Ever since Independence, a menace has stalked the land, and his name is Nobody. We know he’s a he because thousands of crimes are committed against women every month, and after due investigation, the culprit is usually Nobody. This would suggest that Nobody is a man. Throughout history, Nobody, like the Phantom, has been in many places at once. In 1984, he was all over Delhi, and single handedly massacred thousands of Sikhs. In Gujarat, in 2002, he was not alone. Around 40 other people were convicted. But even if they killed around 10 people each, this would add up to 400 or 500. The rest were victims of Nobody.

The Congress regime was a circus of scams. Mind-boggling figures were bandied about. Names were taken in vain. Now, after three years of a change in regime, we’ve found the culprit. It was Nobody, once again.

In the area of governance, which costs more every year, Nobody is extremely active. When buildings collapse, killing dozens, Nobody is to blame. When little children fall down wells, and potholes kill bikers, it’s Nobody’s fault. When money meant for irrigation vanishes without a trace, Nobody knows where it went. When children die without oxygen in hospitals, or learn nothing in school, Nobody is responsible. During the recent floods in Chennai, Nobody opened the floodgates. When a foot overbridge collapsed in Mumbai, Nobody was to blame.

Nobody’s fault

Nobody has a close relationship with the police. He travels from thana to thana. Whenever people die in their custody, Nobody is responsible. When they refuse to register crimes, Nobody is at fault. Nobody is responsible when cases drag on for years. When the CBI falsifies evidence, Nobody deserves to be punished.

Nobody also causes destruction on a scale seldom seen before. During the recent Jat agitation in Haryana, he caused over Rs 20,000 crores worth of damage.

Nobody is deep into finance and farming. Nobody knows how the money reached Panama. When farmers commit suicide, it’s Nobody’s fault. When food grains rot, it’s Nobody’s doing.

Nobody is only human. He has his likes and dislikes. Nobody hates writers and journalists. Nobody fired three bullets into Gauri Lankesh. Nobody shot Kalburgi in the head and the chest. Nobody killed Pansare. Nobody killed Dabholkar. Shantanu Bhaumik from Tripura was stabbed to death. He was a young boy trying to cover the news. Nobody killed him. He was covered in blood.

As the years go by, Nobody is becoming bolder. Whenever criminals go scot free, they expand the scope of their work. Nobody is no exception. Nowadays, Nobody is acquiring a taste for Muslims. Nobody killed Pehlu Khan. Nobody killed Mohammed Akhlaq. Nobody killed Junaid Khan. He was 15. Who knows which profession or community Nobody will dislike next? The rest of us are naturally anxious. His activities are expanding at an alarming rate. The forces of law and order need to look into this urgently, and ensure that Nobody is brought to justice. Once they apply their minds, we can rest assured that they will do the needful, and Nobody will pay the price.

Shovon Chowdhury investigated Nobody for over a decade, and then wrote The Competent Authority.