Then and now: What Chhagan Bhujbal and Indrani Mukherjea tell us about Indian prisons
New Delhi: While the decision by authorities to admit firebrand NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal to St George Hospital has been mired in controversies – he only complained of toothache but was later found to need an ICU due to his blood pressure and diabetes – there is another facet of the story that not many may have noticed.
A photograph of firebrand NCP leader from Maharashtra Chhagan Bhujbal, arrested by the ED in March in a case of alleged money laundering to the tune of Rs 870 crore, has gone viral.
The photograph shows Bhujbal, a leader known to have a strong OBC foothold, in poor state – with a full white beard and poor health. According to reports, Bhujbal has lost 10 kgs since his arrest in March.
Bhujbal’s frail condition is a grim reminder of what the law and its might can do to those who have arrogantly wielded power and influence, unaware that their deeds would catch up with them sooner than later.
In jail, Bhhujbal shared his barrack with media tycoon Peter Mukherjea, who is in custody for being allegedly involved with the murder of his second wife’s daughter from an earlier marriage. The Sheena Bora case has been a matter of talk ever since it was revealed and the proceedings do seem to have taken a toll on the accused as well.
Not too long ago, a photograph emerged showing similar comparisons of Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case. This photogrpah also went viral on social media.
In the first image, prior to her arrest, she looks elegant and ravishing, while the other image which is believed to have been captured after her arrest, she looks old and pale. It seems incessant media trial has taken a toll on her health.
Life in jail is demanding and very different from what the mighty and powerful are used to otherwise. There is a strict regime to be followed. Wake up at 5 o’clock, noon really to talk to, to share your thoughts and grievances. Meals are served at stipulated times and there is hardly much you can do about it.
However, there could be more to the story if you look at it. The way influential people lead their lives can restrict their understanding of how the system works; especially when you are on the wrong side of it.
Cases linger on for years and a date for hearing could sometimes stretch to frustrating durations. Just yesterday, we saw a top jurist make an empassioned appeal to the executive to stop preaching on judicial delays and start acting on their job of filling up vacancies at lower courts.
His concern, after all, may not be entirely misplaced. Sometimes, photographs speak louder than words.