Subhash Barala, alias father of the stalker

subhash-barala Subhash Barala | ANI

Talk about Venod Sharma. The response is: who?

Say, the son of K.N. Sharma. Again comes a 'who'?

Point out the owner of Piccadilly cinema and hotel. Again another 'who'?

Venod Sharma, once a very popular Congress leader in Chandigarh, has virtually lost his identity in the public sphere. Not because he quit the Congress after 40 years of association and the party he floated did not take off. But because people know him in a different context these days—as Manu Sharma's father.

Within no time after the Jessica Lal shooting incident in the national capital, Venod Sharma lost his own identity, and became 'Manu Sharma's father'. Such was the public glare on the case that rocked the nation way before the times of social media.

Those who knew the former Congressman and his family had narrated how years before the Jessica Lal incident, the teenager Manu had refused to leave a Chandigarh disco that was shutting for the night. The management called up the family, only to be told they should lock him in till morning. It was their way of punishing an errant son. But clearly it did not help.

Vikas Barala, the 23-year old stalker of Varnika Kundu, a 29-year-odl DJ in Chandigarh, too has a father in politics—the Haryana BJP President Subhash Barala. Not being a full time resident of the union territory, not many in the city know him the way they new Venod. However, within a few days, they know Subhash as the father of Vikas who stalked Varnika.

Such is the damage that wrong conduct and criminal activities of young men intending to have fun after a few drinks, can do to the fair name of their families.

The Haryana BJP vice president Ramveer Bhatti asked what Varnika was doing out on the streets at that dark hour, and has tried in vain to explain himself ever since. What business is it of anyone where she was or what she was doing? Does the Constitution debar a woman from driving around at midnight? And more importantly, has the Constitution handed over the nights and the highways to animals on the prowl, even if they be the two-legged ones driving an SUV?

Bhatti would have done well to wonder what Vikas and his friend were doing on the road that late in the night. Ever since the Nirbhaya case shocked the nation's sensibilities, sensitive people have been suggesting that it is not enough to protect one's daughters. It is important to ensure one's sons know how to behave.

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The Week

Topics : #Chandigarh

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