Saturday, January 12, 2013


I thought about writing this post about 15 days back. the thing that probably stopped me was people rambling down my throat saying, "why are you bothered. you stay in the U.S. you are a sellout. why should whatever happens in india matter to you". A casual coffee pot conversation at work the other day led to my colleague very innocuously asking me a sort of rhetorical question.  "hey, I heard about what happened in Delhi, really bad man !!!. are these guys even human.? why were these guys left naked on the street for so long? couldn't they call 911 ?" what would I have answered. Should I have told them that we have probably the worst cop to citizens ratio in the world or that people didn't help the victims because normal people dont want to get dragged into a police investigation in India. I just  expressed my grief with them, filled up my mug of coffee and came back to my desk. sipping on my coffee, realization struck me. I cared about what was happening in India. although I was millions of miles away, it pained to see someone being treated like that. 

I know this post wont change the world, it wont make me any less of a sellout or for that matter reduce crimes against women in India. it is just my thoughts about this whole incident expressed in the cyber world. I did a lot of reading on this particular incident. pieces from international and national journalists, public outrage, and watched some panel discussions too. In this particular piece, I won't talk about what happened that night, that has been well played out by various media entities. what I want to talk about is the attitude of people in our country towards this inhuman act called RAPE or in hindi more convincingly called BALAATKAAR. the biggest irony in our country is that we worship women, have hundreds of goddesses who are revered, talk about women being the ones that take care of our homes, bring up our children with the right values, yet start discriminating based on gender right from the foetus. In a country with just 930 women for  every 1000 men, the girl child is still considered a burden for most of our country. we talk of reaching double digit growth, being the 10th largest economy in the world and the world's largest democracy. I think its a case of misplaced priorities and its time we started addressing other domestic numbers apart from the GDP. 

In the weeks following the tragic incident at Delhi, the nation finally stood up and it wasn't just rubbished off as just one more of the thousands of rapes in the country. If you ask my personal opinion, the country stood up and wanted change but this wasn't reflected throughout the nation. people in the metros seemed more angry and reflected the want for change. what about the majority of people of our country who reside in the B and C towns and the villages.  their voice is suppressed. they fear to raise their voice mostly because raising your voice would make you a social pariah in the village. A certain leader of our country made a ridiculous statement on this incident saying that 'rape and other crimes against women happens only in INDIA (i.e cities) and not in Bharat (i.e the vllages). the cities have adopted the west and have lost their 'Bharatiye Sanskriti'. The rapes, domestic violence, female foeticide which happen in the so called 'bharat' never comes out. the women who are subject to such inhuman acts never find the voice to speak out. they suffer all their life with just hope that someday their life would be better. Mr Leader all I have to say is that the same Bharat you speak about, treats women who have 'dared' to love and have inter caste marriages by parading them naked in the village. when did that become 'Bharatiye Sanskriti' or tradition that you talk about ? Another 'Bharat' card wielding leader very proudly said, that they have implemented some strict laws in the village. girls wouldn't be allowed to carry mobile phones as they would get involved with boys and women wouldn't be allowed to dance at Baraats and in public. my blood boils on the fact that after so many cases of rapes and crime against women, it is still the Indian women who has to be subject to such austerity measures. nobody thinks of addressing the perverse minds of the man.

A senior leader (I quiver each time I call them leader) of a prominent political party made this statement in Hindi that 'Koi apni Maryada ka ulanghan karega aur lakshman rekha paar karega toh samne raavan baitha hai... sita haran karke le jayega' meaning that if you cross a line or limit, you are bound to face Raavan or evil.  Such statements reflect the attitude of a sizable chunk of people in our country who think its the mistake of the woman.  A certain spiritual guru or should I say self styled demi god made probably the most ridiculous statement of them all. He said that the girl in delhi should have begged in front of those men and made them their brother to avoid being raped. this statement brought a lot of anger throughout the country. it is scary to know that this man has millions of followers both within india and internationally and that he was accused of molestation and murder in his ashram just about a year ago. these people are  almost  saying that men will act this way, its the women who should take care. Isn't that sad considering the fact that we call India as 'Bharat Mata'  meaning ' Mother land'.

the attitude towards heinous crimes like rape are reflected by the way we describe it in our country. rape is more commonly termed as 'Izzat Lootna'  which literally means to rob someone of their honor or respect. I beg to differ here. the girl hasn't done anything wrong for her to have lost her honor or respect. I would respect the girl the same if not more. in fact the men or rather animals are the ones with no honor or respect in any ones eyes.