Shrestha Thakur, the Indian policewoman, either doesn't follow news or is made of steel. Either she doesn't know how the slightest resistance to the tide of the times can lead to or she doesn't care while she is doing her duty.
But Thakur's story reminded us about Durga Shakti Nagpal, another honest servant of the state who had all the courage to take on the sand mafia of Uttar Pradesh, the same state where Shrestha faced the music. And the tragedy is the government of the same party which transferred Shrestha near the Nepal border to keep up the pride of party members high, had slammed the Samajwadi Party (SP) for mistreating Durga, an IAS officer, in 2013.
Nothing has changed in UP apart from the name and colour of the ruling party's flag.
The BJP had slammed the SP govt over its ill-treatment of Durga Shakti Nagpal
The BJP had warned the SP for suspending Durga because she had taken on the sand mafia, accusing it of playing vote-bank politics. It said that the SP government took the step to secure the support of the Muslims and hence was playing communal politics.
It also said that the government, by penalising honest officers, was demoralising them and encouraging 'goondaraj'. The SP government, on the other hand, had said the suspension of the woman officer was an administrative decision which was taken to stop her from demolishing a mosque which could cause communal tension.
Only the party in power has changed; nothing else
So what different did the BJP do when it has come to power in UP? The script is identical: two women officers penalised for doing their duties; party's interests were prioritised over that of the government; the governments cared more for those who secure their electoral prospects than its honest servants. And worse, both instances took place under comparatively younger chief ministers of the state. While SP's Akhilesh Yadav was 40 when Durga Shakti was delivered injustice, Shrestha's CM Yogi Adityanath is 45.
So, even under young leadership, the fate of this country is not seeing much change.
The cadre have become so important for the parties in power that they cannot afford to back anybody else apart from their servants to win them elections. The idea of clean and transparent governance goes for a toss because it is the party which reigns supreme in India's democratic functioning.
But the light in the dark tunnel is the possibility that people like Shreshtha and Durga exhibit. A Shreshtha has come up four years after Durga faced the state's wrath for acting honest and this guarantees that we will not fall short of these daredevils even in the days to come.
There lies the optimism.