Friday, January 18, 2013

Be the Change, Bring the Change

This post was awarded the first runner  up of the contest in WriteUp Cafe
RAPE-This four letter word has been so much discussed and talked about after the Delhi gang rape that it’s no longer a taboo topic. It’s no longer spoken in hushed tones in deserted corridors. In fact everyone is speaking about it. From teenagers sitting in their college canteens, to housewives doing their daily vegetable shopping, to famous media personalities having heated discussions on TV.  Some say sensible statements and are hailed as champions and some make ridiculous statements to debase themselves as the buffoons of this century. 

In fact, the best way to get your 2 minutes of fame is somehow get on air and make a statement on the sad state of the country, of how women of this country are sullied and abused. People are finally waking up and voicing their opinion, showing their anger and coming out to protest. And this is good. More rape victims are breaking their silence and reporting the heinous crime that they were subjected to. That’s one of the good outcomes of this entirely pathetic situation. But somehow I feel sad that a poor girl had to suffer such anguish and had to endure so much pain to stir our consciousness.

But life moves on and people have moved on too. And now the larger question that’s looming on everyone’s mind is how to stop these atrocious crimes against women. And why did it happen in the first place. Of course this is not the first rape to happen and not the last too. Even as sparks of the protests against the gang rape are simmering down, more reports of rapes are trickling in from across the country.

As a woman myself I feel scared and scared, because this is my country too and I have an equal right to freedom in my country as any other guy walking down the road. Earlier, when stepping out after 9 PM I would ask any male member of the family to accompany me but, now I’m not so sure that just having a guy along with me will deter any criminal with rape on his mind. 

So who is to blame for this contemptible plight of women in our country? 

Well of course the first thought that comes to our mind are the politicians, the government, and the police. I mean, it’s their job to provide security to public and they are responsible and answerable to Indians. But really, let’s think twice about this. It’s futile to blame the politicians, after all who elected these ineptitude officials on their seats. It’s us. We voted for them and that’s why they are where they are. And frankly I have stopped expecting any good work from our politicians. Competent and conscientious politicians are very few and rare and often when they come to power, they lose the will to do good when faced with limitations and pressure from their own party and the opposing party. 

Let’s then concentrate on the police, people who are paid to keep crime at bay, to make citizens feel safe and secure. When any crime occurs, the blame falls fairly and squarely on the shoulders of these men of the police force. And when senior officials of the force blame the victims, because they were out at un-godly hours of the night or they were dressed skimpily (as per their standards), you lose faith in these men of law and order.  

But not all are bad; there are some good and noble policemen. But as one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch, few corrupt policemen can blight the integrity of the entire force.  And to be fair on the policemen, they can’t be everywhere to protect women. They are just human not the Lord himself. But what we can hope to do is, educate some dumb prick policemen to be sensitive towards the rape victim when they carry their investigation. For Chrissakes, the poor girl had to go through such anguish, the last she needs is some dumb a*%hole to ask insensitive questions about the traumatic incident.

Can we blame the victim for being alone out at night or wearing some dress that does not uphold our values and tradition. Even if we go along with this thought, we have some cases where 3 year old girls are raped. I’m sure that these innocent and guileless children do not dress provocatively and ‘ask-for-it’. Bottom line is that rapists don’t need instigation. They will rape anyone, be it a 40-year old woman wearing a traditional sari or a 20-year old girl wearing a short skirt or a 3 year old wearing her little dress. So please, let’s stop blaming the victim. No one wants to be raped. 

Can we blame upbringing then? Families where little girls are forced to quit school so that their brothers can be educated, or where girls are married off before they attain puberty, because they are considered a burden, a responsibility that parents want out of their hands as soon as possible. Families where the father beats his wife after his daily dose of alcohol, where the mother silently suffers physical and verbal abuse because she thinks it is wrong to speak against her husband. Who made men superior to women? Why are women considered to be the weaker sex?  

We need to teach our sons to respect women, let them know that women are not to be deemed as just objects of desire, that rules which apply to their sisters will also be laid down for them.

But in India where most of the families follow the patriarchal system, can we really expect such changes. I have articulated this before too, to bring about a change we need to believe in it at first. The change should come from us. Stop voting for corrupt politicians. Spread education. Stop having this ‘chalta hai’ attitude. Respect women and this is not just for men but also for women. Because most women will be first to judge another woman. 

 So I blame us for the derisory condition of women in our country. If we need change then the change should begin from us.

Let’s stop blaming others and look within ourselves. After the Delhi gang rape incident people thronged the streets to protest, to demand justice. But where were these people when the girl and her friend were lying on the road, naked and wounded, pleading for help. People just looked, felt pity and moved on. Even if one had offered help, maybe the girl would have been alive today. On the road to civilization, we have somewhere along the journey lost empathy, a quality that distinguished us from animals. Even animals have more compassion than humans. 

Credits: All image source: Google images

This post is part of the contest Who is to be blamed? on

1 comment:

  1. Hi Prasanna,

    Indeed, a wonderful message for everyone. In order to bring a change to the society, one must begin from oneself and then start pointing fingers at others.
    Even the Government should lead by example to prove to the society that such mindlessness shall not be tolerated.
    Good post, keep posting thought provoking articles.


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