Thursday, January 3, 2013

We the people

So, I wake up another morning, signed in my Facebook account and then yet another article pops on my wall. This time it headlined “Damini’s last words to her mom”.
I clicked it open. The post expectedly started on a sentimental note and then went into the explicit details of that horrific incident.  A picture of a girl too (which later I found it to be fake) was attested along with the article not to mention the name of the Facebook page in bold letters that was sharing it. The worst part was the ending where the page asked its readers to like/share it stating that 1 Like= I Tear and I share=1 phaasi (capital punishment) for the culprit. “Thoko Like bhaiyon” was the caption with which the article ended.
This incident compelled me to write this article which probably is the first serious post I have ever tried to write. Again, all the views mentioned in this are restricted to my understanding and I have no intention to hurt any sentiments. Serious apology if something like that happens.
First of all, we all know that the girl eventually died. Sad but do you think that sharing every intrinsic detail is genuinely necessitated. If 6 people raped her body in a bus was not enough, millions other continue to rape her soul in every nook and cranny of the country.  And Damini? Seriously? In movie Damini, the main character Damini fought for a rape victim and did her bit to ensure justice to that girl. How come that is related to this girl who was raped and murdered?People” are turning her into a heroine, a martyr, a role model who sacrificed. By people I basically mean Media and many web pages in Social networking sites.  Why are they doing this? The simple answer is the common people, me you and everyone love reading it. The same way we love unhealthy entertainment and movies which objectifies women. That news channels and pages just en cash that. Just remember guys, even this girl gets the desired justice, the purpose is still not served.  Even a rape with less brutality needs to be dealt with equal severity.
So who is responsible, pin pointing is easy, start with government.
When I read the remarks and statements of some high profile minsters and police commissioners, that includes some powerful well educated women as well; I personally feel that they are incapable of solving the present criticality. And the way government has handled till now, well, I am least impressed to say the least. Closing down the metro stations was one act of cowardice. Poor conviction rate of rapist just corroborates the other aspect. 
In short,

Dear Manmohan Singh

Ghanta theek hai

Yours sincerely,  
Rest of India                                                                                                                                                            

But then, the whole point boils upon one specific question, who have elected them? None other than “We the people”. But really did every one of us? To be frank, not actually. Many, even the best educated class don’t vote either because of utter laziness or because of a common myth that just one vote of mine won’t affect the result. Voting ranks last in their priority list. No surprise, only around half of the population vote. So here comes the first problem. The very US instead of doing anything constructive just re-read and re-sympathize and re-share the same post and feels content that they have played their part. I am not against this re sharing play but must say that this act of empathy is not sufficient at all.  I have seen many changing their profile picture to a black dot condemning the act and evincing their anger, frustration, fear etc. Agreed that this is like doing your BIT but trust me, on a macroscopic level, this is actually just a BIT. Dead assured, not many of them even have a voter ID card. Those who have, they just use it for verification of their IRCTC tickets while travelling. Even you had one and you have voted before also, did you ever reconsider whom you are going to vote. Thousands of times you discussed why FDI in retail, ever once you debated why to prefer one political party over another. Least, if you don’t vote at all, better stop your hue and cry regarding governance. That just looks plain fake. Be assured, your Black dot and multiple shares won’t save the next target alone. Voting is the easiest and the best way to bring upon the much needed change. Don’t hope that with time, things will change. Remember, Doing thing changes things. Not doing anything will keep the things the way they are no matter what the time is.
The other problem which I fear is our attitude. This incident is in top notch news these days but soon enough this will burn out as well.  You remember Mumbai attack. You must have read so many articles about what government should have done, what media should have done etc. you must have heard that particular news which stated that police lacked quality bullet proof jackets which led to the death of many. Are you still updated with what government has done till now. Has police been provided with the quality jackets as of now? I am not sure how many newspapers and media news channels have covered this. The same thing can be said about Olympics as well. Again zillions of articles to improve the sports infrastructure and standard blah blah has been published those days but what has been till now, I am quite sure many of us are not aware and most importantly, not even tried to be aware of. Only when the next time another attack happens (god forbid) or desperate failure at Olympic takes place, we will see those history pages. In a nut shell, we forget. Damn, we forget. Even media stops reporting the same as the news does not generate the same level of TRPs.
Bringing upon the states, cast and religion into this is like a final nail in the coffin. The minute you bring the state/cast/religion, you basically alienate those set of people. It’s just like you are expressing that those people of that respective states, cast etc are kind of people that do these offences. Suddenly, the whole concept of cultural heritage and Unity in Diversity goes for a toss. The amount of energy that those set of people would have utilized for the better good is now being channelled to save their respective cast/state/religion identities. Again, I would like to reiterate that those criminals don’t even belong to the species called Homo Sapience, lest forget any cast, state, religion etc
Last but not the least; our education system is equally responsible. Again turning back the pages of our glorious past, we will see our Indian society has always been male chauvinist. Even Mahabharata and Ramayana were more about Pandavas and Kauravs or probably Arjun, Kans or Ram and Hanuman and less about Draupadi or Sita. We still ask “abbey movie main hero kaun hai” and not heroine. (Unless that movie do involves an explicit hot sex scene). We still favour a son rather than a daughter in our family. These minuscule things create a mind-frame that we BOYS are the centre of attention. However, when we come to the real world, the situation is otherwise. Getting a girl is rather tough job. Not able to accept that, we indulge in these serious crimes.

