Tears, anger and some action


March 27, 2006

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AT 4.56 pm on Sunday, Mehar Bhargava moved into her permanent resting place, Hormuzd Bagh –the Parsi cemetery at Narhi since 1902– alongside her mother Naja Kharas, whose epitaph read: “Tears alone won’t be able to reflect what we feel.”

And sure enough, women came in large numbers to bid a final adieu to the lady who laid down her life to protect dignity of women and angrily demanded strictest possible action against Mehar’s assailants at the earliest from Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav when he called on the bereaved family. “This case should not be allowed to become like the Jessica Lal case,” they shouted even as the CM assured them of “action against the guilty”.

“I guess Mehar wasn’t the kind to take things lying down. Had it been even some other woman than her daughter-in-law Kavita, Mehar would have reacted similarly. We all are here to register our protest, express our condolences and more importantly to imbibe her courageous approach,” said Sudha, a close friend of the Bhargavas.

Nimmi Dubey, sister-in-law of Mehar said, “I would have reacted similarly if somebody would have teased my daughter. So, I guess, everybody should take up the cause that Mehar espoused so fearlessly.”

Mehar’s husband Luv, who demanded a CBI probe if Mehar’s assassins were not arrested within a week, agreed that his wife was a “very special person.” Right through her 25-day struggle at Apollo Hospital in Delhi, Mehar kept on inquiring from Luv about the “progress in the case.”

That is why perhaps people like Smita Chandra, a close friend of the family, pointed out that they would not let the issue be buried after Mehar’s burial.

And the women who had gathered there appeared they were yet to come to terms with the reality. “It seems that Mehar is playing a joke. She was never so quiet. She was a vibrant person whose enthusiasm was infectious. It almost appears that she would just get up and begin to laugh,” remarked a close friend.

Kavita for whom Mehar fought and died, appeared distraught. At the burial ground too, she kept on looking at her mother-in-law’s mortal remains for long. Till Mehar was lowered into her grave, Kavita kept on gazing at her. It almost appeared, that she too, like many others who knew Mehar well, found it difficult to accept that her graceful, courageous mother-in-law had crossed the bridge across forever.

On Monday, the women here plan to take out a candlelight protest at the GPO Park. “We are organising a candlelight march till Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Hazratganj crossing at 6.30 pm. Women from all walks of life would participate in the protest in large numbers. I would like more and more women to assemble at the GPO,” said Smita Chandra.


–An SMS campaign has been launched by Mehar’s friend Smita Chandra to protest the killing and invite people to participate in the candlelight protest at Gandhi Statue, GPO on March 27 at 6.30 pm. The message reads: “Please come to Gandhi statue at

GPO on March 27 at 6.30 pm to light a light for our beloved Mehar Bhargava. Please pass this msg to as many people as you can.”

Says Smita: “We are trying to attract as many people as we can at Gandhi statue on Monday. This is a fight for the dignity of women. Mehar’ssacrifice must not go in vain.”

Original article here