India In Slumber

Posted: January 20, 2013 in People, Social
Tags: , , , ,

It is said that in 1971, John Lennon along with a couple of others wrote the song “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” exhibiting optimism despite the ongoing war waged by the US on Vietnam. Fast forward to 2012 – As the most heinous and brutal gang rape victim breathed her last on December 29th and the humanity in India is at the peak of its haplessness, the people and the media are collectively giving their struggle and fight a new face by calling it a ‘National awakening’ assuming that the protests and peace walks have taken it to a different level. Thats not just optimism, but hope against hope. But this time, I am neither pessimistic nor optimistic, I am cynical.

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I will not believe that the nation has awakened to the atrocities on women after the rape incident. We are what we are. We are a nation whose demographics of male politicians ruling the nation is far superior compared to the number of women in governance. We are a nation where most of our men exhibit male chauvinism and medieval attitudes. Our thinking is orthodox and irrational when it comes to our women. And I am saying all this, not with a head held high, but low in shame.

I am shocked beyond wits with the kind of response from most men holding responsible and elite positions in social hierarchy to the outrageous rape incident. A chief minister of India’s capital had once said that in order to keep such crimes at bay, women have to be always accompanied my men at night. How ridiculous is that? I say, if the men out on the streets can’t control themselves pouncing at women, then it is they who need to be accompanied, for they have a serious problem. Someone who calls himself a God man says that the girl who was raped should have called the culprits bothers and pleaded them to stop! And what can you say about this other specimen who said that women in urban India are under the influence of western culture and hence get raped?! Disgusting.   These statements coming out from people of elite stature in responsible positions ruling our nation makes one think where our country is heading.

Lets face it. Peace walks, protests, media hype can’t change much. They might at the most bring pressure on the government to give financial aid to the victim’s family and make public assurances of turning things around. With passage of time, assurances and promises will dissolve into thin air, media will have new events to be covered and no one will follow up. What India really needs at the moment is legal reforms. The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. But then, if it took the government of India 4 years to hang Kasab, convicted terrorist behind the 9/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai that left nearly 3000 people dead, I have no reason to believe that one brutal rape incident will make the government change the law. I say – If the law says that the rapists will be castrated at the India Gate publicly then these men will not dare do any such acts even if the woman walking in front of them is visibly naked. Why can’t we revise and enforce strict laws? I don’t know how many more rapes and assaults it takes for the Indian government to understand that RAPE is not just a physical violation but mental, physiological and emotional violation and make the punishment to rapists more severe.

And then what about human trafficking, domestic violence, acid attacks, child marriages, female foeticides… how and when are we going to address these problems?

For those who don’t know what I am referring to, here’s some insight. How are these issues handled in your country? Like I said, I have no hope, this time, I am cynical…

 ‘A country is considered to have achieved its full independence only when women can walk safely in street at anytime without fear’ –  Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation

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Comments
  1. Teju says:

    This incident has totally shattered me & I am so ashamed to belong to a race of mankind that is capable of such violence. Where are we, as a country heading? Like you, this time & for the first time, I’m fast losing my hope too…

    • Very true! It pains to imagine how helpless the victim’s family must feel after going through something so unpleasant and realizing that there is no true justice for them in a country like India that has been so incompetent and nonchalant when it comes to dealing with atrocities toward women,

  2. nabadip says:

    Nothing’s changed.The same guys who organized the candle march in our college were picked up for eve-teasing yesterday.I am not saying all men are like that,but there can’t be a more profound example of hypocrisy.
    What needs to change first is the mentality.Not the laws and not even the police or administration.
    The Delhi rape case for me was far more brutal because the poor girl did not get the help that one would expect from fellow human beings,who just passed her by,leaving her on the road.Not helping.
    Until the mindset changes,the world’s only going nearer to more horrific incidents.

