A Land where billions of people chant Jai Mata Di and claim to worship different Goddesses for all basic needs such as money, education, power, and prosperity is now land, where a woman is treated worse than garbage. At least that is what is obvious to the world following the death of the Gang Rape Victim in the Indian Capital, bringing Mother India (or Bharat Mata) the ultimate shame in all her glorious history (?).
The 23-year-old victim whose gang rape provoked rare protests and national debate about violence against women in India are dead now. None of us can pray for her departed soul to Rest in Peace because her soul can never be in peace, nor her near or dear ones can ever get some peace unless justice is delivered. And to us Indians who have grown up learning that Indian law walks slower than a snail, justice itself has lost its meaning.
For a moment, forget the incident (Most of the billions of Indians now protesting might anyway forget, typical to their nature as history teaches us) for a while. If we flashback in time, we see that the same country that advertises Atithi Deva Bhabhah has been found to be a country most unfriendly towards foreigners, esp. tourists, and ex-pats (Survey by Forbes Magazine in 2011). This too was mostly because of the crime against foreign women on Indian Soil. There were so many reported rape cases of foreign tourists that it was enough to make India a bad name to the world. Worse, there was little or no justice delivered to most of the victims, enough to force the United States Bureau of Consular Affairs to advise US Women not to travel alone in India! Yet our courts continue to run in a chalta-hain attitude and we too. It is to be mentioned that even for the foreign tourists who had become Victims of Indian scavengers; justice never took a fast run. What else did we need to know that Something needs to be done to stop crime against women in India? Ever wondered why?
Blaming the law is all that we all are doing now. Taking the easy route of demanding the death penalty and demanding justice. Agreed that this is necessary,- but is it enough?
Let’s look at ourselves. Thanks to our glorious culture and history, we Indians have been taking pride in demanding dowry for marrying a girl, we shamelessly go in gangs to decide whether a girl is fit to marry our Superhero son/brother/friend and take evil pride in rejecting the girl as if we are rejecting a soap bar in our neighboring kirana store. We don’t think about empowering women, women education is still considered a waste in most sections of society. We, Indian Chauvinist males ogle at the girl who wears shorts and watches a girl smoking in the same way we watch a monkey in a zoo. We talk about gender equality in India’s new shining corporate lining, yet back home we grumble when our working wives or sisters fail to cook or wash our clothes.
Are we not the same Indian males who get excited when our mobile phone operators lure us by inviting us to dial some number and talk to attractive females (phone friends?), are we not the same people who do not think twice before offering Indian citizenship to Canadian porn star but beat up a Yoga Guru’s assistant because he is Nepali? Are we not the same Indian males who checks the classified pages of newspapers to scan the numbers advertised of smart-HiFi-escorts? Are we not the same people who applaud police officers becoming moral police and thrashing women who parties at night but when the same police department fails to prevent a terror attack or bomb blast in the same city, we start blaming ISI and Pakistan? Are we not the same Indian males who dance to Sheila ki Jawani but find it difficult to stand up to a National Anthem?
Because we are Indian Males, who always believe that women should stay below our foot. And now we sound horrified when the Delhi incident happen? Why? Was this psychology not created by our own society, our own holier-than-thou culture?
And for the victim who is no more and thousands of others who died or lives silently, justice would come only when we learn to respect women from within, create a society of tolerance and modernism, and fast-track our courts and judicial machinery.
So for all of us, the lessons should go way deeper than shallow-blaming Government, law, or Delhi. All our roots have a part in this crime. And it’s time to pull and throw them away.