The Silence of the Lambs by Jaggi Oberoi

What happened in a bus in Delhi shook the conscious of the peoples of India. It also moved every sensitive soul on the Earth. Barbaric is the closest English word to describe the act, but it is nowhere near what actually happened. My friend Jaggi Oberoi was moved beyond tears. He was reminded of horror Movie, “The silence of the Lamb” It is based on a novel of the same title published in 1991. For those, who may not have read the book and also not seen the film, it is the story of a detective from the FBI who is tasked to study a psychic who is a serial killer. It is a chilling story with a moving climax. For those who may like to know more about the film, a link to the review is given below”


The promo of the film was depicted by the following picture,

Now, over to Jaggi Oberoi…


The Mayan calendar said that the world would end on the 21 Dec 2012 – it didn’t. It ended on 23 Dec 2012 – at least for one young woman inIndia. Call her “Nirbhaya”, “Damini’, “Amanat” or “brave heart and a daughter ofIndia–Indiahas to hang its head in shame. Not because one young girl was brutally raped and murdered but because we are a hypocritical society – we have to look inwards and we know that is true. Recently I was asked to look at the world – indeed nature and God itself on relativistic scale. So let me address God in the first person – the views are personal to me.

I was very little when I first heard of you. The mother who carried me from your arms and delivered me to this world fondly looked upon me one day and said, “You are God’s miracle”. My baby heart merely saw the tenderness in her eye. I gurgled and gave her a toothless smile in acknowledgment.

My adolescent years in my family were filled with your stories. Stories that wove more magic for me than any fairy tale could. Story of an elephant whose impassioned cry had you running to save him from the jaws of a crocodile. Of a Draupadi who sought ultimate refuge in you to save her honour and your gift of the endless robe to her. Of little Prahlad whose innocent faith compelled you to take the form of Narasimha, the half-man half-lion.

The entire world was your creation, I was told. You, the cosmic dancer, and the Universe, your eternal dance. Right from the little ant to the mighty mountain, a tiny trembling leaf to the deep forests, the bubbling brooks, to the hushed deserts, the silent stones, to the chirping birds, the skies, the Sun, the Moon, and the stars, women and children – they were all fragments of your dance. That you longed for it, and delighted in it.

I wanted to see you – to hear you. I could, they said. Hear a bird sing, they said, or the wind whistle. See a flower bloom, they said, or a star twinkle – and you could be seen – you could be heard. For starters, said the Mother: Love all and beloved yourself. Give your all so you are never wanting. Be kind and the world’s compassion will fill you. You will see him then”.

The child’s heart believed all. I grew up in faith. Got on with life. And the innocent toothless smile was lost in the furrows of hope and despair – of depression and delight. Alas the world was not all about stars and flowers. It was about power. Of pelf, politics, polemics. I had read in school of your promise that the meek shall inherit the earth – I saw instead the powerful hijack the earth. The meek simply perished.

I heard them wage wars in your name and slaughter your creation. Tyrants, thinkers, theologists, politicians, scientists, ideologists – they came in as many garbs as you had names – they christened you and rechristened you as and when it suited them. They chained you to the temple and pulled down the mosque. Fettered you to the mosque and marauded a temple.

I saw the magic of your stories turn black as they butchered innocent people in selfish wars. Exploded bombs to bargain and blackmail. Consigned widows to the funeral pyres of their husbands. Killed little girls in the womb of life.

I am told again and again that positive thoughts bring about positive action – perhaps that is true for there are still many stories not covered by our media where people have devoted their entire lives for the good of others – for just causes. About 300 plus years ago the ninth Guru of the Sikhs Teg Bahadur and the tenth Guru Gobind Singh sacrificed their lives and much more for the just and righteous causes – much like what we need to do now in our society. The bird still sings – then why don’t we hear you in the song. The star too twinkles in the sky – but why don’t we see you in the sparkle.


