Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Real Crime

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Adharmabhibhavat krsna
pradusyanti kula-striyah
strisu dustasu varsneya
jayate varna-sankarah II

cH 1: 40 of The Bhagvad Gita

We are what we always were.There is no second thought that we pray all goddesses with every ounce of divinity. But at the same time the societal status of women is still a grey area for reform right from the age this issue has a mention in our scriptures. If you were to read the Gita you will know what I am speaking about. While in Chapter One itself Arjuna in all his dilemma to fight the battle tells this to Lord Krishna " When irreligion is prominent in the family the women of the family become corrupt and from the degradation of womanhood come unwanted children", well somehow we do end up blaming the women folk in a way or the other. We look at them as the more subdued and weaker gender. Women are portrayed to be what they actually better be not. Delhi our capital, or call it the rape capital, back then called Indraprastha is a hideous example. It all began a very long way ago, be it Draupadi being draped off or Sita getting kidnapped. And then the heroes had to step in. Sadly today's women are living in a worse time, having to go through a similar ordeal in the most beastly manner. There are no heroes mind you, only rapists.

My father has been telling me this over and over the past couple of days " Remember when we were in Delhi last month you wanted to travel around the city all alone, thank heaven I did not let you". And all I tell him is just this " That girl was with a man she knew too, she was not alone" and that kind of shuts him up. He knows what I tell makes sense but then the hysteric fear does not stop him from thinking so. On an admitting note I am glad that I am back safe from that place. At the same time this reality is very unsettling, the very fact that being a twenty five year old female, an Indian one that too I was not comfortable walking on the streets of the national capital even before the incident. Such is the repute of our towns and cities. Who would call this freedom ? Back home here in my town it isn't any different. I still do sit at the edge of the auto seat in case I have to throw myself out if the situation demands, a guy friend still does ask me if I need a drop back home past seven pm even if I think it is not necessary and my mother still does call me up every four hours a day. The fear is but rational. However brave or independent we think of ourselves yes all you ladies out there, the pepper sprays do fail. For our action or inaction is all about our psyche which is inadequate if not so, only indifferent.

Where do we head for a solution? Talk about it? Hold protests? Demand new laws? Or just go shivering over it and pity the lady and curse the offenders? "Hang them, castrate them" are unanimous opinions, as impulsive as it should definitely get. How balanced and justified is our response though, even this punishment is far away from enough. The law takes its own long course, fast track or otherwise. But how do we assure ourselves that a woman can walk down the road without being eve teased, taunted, elbowed, pinched or as a matter of fact even visually raped ? Restricting freedom in the name of safety and protection is what we do ultimately, do we have a choice not to do so and work on something else? Yes we do.

Before this happens again and again, let us promise ourselves that boys and girls are treated equally at home right from the womb. Each individual shall be given the upbringing needed and deserved, taught to respect another human irrespective of their gender. Responsibilities and rights are not just lists memorized back at school in civics classes. The constitution should be lived by every word. Loopholes in the law are to be dealt with and not to be picked up to escape guilt. Changes are to be made when it is the most needed like right now. Most importantly we must remember that there is a wide spectrum of women in our country, from a flower vendor on the road, a college goer who travels by the local transport, a school girl dropped by the rickshaw wallah, a teacher in school, a mother back at home, a garment factory worker, a nurse in the hospital, a top grad executive, a politician in the parliament, an actress onscreen, an old lady walking in the park or a little girl in the cradle- each one of them deserves safety. Lest femininity soon will feel like a sin which would be our real crime and for that we cannot forgive ourselves.

- Rajgat at Delhi were The Father of Our Nation rests is surrounded by small walls were his preachings and beliefs are engraved, you can read them if you care to take a walk around the place. I found this in one such. 'Sanmathi' - good thinking is all what we need to act. Our karma is such that these thoughts are only on the walls, walls in Delhi, walls of the villages, walls around our mind -

-R

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