The Bengaluru mass molestation had once again shocked the nation and people are out on street and social media to demonstrate a protest against the incident. Following the 2012 Delhi gang rape, India had seen protests across the nation demanding action by the government. Even though people came out of their homes on the street to protest, 300 cases of rape and more than 500 cases of molestation were reported in Delhi in the first two months of 2015. In the first six months of 2016, around 910 rape cases were reported from Kerala. In all, 3.27 lakh cases of crimes against women (both sexual and non-sexual) were registered across the country last year.
These horrific incidents make us think but somehow those thoughts do not turn into substantial action. The first reaction is seen on social media and then we take to the streets to protest against the mindset and system. We shout slogans, we say India is a free democratic country, we have freedom to choose, express ourselves etc. Yes it is true but do we even have freedom in our own homes? Freedom to choose, express, ask questions etc.? The very essence of the Constitution is based on the idea of democracy, but the idea fades till the time it reaches our homes.
Do we see people protesting against undemocratic practices going on at our home and society? Did we stand against the patriarchal mindset which discriminates ruthlessly between a girl and a boy? Did we protest when our parents said, “How can we get a successful and educated groom without dowry?” Instead of condemning, many of us enjoy the Bollywood songs that objectify women. Many never stand up against that friend whose one in every three words is an abuse to our family’s mothers and sisters. Even when it comes to choosing a life partner, many are deprived of choice. The unconstitutional practices and social norms at our homes continue without being challenged.
Why is it so difficult to fight the evil of inequality present at home while its easy to protest on streets and social media? May be we do not want to take responsibility and it is easy to blame others on social media and streets. If we think that the situation in our country would improve like this than I am afraid, it would take ages. We need to raise questions. We need to start with ourselves, with our family members, neighbours and relatives etc.
As T.S Eliot says, “Home is where one starts from.”