Sunday, December 23, 2012

And Again...

So, I spent a lot of time thinking whether there is any point to writing anything about the recent events or not. There is definitely a point in one expressing his/her views about an event that is so brutal and heinous as the Delhi gang rape. But what purpose am I, sitting in a city far off and pontificating about it, going to serve; to a cause that needs the most urgent and sincere attention?
But after a point, when one keeps reading the news, one is bound to feel helpless that one cannot actually be there and say something about it, be a part of the protests that are happening to try and make the government, for once, sit up and take notice that the people of this country are not idiots who have put you there to have your way and say, “we are looking into the matter, we have ordered an enquiry.” We all know how much of BullShit that is. I just want to say a few things about the issue. I know that I am not a woman and I probably will never understand the women's perspective or problems. I just wish to say a few things as a friend, a brother, son, and a potential father of a girl someday.
This naturally, as we all know is not the first case of such a crime. The brutality, and heinous nature of it is probably a first. It is a reflection of the direction in which our society is headed. What are we teaching? What are we learning? What are we standing to be, and what are we displaying to the younger generations? Over the years we have seen women being subjected to violence. At home, on the street, in movie theaters, even in the movies. Then there are cops who come out to say more often than not that it is the girl's fault. What fault? Is it her fault if she wants to look good? Is it her fault that she has a body? Do these cops mean to say that we, like some countries in this world, should make our women wear a burkha? Ok, if we do that, HELLO! RAPES HAPPEN DESPITE THAT! So what is the problem? The problem is social and mental. We are conditioned to think that women are subject to our whims and fancies. It starts with a simple question that a woman can ask a man, like “why?” and the answer, will almost always be, “because I said so!”. From there begins a case of conditioning of a child, where if he is a boy, he learns that women can be ordered around, and made to serve. If it is a girl, she learns that she has to take it lying low.
Break out of that, and you have had it. If you are a guy, you will be called a sissy, fattu, lacking manlihood etc etc. If you are a girl, you will be called loose, characterless, or low. I dont know from where this has filtered into our culture, because from what I remember reading in school, we were a country, or a culture, which respected its women, where women would be held in high esteem. I guess all that was hogwash. I guess we never did, and that is why it is a chronic problem with us. This problem needs to be dealt with from the root. From homes, from schools, where these malevolence develops. Children need to be taught how to respect women. They need to know that the moment they disrespect a woman, they are also disrespecting their own mothers. Now I know that most of the things that I am saying are probably utopian, however as I said, I just want to air my views.
I have sisters, I have a mother, and I don't know how to react when any of them decide to go out late, or are getting back from work late. Going by what the cops say, should I be thinking that they are the ones who would want to get this? Should be afraid for their safety all the time that they are out?
Every time that this happens, we are told that the solution is for people to go back home early. No. I don't think so. I think that the solution is what my friend told me. It is that people should work later through the nights, have places open till later in the night. The more people there are around all the time, the lesser the chance of crime in general. And if it does happen, you will still potentially have more witnesses to nail the bloody criminals. When there are things that are open 24 hours, the government will obviously generate more revenue from the extra income that these places make. See, the basic problem is that these things generally happen in dark, secluded areas. Especially in the night, when because of our “regulations” and “curbs and norms”, the whole freaking city is probably a dark, secluded area. Why should anyone live in fear or paranoia? Don't people in the government's policy making machinery have friends, sisters, mothers, wives and daughters? Oh yeah I almost forgot. They are either kept at home, or they have security. But what about the countless women from the general public? Why should my friends have to be in fear of even stepping out? Why should they be afraid of enjoying a good time with a few friends if they want to?
Now that people are protesting for the same, the government tells them. Don't protest. We are talking about it. Does the government really think that people are going to buy their shit anymore? I want to ask a question. Where are all the so-called youth leaders? Where is Rahul Gandhi? Don't they feel the angst of the general public. The problem is also that I am having to say “General Public” and “ them”. This in itself shows that we don't relate to our politicians as one of us. This is because they never feel like one of us either. We are still living in a feudal country, a country which is governed by a few who have developed a convenient cycle of refreshing their need to be in power. Anyway, that was a digression from my main point. How does one even begin to solve this problem?
It is a problem that I don't think can be solved by just protests and capital punishment. Capital punishment will only reduce the chances of any woman surviving a rape. In this case however, there needs to be an example set by the government if they want to redeem any shame. However, for the future, capital punishment might not be a solution. Because rapes are not going to stop in a day. A chronic problem needs some time to be solved. So till then, what can be done? There needs to be mental and cultural cleaning where people are taught to respect women, as I have said earlier. However, that alone will not be enough. Women also need to be made to feel safe. There needs to be better policing, and the police need to be better. I genuinely think again that having the cities open all night would be a pragmatic solution to an age old problem. It will not solve it all though. The things that I have mentioned before, will also have to be worked out and will need to be working properly if it has to be effective.
But on another note, why are protests happening only in Delhi? Why is Mumbai quiet? On top of that why are people from cities like Mumbai and Pune celebrating? Mumbai has no reason to be so proud because Mumbai has the second highest number of rape cases reported in the country. People from Pune, shut up and stop celebrating. Rather focus on making the city safer so that it never gets this “rape sheet”. And don't forget that there are rapes that happen even in Pune and that only a few years back, Pune was notorious for sexual harassment and rapes at certain areas.
If this does not spread, it is going to go down as just another case in that city called Delhi.