Of Indian women & Pepper Sprays
Those very relatives who never even raised an eyebrow when I used to stay out for work/recreation late in the night are now raising objections. “How are you out so late in the night? Take proper care of yourself while roaming around at this hour. India is not a safe place anymore.”
Well, I have never visited or lived in any other country, therefore all my views, however right or wrong, biased or impartial, positive or negative, ‘coloured’ or discoloured they are, are my own slightly influenced by what I have seen around and read about from various sources including views of our ‘esteemed’ journalists, whose credibility has remained questionable since time immemorial.
Now, titles like ‘The rape capital of the world’ & ‘The God-forsaken land’ that have been bestowed upon us sadden me immensely. The dismal atmosphere & the picture of our nation is a distressing sight for all of us. But the question worth pondering is – “What are we doing (or not doing) about it !?”
Whenever I think of such horrific instances, I am filled with remorse for the plight of Indian women. It is infuriating to see the manner in which issues are handled by some people, knowingly or unknowingly.
Politicians & the over-smart others – The recent spate of rapes in India has undoubtedly tainted the face of the Indian State. The predicament of the victims and their families cannot be put into words. But, it has also brought to the fore the real faces and the bogus ideologies of some of the otherwise respectable politicians gloriously running our country.
According to some of them it is wearing tight jeans, walking with mobile phones, dressing like prostitutes is what provokes men to do the honours. It is not their fault at all! Outrageous comments like – “Women should be less adventurous” coming from well-educated, forward and dignified lady politicians (erstwhile CM of Delhi) is appalling. We will be what we want to be, why should anyone or anything stop us!? And then we have some other highly ‘intellectual’ ones who do not think twice before playing the blame game and holding the somewhat innocuous ‘migrants’ responsible for most of the heinous crimes happening in their areas.
The laws of our land are full of loopholes. Beauty provokes harassment; Girls should refrain from wearing revealing clothes and from going out with guys et al. Why can’t they just leave us alone and let us decide what is right/wrong for us? Most of the laws are made (and diligently followed by the courts of law!) keeping in mind the male points of view. Why!?
Very recently a lady judge was raped in Aligarh and her condition remains to be very critical till date. You know the state of our country is very sad when even the watchdogs are not spared.
And the funniest part comes when good-for-nothing politicians make statements like – “Rapes happen only in India, not in Bharat” Like seriously? Where did this theory go when two minor Dalit girls were brutally gang-raped and lynched in the primitive village of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh. Wait, Badaun is in India, right?
My inability to understand their mentalities makes me sick. They really feel not letting young girls pursue studies of their choice or in most cases, not letting them study at all and marrying them off while they have not come of age, against their will is ever going to serve the purpose?
Do we really need such dumb, heartless, orthodox, fatuous, smug & selfish politicians to rule our country? They should be ousted with the ease with which they make these statements!
The overtly melodramatic citizens – ‘Empathy’ is what most of us reading this right now cannot show to the victims and their families. We cannot even try to imagine the sort of misery that they have gone through. All we can but do is support them, help them recover from the shock and prevent such horrendous crimes in future for our own sake.
Holding rallies, candle-light marches, protest marches, sessions of silence are all justified but only to a certain extent. They are required to spread awareness about these issues and also, to give a stern message to hoodlums that even the most trivial of crimes will not be tolerated. But, all this needs to be done in a somewhat gracious manner. We have to realize that by lighting candles, by wearing black bands, the only people who are genuinely benefitting out of it are the manufactures and sellers of these products. Today, we need something more than this superficial support.
Where does all their concern suddenly vanish when people really need their help?
Although I am not a big fan of such marches, I happened to attend one during the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape case that was organized in Mumbai. It was a heavily star-studded affair that saw the presence of many a big-wig including Bollywood actors of yesteryears like Hema Malini, Jaya Bacchan, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and some of the very famous ones from our generation like Deepika Padukone, Ranvir Singh, Kunal Kapoor etc. Well, all I can say is more than mourning the loss and criticizing what had happened, most of them were majorly vying for the attention of shutterbugs and journalists. It was clearly evident that they wanted to make their presence noted. Now, this sort of the disposition spoils the very intent of things.
We need to check the efficacy of the protests and ‘dharnas’ that are staged all across India when we are struck with such dreadful events. Have they really been successful in bringing down the crime rates in India?
Well, if not, then don’t you think it is time we invest our time, money and efforts into other means?
The ignorant souls living in their own world of make-believe – The plight of most women in India is nothing short of deplorable. If we think rationally, there are a lot of factors that contribute to it – alcohol, illiteracy, unemployment and as some people believe, women themselves are responsible for it! There are some people who harbour the mentality that if you keep a cupboard/door in your house open, thieves are tempted to rob the house, no matter what their intentions earlier were.
Then you also have these elite class of people who believe that that they have the rights to do anything and everything that they want under the sun and that their sheath of wealth will protect them forever. Whether it is the shoddy politicians and their ‘born-with-a-silver-spoon’ sons or celebrities like Shiney Ahuja, Inder Kumar – justice is served, sooner or later.
What irritates me is their sheer smugness!
We are a ‘progressive’ nation slowly progressing towards the Stone Age. It is about time we took necessary steps from our side to remedy the situation before it gets out of control. The wounds of such atrocious crimes never fade away with time. I believe that the ‘creatures’ that should be caged behind the bars are not the mute animals but the perpetrators who are gutsy enough to continue their acts despite the laws. I may have sounded cynical and belligerent throughout the article, but you cannot help become contemptuous when you read about such happenings almost every other day in every other city/town/village of India despite all the apparent measures being taken by one and all.
All women out there – are you ready with your pepper sprays?
– Venu Merh
An Upantya Visharad in Hidustani Sangeet and in Bharatnatyam, Venu has been the epitome of versatility and consistency throughout school and college life. An EC engineer, she was a member of AIESEC & NU Tech where she managed various activities. She is a big Sheldon Cooper fan, loves micro blogging and working for stray animal welfare. She is currently a management student at IIM Kozhikode (Class of 2015).
Twitter handle – @foodasaur
You can read all her stories here.