Rabindranath Tagore once said “No civilised society can thrive upon victims whose humanity has been permanently mutilated.”
Going by the wise words of the Nobel laureate for literature, Mr Tagore; it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Indian society is no longer a civilised one. Although hard to accept, it is a bitter truth which every citizen in India must be bold enough to look into the eye because the first step to bringing in a change and thereby a revolution is acceptance. Rife with social injustice, be it in the form of a sexist society or deep rooted income inequality; India in this 21st century is plagued with a serious problem of obsolete stereotypic belief system.
Over the past decade and especially over the last few years, India has welcomed globalisation with open arms. Its people can be seen adapting themselves to the western culture as if they were born to do so. But ironically, they are yet to let go of the age old belief system of a patriarchal society which views the female sex to be inferior to its counterpart and hence discriminated upon. The dismal situation is exemplified in the hundreds of cases of sexual assaults and violence inflicted upon the girls and women in this country. These victims are far from getting any justice; thanks to the ‘excellent’ judicial system that prevails in our nation! And to couple that with the dreadful character assassination of these victims by the very protectors of law; I am just not able to grasp the idea of why these victims are being blamed and punished for the crime being committed against them?
One of the recent reports of a teen age girl being disgracefully manhandled in a prime location of Guwahati, Assam, by a group of men infuriated me and forced me to think; as a young girl myself, can I be assured of my safety and security in this country? Why is it that my parents have to constantly worry about my safety every time I walk out on the streets? If it can happen to that girl, who says I won’t be the next victim? I can bet on anything that I am not the only girl to be dogged by these questions today and like the million other girls out there, I need answers- right here, right now!
If you ask me, the problem lies in the mindset of people. The society has turned pessimistic and has already accepted the fact that it is incorrigible. This leads to the decadent ‘solution’ (as the public prefers to view it) of blaming the victim for not taking precautionary measures, of wearing ‘provocative’ or ‘inappropriate’ clothes and thus holding the victim responsible for the crime. But shouldn’t it be the men who ought to be taught to act like civilised human beings and not turn into animals? Shouldn’t they be the ones who should be taught a lesson for committing the crime? I strongly believe that such debauchery must not be tolerated at all because it is a crime against the very essence of humanity.
A close friend of mine (who happens to be a boy) said, “The moral value of respecting girls and women has to be imparted to the boys by their families from a very tender age and the way a boy behaves with a girl reflects his very upbringing.”, and I couldn’t agree with him more. I happen to be an optimist and I know that every problem has a solution. And here is the good news- the solution to this problem is very simple; all we need to do is stop hitting the bush.
Having discussions on news channels about why girls are wearing shorts and skirts are irrelevant and aren’t going to help solve the problem. The authorities must instead punish the perpetrators of such heinous crimes to deter others from committing them. And what can the public do about this? I say, they can do a lot. For a start I urge you to use your voice to bring in the change you want to see (and using your voice doesn’t mean sitting at home and shouting at the naive authorities on your TV screen for lack of proper action!) because every voice raised counts and makes a difference. I used my voice through this article to reach out to you, isn’t it time for you to use yours?