..since the gruesome incident in Delhi that shook us all from within, has anything changed?
Well, going by the stats, nothing much..
Every day there are more and more such incidents of brutality being reported causing us all grave concerns and making us wonder if ever there will be a time when our women would feel safer and freer in this world.
We are still as angry, as seething, as outraged as ever.
There still are morons amongst us who shamelessly showcase their narrow mindsets by uttering innuendos like, ‘she asked for it’, or ‘she should not have ventured out so late in the night’, or ‘rapes are on the rise because men and women are interacting with each other more frequently’ or ‘girls should stop wearing jeans, skirts or anything that is remotely western’, ‘girls must wear over-coats in order to avoid getting raped’!!!
What blows me off further and makes me cringe with disgust is when I hear people say that the 23 year old girl should have given up fighting while the rapists were ripping her apart since they were far stronger than her. “She should have just laid there and enjoyed the ride” was what an acquaintance had to say while we had a discussion on the incident. How pathetically sickening is that mindset!
Its a shame that even in today’s day and age we get to hear of our ministers blaming the ‘adverse positions of the stars’ for the crimes against women! Or those spiritual-gurus who believe that women could ‘save’ themselves if they addressed the rapists as ‘bhaiyya’ and plead for mercy..or those illusional sadhus who impart the message that chanting a few mantras would keep the rapists and the probable danger of getting raped at bay!
Here when the need of the hour is to impart the right kind of education to our children and creating more awareness in them about safety and self-defense, we are being urged to let our beliefs be governed by such regressive ideas like chanting mantras and getting our stars re-positioned et al? Are we in the 21st century still?
We still seem to be as helpless as ever.
The protests to bring about more stringent laws, the cries to treat our women with more respect and be more sensitive..havent any of this moved us in any which way to enable us to change the way we think or behave?
Well, I do see a small gleam of hope..
For one, the very fact that we are still talking about it, writing about it is a sign of change. It still is a major major talking point in my house, among our friends and family. So much so that I was surprised to see one of my friends’ 12 year old taking part in the conversation and putting her thoughts across. To my eyes, it was a good sign that our youngsters were as affected, aware and concerned too.
More and more of us are awakening to the fact that we cannot let the pressing issues of safety of women be swept under the carpet anymore. We are taking our right to question the authorities and demand answers from them more seriously which is evident in the way committees are being set up by the government to expedite the case, more policemen are being put on the roads.
More and more incidents are being reported which again a good sign because, while its extremely distressing that these incidents are still rampant, what is also noteworthy is that THESE ARE BEING REPORTED.
Yes, we need to move on, as I keep hearing from people. Life is about moving on, yes..but it does not have to be about forgetting, does it? Let us not forget what the 23 year old brave girl went through on that fateful night. Let us not forget how brutal those 6 rapists were. Let us not, for a second, forget how terribly weak we as her fellow beings, were when we just stood there as meek spectators while she and her friend lay on the road naked, mercilessly battered and bruised. Let us not forget that the one desire she had all the while fighting to stay alive was to see her perpetrators being punished.
Let us not forget that we are now beyond that stage where we could be complacent enough to think ‘such things would never happen to us’.
So yes, let us move on.. but with a purpose. The purpose to keep talking about these issues. To stop being weak. To keep demanding accountability from (ir)responsible politicians and authorities. To keep talking to our kids. To keep listening to them, to keep hearing their concerns for we never what they may have to tell us. To start teaching our boys to respect our girls, to keep telling our girls to command that respect. To keep teaching them to say NO to bullying, eve-teasing or any form of abuse. To keep encouraging our girls to defend themselves, get them to learn some form of self-defense. To keep demanding for more stringent law-enforcements, to start promising ourselves that we will speak up, raise our voices and reach out to help, even if the person in trouble is someone we may/not know.
I realize that I am parroting what has already been said, what is already being said. But I still do, because the way I see it, the more you talk about it, the more it will stay in your memory, the more you feel agitated, driven to change your own mindset, compel other around you to change their own.