Bharthua panchayat’s resolution to impose a social boycott on Manoj Sah — the man accused of raping a five-year-old girl in Delhi — and his family is commendable (“Bihar village ostracises accused, family,” April 21). More laudable is its decision that it will not let the accused step into the village even if he is released on bail or the court gives him a light sentence. The decision should be an eye-opener to our leaders. What prevents the government with its huge powers from finding a lasting solution to crime against women when villagers with limited exposure and powers could arrive at a consensus and deliver instance justice is a moot question.
The Bharthua panchayat has approached the issue with a human touch, while such sensitivity is missing on the part of our political parties and elected representatives. Gandhiji was right in saying that real India lives not in its cities but villages.
A remote village in Bihar has sent a clear message to the nation that it can take decisions instantly and unanimously. Although one wonders whether a “social boycott” can be strictly enforced, the unanimity and the determination shown by the panchayat members to punish the guilty are commendable. Hope the Bharthua panchayat will be a source of inspiration to Parliament.
Kshirasagara Balaji Rao,