The brutal violation of the existence of a human being has finally caused our apathetic society to wake up and react. Skeptics wonder for how long, while others utter venomous words of pure passion. Starting from castration to the demand for the death of these inhumane creatures, the public long for a cruel end to their miserable lives. And once this is done what do we intend to do? These perpetrators plague our society and killing one of them is like cutting the head of Hydra, slice of one head two more would grow.
But coming from a generation which needs instant gratification- be it for revenge, for love or for life, we have neither the time nor the patience to analyse the problem and see all the different facets. Like the cruel people of Rome who could decide the fate of a gladiator merely with their thumb, we too would love to see a sword pierce through the existence of these men at the click of a button, believe that justice has been served and go back to our bubble that this would never happen to us.
But the reality is nothing has changed. In fact two more humans would have been devoured in some part of our country while our so-called justice is being executed. We need to dig deep into the root of the problem, into the psyche of a paternalistic, male chauvinistic society, into a weak judicial and law enforcement system and kill the beast from inside. This does not mean in any way that it would eradicate the problem but it would at least go back to being an unjustifiable crime instead of a norm of the night.
We live in a civilisation where majority of the population justifies crimes against women as a situation that arose due to the negligence of the woman. Starting from her attire to her day‘s schedule, the company she keeps to her life style, everything is desecrated so that we can find some false shelter within our minds that this would not happen to us, or our friends or our sister or mother, because we all follow the moral standards created by men, so as to not provoke their “rightful” wrath. Let’s burst that bubble. No one is safe: you’re not more safe because you’re in Chennai instead of Delhi, you’re not more safe because you wear a salwar instead of jeans, you’re not more safe at 6 in the morning than at 9 in the night, You’re not safe because the bottom line your see, the problem is the woman.
We have allowed ourselves to vote, year after year, men who have been accused (but never convicted) of grotesque crimes against women and children as young as 13. These people were voted to power to protect the rights of the people men and women alike, but where is the justice when we need protection from those very people. From high range escort services to pornography, these men are some of the biggest clients of the industry. But then again it is the women to create the supply (let’s forget the demand), it’s the women who provoked them even if that “woman” has not reached puberty, it is the woman that is the problem.
We remained silent when a woman ripped her clothes in anguish when a lethargic police force dispassionately responded to her plea to file a case against her attackers; instead they too defiled whatever remained of her. An ill-equipped, under-staffed, insensitive, misogynist law enforcement team gives a fertile circumstance for these acts to thrive and multiply. And yet I am perplexed as to how these officers continue to believe that it is not their incompetency that has led to this anarchy but it is in fact the women herself who has attract these men and they deserve to be raped. Their justifications range from the inadequacy of the woman’s clothing to, a woman deserves to be raped because she reported rape [Article: From the Delhi police: Why women deserve to be raped by Lakshmi Chaudhry, a snippet of the original story in Tehelka]. They believe the woman is the problem.
It boils down to the fact that we are the problem, we the people. We are a doctor who has prescribed morphine for cancer, to numb the pain and the fear. We don’t want to correct our mothers and fathers, our husbands and sons, we don’t want to correct our siblings and friends. We don’t want to send our daughters for self-defence classes or put a pepper spray in their bag instead they should remain at home, never to enjoy a movie or a music concert. We don’t want to fight for the removal of MLAs and MPs with criminal records, for the implementation of existing laws, for amendments of laws and provide more stringent punishments, for court proceedings sensitive to the victims, for the training and sensitizing of the law enforcers instead let us fight for capital punishment, let us spew pointless views on how to barbarically torture them, let us hope our daughter marries someone who can heroically battle off 4 or 5 savage beasts, let these men be killed and we can move on with our lives re-establishing our false sense of security.
And yet it would be unfair not to acknowledge our society is slowly but steady gaining the strength to unite and fight injustice. It would be dismal if the voice of humanity that we hear now goes in vain, if the lives lost and the stories told are forgotten yet again. But we had the Revolt of 1857 as a precursor to the Freedom Struggle and 90 years later we won freedom. This too is a struggle for freedom, and a struggle we have been fighting for centuries and I sure hope it does not take another 90 years for a woman to be seen as a part of the human race and not as a mere problem.