Invisible and impregnable barriers

Many newspapers and news channels chose to sum up 2006 in India as an year where people power finally emerged. True they have many reasons to do so: Jessica and Priyadarshini got justice, the Right to Information Act was salvaged from potential hijackers and the son of MNC boss returned home safely after being kidnapped.

The media too played a pro-active role in getting justice to many individuals be it a slum kid dreaming to represent India, a poor old couple begging for survival, little girls in an orphanage being abused by their caretaker, a little challenged kid abandoned by his family..

So can we dare to say that all is well on planet India?

Maybe not. There are many Jessicas waiting for justice, many old couples in need of help and as we all saw in silent horror many children kidnapped and killed as parents knock uselessly at the doors of police stations. The difference is hat they are from the wrong side of the invisible barriers that divide us and do not have what is required: money, contacts, access and even the not so often mentioned miracle tool - good command of English.

Some manage to break the barriers if for some reason or the other they get picked up by he media and if in the heat of the moment some tangible action comes their way, well and good, otherwise they sink into oblivion after their brief moment of glory.

This is not meant to be a cynical post but a simple call to all the invisible voices who came o the fore to help get justice when they felt it was in danger. Time has come to ensure people's power reaches out to all those who have been hurt, abused or let down and to bring about long term changes to ensure that they get justice.

The Noida children could have been saved had the police registered the FIRs and set out to look for them with the same diligence as in the case of high profile children. Civil society should go beyond addressing specific cases and seek out long term solutions.

They have the power, what is needed is the will to exercise it. Only then can the invisble barrers be broken.