    • Thank you for taking time off to read my post Nabadip 🙂
      From what I have seen and learnt, India is the only country where tolerance is considered as a virtue. ‘Adjustment’ is in our blood. It will take half a century at the least for our attitudes and mentality to change. Legal reforms and stricter laws, I am hoping will instill some fear in the minds of people. This way I am hoping that the rate at which crimes are happening in India will see some downfall.To stand up for whats right has yet to catch up in India.

  3. Sriram says:

    I believe that the situation is not going to change unless we become a bit more brutal and ruthless and we drop our inhibitions in showing what happens in a jail or what happens when people are kept in extended solitary confinement. Indian jails are hell holes but how many of us know its true reality.

    Mere strong punishment is not a deterrent but its effective and swift implementation by the judiciary is very important and a progressive and ever improving and independent judiciary and police is also needed.

    • Well said Sriram, The government must show that it is ruthless towards such miscreants. Fear must spread. People must think 10 times before creating such crime. That’s really in the hands of the government, its for them to act now.

  4. Sukla says:

    Don’t loose hope, but one thing I really saw being followed was keeping the identity of the lady under wraps till the family gave consent within India. (even when websites out of india had the full name of the person out… even what showed up on the news app on my android got pulled down in minutes/hours)

    a small/negligible/trivial point, maybe. but I do see it as one small aspect of respecting the person (which btw is a requirement by law here). is something that was done right.

    for a person who has been raped, its just a beginning of an ordeal. He/she is not a victim (yes I said he or she, and one person whom I do know who went through this ordeal, the store if from a time maybe long before I was even born).

    Not just the system but the people need to get sensitive about the issues…
    (can go on and on and on….. but it would really make a impact if at least some of of us who are only complaining start to do something on this).

  5. Rene Yoshi says:

    As Nabadip said, the mentality needs to change. And as Teju stated in her blog post, it is the mens rea that must be dealt with, regardless of age. Stricter and more severe laws are necessary for those bent toward evil and have no regard for others, but unless their hearts and minds are transformed, they are simply modifying their behavior when it is convenient for them, and they will keep committing or tolerating acts of violence. When they and the leaders realize the value of life, including the value and beauty of women, that’s when things will change and hope can be restored.

  6. ‘but unless their hearts and minds are transformed, they are simply modifying their behavior when it is convenient for them, and they will keep committing or tolerating acts of violence’
    – Very well said Rene. But only their social upbringing determines if their hearts and minds can ever be transformed. And I really cant understand how the leaders show such complacency even after so much of atrocity is happening towards Indian women…

  7. In a park that I lived near in Central New York, a woman was raped and left for dead by two men. She had been jogging on a more isolated area of the park and had crawled a considerable distance to get help. When I visited the park – the part that is always filled with people, an older man spoke of the incident and said, “the woman should have known better than to go there by herself.”
    Like you, I was outraged. The victim was being victimized again. I told him that there are older people who are afraid to leave their homes once school is out because they fear being harassed by the kids. “Why should they be afraid to go anywhere – especially in broad daylight?” He had no answer for me.
    Rape is not about lust. It’s about power. When people become more enlightened about what motivates people to rape, they might enact stronger laws. I fervently pray that they do – soon.
    Thank you for following me.

    • Thank you for stopping by Judy. You have rightly said ‘The victim was being victimized again.’ Talk about chauvinism and attitudes. I really wish punishments get as brutal as the crime committed, its only fair.

  8. adetokunbohr says:

    Summed up in Gandhi’s words, the words of the wise… ‘A country is considered to have achieved its full independence only when women can walk safely in street at anytime without fear.’

    I’m reading your post now. Emphasis on now (today’s date being the 6th of february.) In other words, it’s been some time since that incident happened, i hope India and the rest of the world haven’t developed amnesia. Only if we remember that day and constantly see its wrong will we not condone it in the future. I hope the nation of India hasn’t gone back to its previous state after that much noise was made.

  9. Adetokunbo, What the government does to address the atrocities on women remains to be seen. All I know is we have too many such incidents happening here (a very similar case of gang rape victim in a very critical health condition fighting for her life in the Bangalore hospital appeared in the newspaper today), and the government is yet to bring about any change….the wait seems like forever.

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