Anger. Sadness. Pain. But mostly Anger. That is my state of mind right now. Anger at Ram Singh [One of the Rapists in the Nirbhaya case]. Anger at AP Singh (Defence Lawyer, Nirbhaya case). Anger at ML Sharma (Defence Lawyer, Nirbhaya case). Anger at the way we do not show remorse for what we have done. Anger at the lack of guilt, accountability and basic civility in Indian society.
India has a lot going for it right now. The democracy is vibrant as showcased by the thumping majority delivered to the BJP led National Democratic Alliance. The economic wheels of the country buoyed by the consolidated verdict reacted favorably as it would mean faster decision-making, and comparatively lesser fractured policy initiatives than the governments before it. The Indian Cricket Team is having a ball down-under in Australia defending the World Cup that they won back in 2011. The world is waiting with bated breath as there are indicators that the country will FINALLY realize its true potential. But are we really progressing ?
In the hullabaloo of this positive news , a documentary called India’s Daughter made by an accomplished British journalist Leslee Udwin has come forth with sensational appeal and brought the ugly truth right in front of India’s face (and not for the first time). The documentary is trying to understand the psyche of a rapist, and tries to answer a simply worded yet complicated question “Why Men Rape ?“. As part of the journalist’s research, she travelled and met many convicts currently serving time and sentences for rape, the common man in India’s villages and members of society living in cities. Her documentary showcased the negative perceptions around women equality and the growing sickness eating India from within.
India has had a long running problem of treating women as second class citizens. Things are improving for sure, but the pervasive mindset of “women having no value”, and “their role is in the kitchen” is what brings forth the widely prevalent chauvinism in the Indian Male. Don’t get me wrong. There are many who “know-better” and do not adhere to these archaic & ridiculous principles, but they happen to be in a vast minority in Indian society.
This callous attitude is what leads to sitting Ministers, politicians and leaders across political lines to come with ridiculous statements like the one made by Babulal Gaur [Home Minister of Madhya Pradhesh responsible for Law & Order] on “Rape being sometimes right, and sometimes wrong”. No Mr.Gaur. Rape is NEVER RIGHT.
Mukesh Singh, filth of a human being who raped in 2012 Delhi Incident, came forward and said :
“You can’t clap with one hand, It takes two hands. A decent girl won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Boy and girl are not equal. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20 percent of girls are good.”
Any decent, civil and a conscious human being would be appalled at the lack of remorse this person showed. He is but one example of the kind of filth that is sadly present in my country today. But can the citizens squarely blame the political class for inaction ? For passing insensitive statements ? For not giving this moral vacuum created by a lost generation of women its due importance. The political class comes from the common citizen pool of the country. The same people who see their father’s day in day out treat their mothers with disrespect, grow up with an attitude where in they feel women are bred for a life of servitude. This problem in society is not political but social. The problem cannot be solved by actions of one government alone, but as a collective effort to raise awareness, increase sensitivity in schools and educate the next generation around the value systems that India should move forward with.
Enough with “Jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai [Do you know who my father is?]” and “Bharatiya naari ki jagah Kitchen main hai [Indian woman’s place is in the kitchen]”. Place those morons who believe in that attitude in front of Olympic champion, boxing prodigy and India’s pride Mary Kom for ten minutes. She will teach them a thing or two about equality, and what a girl is capable of.
Stop treating victims of rape as criminals. Stop the public shaming of people who have gone through untold pain and suffering. Provide more rehabilitation mechanisms for women who have gone through so much, so they can get back on their feet soon and live life with their head held high. These have been said time and again, but the root cause is still lack of education, sensitivity and value system in the mind of the rapist while growing up at home.
There were rapes before Nirbhaya. Sadly, there have been rapes after Nirbhaya. I do not expect the country’s citizenry to solve the problem overnight, but, we can take steps collectively as a society to make sure that the womenfolks of the country are treated with the respect they deserve, and have all avenues to achieve what they are capable of.
What makes me extremely hopeful is that my generation, my friends, people I have interacted with all support equality, and DO NOT cater to such pathetic views on women. We are the future of this nation, and it can only get better going forward.
Enough India. A country can never grow if it cannot treat a woman with respect. Let us together do a better job at it.
An enraged citizen and a vehement supporter of women’s rights.