The movie “Guzaarish” unleashed a new ray of hope for some. It renewed the debates revolving around euthanasia. Aruna Shanbaug’s case re-entered the public sphere for discussion. I got to know about the case and the issue of Euthanasia after watching the movie but I tried to avoid it… the ‘story’ was too tragic…unbearable for me.
But few days back, I watched a documentary on her on a news channel. I won’t say how it moved me to tears because that seems too underestimating. I just could’nt hold myself…I was silent...staring in blankness. What she went through and is still going through every passing moment of her ‘life’…I don’t think I or anyone can understand it. But the image of her lying paralysed in the hospital bed…blind and screaming haunts me.
I don’t think I can pen down what had happened to the once young and vibrant Aruna…No, I cannot recount how inhuman her assaulter could become. Inhuman is again an overtly-underestimated term. Aruna, the doctors say, “is neither in our world nor in the world unknown. She is somewhere in the middle”. Aruna has been in this state for the last 38 years.
As about her accused, Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki, any Indian can guess his fate. He was in jail for 7 years. And now he is out to live a normal life…a life of dignity and honour. 7 years for the devil…the haivan but 38 years of his haivaniyat.
But why should Aruna suffer? What was her fault? And till when should she suffer?
Aruna deserved to live with honour and dignity. But she was not allowed to do so. But now she should be allowed to die in peace. She should suffer no more. Her soul should be freed of these sufferings.
But the legal system in India has a different take. The law has literally become blind as it can’t see her sufferings- she has been in the same hospital for almost 40 years, she is paralyzed, blind and deaf and is still under the trauma. Giving a 7 year imprisonment to the demon seemed harsh-enough. Aruna has been fighting for her ‘life’ for the last 38 years but the court cannot see it. Why? Because they think that only God has the right to take away life. Well, does the court consider what Aruna is trying to live, a ‘life’? Aruna doesn’t deserve this torture. The court holds that patients like her should await the advancement of technology which will someday ‘treat’ them. Can the doctors ever treat her back to normalcy? Can they ever bring back the 40 years of her life? Aruna could not live on free will but now she should die on it. She has suffered immensely and deserves to die in order to end the sufferings. But the court, by prohibiting mercy killing, is now acting ‘inhuman’.
I kept thinking about it all evening. Why couldn’t the doctors just do it one day? They could have said anything! Or why couldn’t any of her relatives liberate her. It’s just a matter of 7 years(of imprisonment). I wish I could do it. I know I’ll be taking ‘law’ in my hands but then what do we do when the law itself is so inhuman?
I am an agnostic so I don’t know if there is any hell or heaven…good or evil. But now I hope there is. I hope justice is done. Her accused gets the burning hell. And I hope she rests soon…