Tuesday, 1 January 2013

 The aircraft bearing her mortal remains will soon touchdown on her motherland. A land which has robbed her of her youth, and her hopes for her future.The fearless girl who fought to save her life against all odds is no more. There were six men who ruined her but can we point a finger at only those six demons? Those six and many like them are a product of a deeper social malaise which grips our society.An ancient culture facing a young and vibrant world, where the strong traditions are almost at loggerheads with the onslaught of fast paced developments, where although we want to embrace the modern we are unable to distinguish between modernity and tradition. While the traditions of any social structure form the backbone on which the culture survives, new influences are bound to come with changing times.

We can shout ourselves hoarse about issues which bother us, have discussions, march with candles and have unending debates, these will only be of any consequence if and only if the it awakens the powerful from their stupor induced by the very power that they flourish. We are a democratic republic who elect our representatives and yet those that represent us behave with scant respect for those that elect them. Laws are broken with impunity, wheeling and dealing is the order of the day, there is absolutely no connect with the public in most cases. A small example is the condition of the roads a very trite but true fact. Places where the ' rich and influential' reside have smooth paved roads, in contrast the roads which common men traverse are potholed, the footpaths are taken over by small businesses paying 'hafta' to the agencies who then leave them to do their work in peace. Walk out of any suburban station in Mumbai and you will find vegetable vendors have taken over almost the entire road while just a small distance away the municipal market where they should be doing their business is empty with a few stray shops. When the law of the land can be broken with such ease, where at every step there is someone willing to give a bribe to some other who willingly accepts it, where the laws themselves come with so many loopholes that it is easy to slip out of any wrongdoing, what can be said about a mere rape? The rape we talk of now is a physical one which has robbed a life, but as a society we have been raped willingly and have been silent onlookers participating in our own moral rape and degradation, because this is what we have been doing to ourselves for the past over sixty years. The rape is not only of girls but of a whole social political and economic structure.

While I write this another rape has occurred in another city. We discuss and rant and rave .... the law which is pending for the last seven years will take another few to be passed. Can we ask for to a stringent laws to be passed, for an independent police force which works with the people and not for the people who don 'khaki'. The unfortunate fact is that however much it is denied, the influence of the political class has a bearing upon the working of the police, an honest officer CANNOT survive in a system which is rotten.

We have to look at the kind of films which are being made, or at least some of the content which is included in them. At the cost of being a moral prude, I want to ask what message is being sent across to young men with high libidos? An 'item number' which normally displays a lone woman wearing next to nothing dancing to lewd lyrics with about a hundred men trying to paw her is as blatant a message as cigarette smoking, so while the message about injury to health due to smoking can be displayed before the film, what message can be displayed about lewd dancing to more lewd lyrics? Or can we end this show of women being treated as a sexual object.?

The issues which plague us are many, I have pride in the progress we have made since independence, I have pride in my all embracing culture, my pride has doubled when I see the youth of today making making their stance for change, for change will happen when their voices are heard and pulse of the people is understood. The time for platitudes is over, what the people need now is not assurances but resolute action.

The rape and consequent death of ' India's daughter' should not be in vain. 'Damini' 'Nirbhaya' .. watch us from above this so that bolt of lightening electrifies the atmosphere for change which is relevant and ongoing

RIP, brave one.

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