan janam Hari-Bakht Kahayee||thereafter in all future births he is born as the Lord’s devotee.|
There is nothing in this case that links her death to her being an indian but the Indian politicians reacted early on Monday abruptly hinting at it as a continuation of the 2009 incidents. India’s foreign and overseas indian affairs ministers made statements demanding ‘justice’ and the BJP through it’s articulate spokesman Rudy made matching noises. See link that summarizes both the Government and Opposition viewpoints. The silver lining was that Indian Journalists generally conducted themselves with élan and no hyped reports appeared in national media including in the infamous ‘Times Now’. PTI, IANS and NDTV reporters from Australia put factual reports and the initial hints of a possible ‘racism angle’ was correctly brushed aside by later reports. (Examples of factual coverage from NDTV/IANS and CNNIBN/PTI.)
|Bhoot pisach Nikat nahin aavai||All the ghosts, demons and evil forces keep away, with the|
|Mahavir jab naam sunavai||sheer mention of your great name, O’Mahaveer!!|
Tosha’s friends and other Indian students who rightly demand ‘Justice for Tosha’ refused to get drawn into sensationalism setting an example for even their other counterparts in Melbourne who had attempted at milking such incidences to further their political aspirations two years ago.
SCU and their campus in Sydney headed by Anand, demonstrated their readiness for the responsibility at hand and that too in a compassionate manner. I am just coming out of a memorial service that was organised in Tosha’s memory at the SCU’s Sydney campus and attended by her friends, class mates, media, institution staff and also India’s consul general Dasgupta and his deputy Roy.
Anand did ask me to say a few words but for possibly the first time in my life, my vocal chords failed to respond. I have the following message:
Though I only learnt of Tosha after this senseless and unfortunate incident, I can feel her aspirations as an education agent who meets similar students/parents at the very initial stage and then help them identify the path. She was counselled by one of the long time AAERI member colleague and I can feel the pain that they must also been feeling.
The circumstance of this incident does not allow any finger pointing at all. Anand and the institute have been upto the task, the police and detectives have done and doing their required job, journalists in Australia and in India have kept to facts and Australians have reacted to this incident exactly in the same manner as Indians reacted to two similar incidents in Delhi over the last fortnight. It’s now time to hope that the judiciary delivers justice. I am part of any ‘justice for Tosha’ campaign that exists in our emotions.
One group that needs to be acknowledged for their conduct are the friends and other class mates of Tosha. They have shown great maturity despite the loss. Well done. The ever-powerful will deliver justice sooner than later. The “karma” will haunt the accused.
There are loose ends to tie in the case. While we do have an accused, we donot have a clear motive. The days ahead should allow the detectives and the police put together a water-tight case for the court to consider. A brutal deed deserves the severest punishment irrespective of the background of the accused.
I sincerely hope that the media will not lose interest now that the ‘racism angle’ is missing in the story. The NSW state police and detectives also need appreciation at this stage for their professionalism. Is ‘Victoria’ listening and taking notes?
The memorial service had friends and others demanding justice while the interpretation of justice varying. While one argued that the almighty will certainly deliver, others hope at the judiciary. The consul general opined that the parents will not get their daughter back and so any justice remains incomplete.
I am one who believes that the guilty should be punished and am sure he will be. Justice will happen eventually and I join Anand in praying to “Shiva” to ensure that Tosha begins her life cycle again in happier circumstances.
The memorial service included chanting of Hanuman Chalisa so that all get strength to deal with the loss.
I however, refuse to chant one particular stanza that goes (I know that there is a deeper meaning to the words but the words when literally translated does not sync with my current mood):
Chutehi bandhi maha sukh hohi
(let the imprisoned be released bringing happiness)