I am sure you’re still there just like you have been over the eons – they say so in the Vedas, the puranic verses extol your virtues – why do we miss your song and music in our everyday lives. I am sure some wise minds amongst our readers will be able to explain it in the “Kalyug” and “Karma” theories. I can only think of one response – when will we start to let our voice be heard -  the silence of the lambs has become a deafening shriek.

“When all else has been tried, and yet justice is not in sight;

It is right to pick up the sword, and it is right, then, to fight.

The time, to come out against this evil that has corroded every string of our moral fibre, has come – every one of us has to take action as he deems fit to fight against evil.


Countless men and women are murdered in the world. Thousands of women are molested and assaulted. The difference in this case is that the braveheart (whatever be her name) did not give up. She went down fighting, till the very end. An immortal composition by Guru Gobind Singh expresses this spirit exactly:

Deh Shiva bar mohe ihai                             (Grant me this boon, O Shiva!)
shubh karman the kabhu na taroo         (May I never shy away from righteousness)
Na daroo ar siyoo jab jah laroon            (Without fear, when I go to fight a war)
Nischai kar apni jeet koroon                    (With resolute determination, claim victory)
Ar Sikh hao apne hi mum ko                    (May Thy glory be ingrained in my mind)
Eh lalch hou guna tau uchroo                  (My greatest ambition is to sing Thy praise)
Jab aav ki audh nidhann banay               (When this mortal life is threatened at last)

At hi rann me tab joojh maroo                (May I die fighting with limitless courage)

These epochal words have been rendered by Jagjit Singh in his absolutely inimitable voice and musical composition. Click below, if you have two minutes to spare.

  1. UPDESH says:

    Great to read Col Oberoi’s perspective. The world is going on because there are people still who rise above their daily needs and fight for some cause or the other. If everybody does so then there would remain no cause to fight and how shall we teach our children or ourselves the definition of evil if evil ceases to exist!

  2. Dhiraj says:

    Excellent perspective on the life we live.
    How do we grapple with the brutality of reality?
    Its not merely in the words of the epilogue – its has to be action….When? Who? How?

  3. Yashvir Tuli says:

    Dear Gen Surjit and Joginder Oberoi,
    Thank you both for the e-mail and certain details (eagerly sought for by me for past six decades) about the 10th Guru. Even-though, I have slightly different views in the case of “Nirbhaya” – that why she was roaming about (or seeing late night cinema show at 0230 am, with her boy-friend – which her parents say that she only had a “best friend” and NOT a boy friend – and she was from Bihar and was roaming about without any other “female” -friend /para-medical class-mate(from her hospital)/relative in a notoriously infamous city. I am of the belief that “lambs” should always keep away from “Tigers” in a Jungle. We all know how “Jumbos” (elephants) shield their young ones from the predators. Her parents should have behaved like “Jumbos” and should not have left the “lamb” for the “Vultures” to devour at their will and pleasure.
    I have had the good-luck of seeing “The silence of the Lambs”, and had also seen the “The night of the Ignua” where Elizbeth Taylor had played the role something identical to that of “Nirbhaya”. Nirbhayas do become easy targets for molestation whenever they roam carelessly near “predators”.
    Not-withstanding my above opinion, please accept my heart-felt thanks once again for letting me have a “portion” of Guru Govind Singh’s (born “Govind Rai”and who was given basic teachings of religous Granths by Mahants of Varanassi/Prayag and Joshi Math under specific requests of his father Guru Teh Bahadur) first ever writen book “Vichittar Natak” in which he clarifies as to why he became the “disciple” and follower of Lord Shiva’s teachings. I had this book in Lahore but lost it there when migrating to Amritsar during partition time. Some portions of this book were available in the Museum of Guru Gobind Singh in Patna’s main Gurudwara when I last visited it during 1983 but have been told that this too has been removed therefrom. This book clarifies as to why 10th Guru followed the teachings of Shiva and did not preach “Ahimsa” like others.