What to be done now.
Firstly, Vote dullards Vote.
Secondly, girls,
You better be alert. I read those pamphlets stating “don’t ask girls not to wear short skirts but rather ask boys not to rape us”. Well, I asked those boys, they said “NO”. Now, What next? Girls, remember, around 50% of the rapes are being committed by close ones that include your relatives and friends. The set of people you trust. Assuming that Every Rape is a Rape no matter how brutal it is, you better make sure of yourself that you are prepared to handle the same. You can’t change the people around you. Probably for them, even today, Akeli ladki khuli hui tijori ke tarah hoti hai. That much needed change of outlook and mentality will take time and more importantly, a lot of efforts. What you can do is make few changes. At least carry a pepper spray with you every single time no matter with whom and with how many you are going. If you are using a public transport, send the vehicle number to your parents/room-mate/college mate etc. If possible, make sure that the drivers and others around see that you are messaging the number to others. That may dither them from such flagitious act. If you are using smart phones, very well you can use smart app to let people know of your location. If you gonna drink, do the afore-mentioned before you start getting drowsy.
Thirdly, Parents.
One line says it all. Instead of leaving a better tomorrow for kids, you try to leave better kids for tomorrow (someone’s tweet). Get over this “mera beta aisa kabhi nahi kar sakta” attitude. Do ask your son where he is going after 9 pm and enquire when he is away all night, the exact thing you do with your daughters. 
Fourthly, the Boys
 Trust me; just try to spend few hours listening to the eve teasing incidents happened to your sisters, wives, girl friend and other close friends among girls. That will certainly and intensely boil your heart against those doers and probably will kill the rapist inside you if you are one. I know, it’s difficult to discuss and even sounds disturbing but then, amongst us lays the monstrous animals. Also, at least promise to take some sort of initiative to deter any eve teasing taking place around you. One thing which I felt was clearly missing amongst the people around when that girl was lying unconscious on the road after being thrown out of the bus.
In the end note, to a large extent, we, the people are responsible for all these shit. We still blame others and fear to take our responsibilities.
Remember one beautiful quote which I read it somewhere

Umra bhar galib yahi bhool karta raha
dhool chehre par thi aur aaina saaf karta raha..! #society

PS: Happy new year guys, hope your happiness grows like silence of our PM and stupidity of Abhijit Mukherjee  (the dented and painted guy)


shreya said...

Your article made me remember of so many things emotionally that we usually neglect or overlook due to our busy life. But yes I agree with all the facts that you have mentioned. Y are the women and girls in the city not safe at all? I am still in a mess with ample of questions as I being a girl can understand the issues. Appreciate your effort in the post. thank u

Khyati jain said...

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