Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
India’s civilian award winner novelist Prativa Ray is under discussion due to unnatural death of her daughter-in-law and arrest of her remarried son long seven years after the occurrence. But, she is immaterial. Material is the society’s anxiety to know as to why her daughter-in-law’s death was unnatural.
No elaboration is needed on the axiom that Justice delayed is justice denied.
Lapse of long seven years in bringing a suspected offender of law to the grip of law itself is evidence of denial of justice to a pregnant lady member of the society who lost her life so suddenly and unexpectedly that, in the language of law, be it suicidal or homicidal, her death is not natural. Legally, it is a case of unnatural death.
Therefore, onus lies on the husband and in-laws of the deceased to convince the society as to why her death is not unnatural, because after marriage, Sharmistha was their family member and was certainly under the care of that family.
Mrs. Prativa Ray is the most known face of that family. She should have made the society convinced by now that her daughter-in-law’s death was natural, not unnatural.
She has not done it.
In reality, she is duty-bound to do it; because she has been decorated with the Indian Civilian Award Padmashree and for that reason alone, she should have felt that she has a special duty to the nation of India to ensure that the civilian award given to her is never soiled with a muddy tag of unnatural death of her daughter-in-law.
On the other hand, silence of mainstream media in the matter enhances the suspicion that there is going on a game of suppression. When journalism is being increasingly vitiated with viruses of compromise with ethics and lobbyists are not rare amongst the journalists, silence of mass media organizations in this particular matter enhances the fear that unless people in general wake up to the occasion, the circumstances that extinguished a brilliant daughter of Mother Orissa would never be known and avenged.
In such a situation, social media is the only instrument available to the society to ensure that offenders of law do not escape the law.
In Sharmistha’s case, therefore, it would not be unnatural for social media to chase this case, so that someone’s beloved daughter, on becoming a daughter-in-law, doesn’t succumb to any unnatural death.
Death must come with dignity. But unnatural death is never dignified. Hence, this is the duty of social media to represent the society in creation of the environment where death shall never be undignified.
My friend Prasanta Patnaik has instituted a “Mission Justice” campaign in Facebook. One who knows him, knows that he is a man of no malice towards anybody. So, his campaign has no malice. He is in this mission as a conscience keeper of the society. And, therefore, this new campaign deserves serious attention, cogitation and participation.
In fact, as I understand, in this mission, Mrs Ray is immaterial. Justice being a social matter, Social Media rightly acts the sentinel to see that Law doesn’t falter in finding why her daughter-in-law’s death is unnatural.