Saturday, March 22, 2014

Every Other Day

Hi Readers,

Election fever it is these days...whom do we chose is the biggest debate going on. Have you chosen the right candidate yet? I know there are too many choices in some states, but do chose with your wise instincts, do not go by caste, region, community and stupid freebies. I do have a lot to write on this topic…will soon do it.

Coming to today's post, I am confused, worried and scared to start writing on this topic. My heart trembles before I open the news to read, before I step out of the home, and whenever I have to travel alone. As we hear more and more incidents about the assaults, rapes, molestations, abuses against women, the question of safety arises every now and then. The pain that comes through all this is hard to bear. Though we aren’t related, we aren’t there to witness it directly; still the news shakes and leaves us numb. We tend to become over careful, too alert, too doubtful and worry too much about safety. It is a shame to a country like ours which has had a culture of respecting or treating women like Goddesses and where there are sayings like "Yatra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra Devata" is now in the clutches of those few rascals. Why should the country bow down to such mean men? Why are we unable to stop these incidents once for all? There are so many debates, talk shows, opinion polls, law amendments, discussions, campaigns, and protests about violence against women. But was there any difference? Why do these men not fear any punishment? Are they too bold to commit any sort of crimes? Or are they immune to the judiciary? Or are they too rich to buy the system? I have a million questions to ask them. 
All these days we have been asking the victims about their trauma or about the incident or their future plans etc., why should we even bother the victim? Sympathizing and reminding the incident is also another sort of crime in my opinion. The society in a way is compelling her to remember the incident always. Calling them ‘rape victim’ until they breathe their last is a sort of an embarrassment to them. One of the NGO founders who works for women's welfare has said that it is the society which injures the victim more than the rapist in many cases. We as a society are trying to keep the talk go on so that she never forgets what has happened to her and she weeps every other night about the incident.  When these incidents happen, we always start judging the in why she was there at that hour, why she was alone, why she was with a boyfriend, why she had boarded a private bus, why she took a cab....the questions are endless. But, have we ever thought, in spite of all the precautions, worst things do happen in public?

The sinners aren't ashamed of groping or molesting or abusing women in public, why would they be afraid of raping in private? Groping has become so common that even women got over it. This statement might seem harsh but how many of us are fighting it back when we are groped at a public place? There are many women who don't want to fuss about it and they think it’s an embarrassment to fight it back. As long as we shut ourselves down, the abuse keeps happening.

On the other hand, why are we not evicting the sinners from the society? Why should they be masked when they are arrested? What do they have to hide? They should be publicized so that the society knows who the criminals are. There is no point in masking neither their identities nor their faces. Even if they escape the punishment, the society should be able to punish them by discriminating them against their basic rights just as the way we have been doing with the victims. The TV shows have also been biased in this aspect, because the focus is always on the victim and not on the criminal. The very renowned show Satyamev Jayate’s recent episode has done a lot of research from the victim's end but not from the criminal's end. While I do appreciate their efforts to bring out many facts, I think given the resources the team has, it would have been easier for them to approach the criminals and understand their mindset. I know it may appear stupid when I say that. But, the way to stop these atrocities is to understand the root cause of the problem and try to eliminate it as much as possible. Very few researchers have done a study on this aspect. However, I have to contradict my own statement here because the current scenario doesn’t allow us and sit back and think upon the causes. It’s high time to act against them. I was wondering why our law won’t implement stringent and harshest punishments such as castration and amputation. Because, the rate of crime against women has escalated in such a waythat, many outsiders starting seeing India as a rape capital. The country which was famous for its great culture and tradition is now famous for worst reasons. Where are we heading?

As Gandhiji said, "it is real freedom to a country when women can walk fearlessly in public at the stroke of midnight hour", I do think it is true. Lot of mid 80s and 90s movies have quoted this but we only din’t care about it then as much as we do now. And we are no way close to that sort of freedom.  It’s high time for the society to start seeing the other side of the coin. Stop pointing fingers at the victim. Let her forget what had happened or at least let it confine to her nightmares, let us all do not add to her trauma. Next time you come across someone like that, do not express your sympathies nor express your anger against the crime. Behave as if nothing had happened with her. I have written earlier that it’s important to cleanse the roots before protesting against these incidents. But the growing incidents insist me to change my mind. Now I want to ask why we don’t implement the barbarous punishments to curb the violence.  Just as a tumor which can kill the body if not got ridden, mean men who commit such acts should also be got ridden from the society as soon as possible so as to send a strong warning to those who intend to take the aftermath easy. I don’t want to read these incidents every other day. If I have to say a strong prayer, I would ask this violence to be stopped forever!!!