Tuesday, 1 November 2011


When 26/11 happened, people were outraged at the government. Ten gunmen held the city hostage for three days, murdering hundreds of innocents in cold blood and it took the security forces that long to get to them. But the perpetrators were not from India; the cause for the horrific attack on Indian soil was external.

So what do we do when the threat is from within?
To take a specific case in Mumbai - when two men protecting their women friends are stabbed mercilessly by 13 thugs?

How do our politicians react to that?

By promising the killers' family justice, that's how.

Here's the gist of what happened from aamjanta.com; it's almost like a movie. If you know how it plays out, skip ahead:

The Murder of Keenan Santos
On 23rd October 2011, a group of cricket fans came together to enjoy a match on a big screen, have dinner at Amboli kitchen and Bar, eat paan and have fun. What followed didn't quite work out that way. 

Dinner done, as they were at the paan shop, a drunk man stumbled against one of the girls. Thinking that this is your average garden variety drunk, one of the men in the group, Avinash Solanki, slapped him. Got into a verbal spat, another friend, Reuben Fernandes, hit him too. However, this was no garden variety drunk lecher (which are kind of common on streets). This man had two murder cases pending against him, and he was a barber and roaming around scot free.
He was accompanied by a few other men. Angry and wanting revenge, he swore he’d be back, and the group dismissed him. Shaken over what happened, but not expecting trouble, they continued to stand there. Meanwhile, said man returned with a group of people in three rickshaws – thirteen, many said – and his original companions. They were armed with swords and knives. Keenan and Reuben tried to reason with them while the others got the girls out of the way to safety. Keenan Santos was stabbed viciously, and his intestines spilled out. As Bejnamin tried to get the girls into the restaurant, some of the thugs followed them. Reuben Fernandes got in their way and was viciously stabbed too. As onlookers watched in shock, Avinash Solakni hurled a nearby ladder at them and pulled Keenan and Reuben into the restaurant. The thugs did not follow them into the restaurant, and left.
Read the rest here.
Keenan Santos died the same day. Reuben Fernandes succumbed to his injuries yesterday. May their souls rest in peace.
None of the bystanders did anything to help, let alone offer the friends a lift to the nearest hospital. I have never witnessed something like this and when watching something similar in a Hindi movie I always found it abnormal the way passersby huddled around in a circle, incapable of being of any use whatsoever. And I always thought - 'as if'. It's heartbreaking to learn that people really are like that. Have we become so insensitive to the needs of our fellow human beings? Pause for a minute and think, if you were there, would you charge in to help? Would you atleast call the cops? Or would you hold back, not wanting to get involved?
I am disgusted by some of the comments the articles covering the altercation and deaths of the two men has received. 'They shouldn't have been there', 'they should have left', 'they were showing off in front of the girls', 'they should have let go of their ego'. WHAT? Is that all you can think of? They were there and they were brave. They stood up for what's right. And they faced the consequences. Someone very rightly said, 'no good deed goes unpunished.' Then again, the world would be a worse place to live in if nobody cared to perform that good deed.
Those goons should not be allowed to get away with what they did. But of course, it looks like they're going to. Why else would a man with two (now three four) criminal cases against him be so cocksure when he says he'll be out of prison soon? How much political backing does he have?
Political parties have been playing both sides, sympathizing with the victims but visiting the killers' families assuring them 'justice' (whatever that means, their dictionary must hold a different meaning of the word) as the area the latter live in is a huge vote-bank.
How long are we going to allow our 'leaders' to manipulate us for votes? When will we unite as a people and say, 'Enough!' and mean it when we do? 
This hasn't received the media attention it should have. That can be changed, with social media. Organize a tweet-up. Get the word out on Facebook. Get celebrities involved via Twitter. Social media has empowered each and everyone of us and we can no longer get away with just waving our hands in despair and saying 'this country has gone to the dogs'.

Will you be a bystander? The choice lies with you.

Join the group on Facebook.


  1. Well written, except that "Why else would a man with two (now three) criminal cases against him..." is now actually "Why else would a man with two (now FOUR) criminal cases against him..." :( More than the murder, I am shocked at the failure of a sense of responsibility among leaders.

  2. You're right, four it is. Yes, I too am infuriated at how they are manipulating the families. Hope the media does its bit.

  3. Its all very sad and unfortunate. Our inept judicial system is to blame as that asshole murderer is still roaming Scot-free. Yaa it is upto us to mull support for this tragedy and get this incident into public's consciousness. U also told that nobody come into fore at the time of accident. Its understandable as in people as individuals are wary of their lives but people being united and preventing the crime at the immediate moment of the incident is a rare occurrence. The least the bystanders could have done is call the police. The point is at the time of accidents one should be able to do something so that he/she will not regret later in their lives.

  4. So true. How can any of those bystanders live with their conscience when they heard of Reuben's death and did NOTHING to help when he and Keenan were dying in front of them? Keenan's dad came on Times NOW last night and he's a rockstar honestly, so much strength and resilience. Even though he lost a son, he expects his other sons to stand up for women too. These are real men!


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