    Sir, in case you have an idea from where can I get this book, please do let me know so that i can procure it staightway.

    With highest regards,

    Colonel Y V Tuli (Retd)

    • JS Oberoi (Jaggi Oberoi) says:

      Dear Col Tuli,
      Your views are respectfully acknowledged. “Nirbhaya” is only a symptom and not the malaise in our society today. There have been so many cases after that – in fact many every day where minors, adolescents, young women, older women have been brutalized and abused. What is the common thread in all these incidents – most, rather all victims have been “WOMEN”.
      So on the one hand we are educating our women with liberal values and on an equal footing with our young men and on the other we are cautioning them to practice “extreme restraint “ or else they are most likely to be assaulted and abused outside their homes – or maybe even “inside their homes”. Let our girl child not cry out in anguish and I quote a few lines from “Umrao Jaan”.

      “Yeh kyaa jagah hai dosto, yeh kaun sa dyaar hai,
      Had – e – nigah tak jahaan gubar hi gubar hai”

      One thing is certain – something has to change – either the way we educate and bring up our girls and young women or a certain amount of gender sensitivity and respect for the “girl” child, adolescent young ladies, wives and even mothers has to be brought about in our lives – you are the judge, but decide soon as time is running out.
      Jaggi Oberoi

  4. Dr Inderpal Sandhu says:

    My dear Surjit ji,

    Thanks for your email. Enjoyed reading Jaggi Oberai’s piece.

    You will find a picture of the girl, mentioned in his writeup, at the end of the following email.

    It will be befitting to add the picture of the pretty girl to the article.


    From: Mohammad Farooq
    Date: January 20, 2013 9:31:30 PM EST
    Subject: We finally get to see the picture of the girl Raped in N. Delhi

    What a pretty girl with a very sad ending.

    Mohammad Farooq




    It is indeed with a heavy heart that I send this mail to you. What a waste
    of what could have been a wonderful life.

    Her only fault was she got on the wrong bus!!!

    > She was a student
    > She was 23
    > Her fault some people say because she boarded the wrong bus And oh yeah SHE
    > WAS A GIRL … Six men raped her one by one and then used an iron rod to
    > tear her vagina Small intestine and large intestine came out They left her
    > to die on the road Naked Wounded Exposed Devastated What’s more is that no
    > one even turned to look at her No one even bothered to throw a shawl on the
    > ill-clad ill-fated girl She can never live a normal married life again She
    > Went into coma five times since 16th December She was unconscious Critical
    > and hasn’t been able to stop crying But don’t worry She wasn’t your sister
    > She wasn’t your daughter But she could be. The brutality has to stop right
    > here guys These people deserve capital punishment for their heinous
    > Perverted act She died Saturday 28th December 2012 Rest in Peace and I pray
    > that her killers get the WORST punishment possible This doesn’t only happen
    > in India..
    > But in every country around the world..
    > Is this how we treat our women?
    > It Makes me ashamed to even live on this planet today
    > “Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks to another day of loving.”
    > – Kahlil Gibran

    (Sorry, this site does not support pictures. I shall put it up separately, when it is declassified)

  5. Ghansham Ahluwalia says:




    Ghansham Singh

  6. It is interesting perspective but are the people/institutions responsible for current state of affairs ready to give solutions. Can we think of solutions from those who are responsible for current state of affairs.

  7. Golok Bihari says:

    Thank you very much.


  8. D S SARAO says:

    Very aptly put , will God forgive such men– ”Then they will go out and look at the corpses of those who have rebelled against me. The worms that eat them will not die. The fire that burns them will not go out. All humanity will be disgusted by them.”

  9. r k mehta says:

    Thanks for sharing a beautiful moving composition.


  10. Sarabjit Grewal says:

    to me


    Real moving article. Thanks.


  11. Harbhajan Singh says:

    Thank you so much for this and other emails. Very enjoyable readings indeed.

    Harbhajan Singh

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