Waking up to new headlines featuring brutal murders, stalking, eve-teasing and even inhuman rapes is slowly becoming a diversion at the breakfast table. The normalisation of these evils is happening so fast that many of these never even make it to the news, at least not until you are about to have blue ink on your finger.
The piling up of these crimes triggers us for a minute, enrages us for about a day, and leads to a heavy heart for about a week. But what it fails to provoke within us is our sense of guilt. In my opinion, the most important emotion which we should be feeling, as a part of this decaying society, is ‘guilt’. We are all somehow responsible for the crimes and their normalisation. I believe this is an outcome of every parent who’s never cared to enquire about their son’s whereabouts, every father who’s valiantly hit his wife in front of his son, every sister who never tried to question the relative lack of freedom in her case, every wife who crowned her husband as the ultimate god, every advertisement company which portrayed women as mere eye-candies, every film-maker who objectified women as mere attractions, and every news channel which tried to colour every news item along the lines of caste and religion, regardless.
We all need to take the blame, and we need to look at ourselves in the mirror even if we may not be able to face ourselves. We need to question ourselves before we question the law. There must be a reason why a society that claims to be ‘cultured’ needs lessons from law books. We need to look at things from different and more deeper perspectives instead of making the age-old questions of who the criminals are, why they have been deemed as criminals or how they turned out to be criminals, over and over again.
What is so venomous in the air we breathe that it leads to such intensified hatred? What are we saying in front of our sons, for which our daughters are paying the price? What is so dominant in our differences that our similarities are becoming blurred? We should be focussing more on nurturing our children during the first 10-15 years of their lives, instead of endlessly discussing about the legality or humanity of punitive measures (life imprisonment, capital punishment, etc.).
The social structure itself needs to be renovated. The patriarchy hidden in the cup of tea that is always served by a woman to a man needs to be acknowledged. The conservative minds questioning the religion, caste or dresses of the victims should be criticised. The news channels assassinating the character of the victims have to be condemned. The politician with a casket of crimes, aspiring to win the next election, should not be voted. The misogyny hidden behind lavishly-shot advertisements should be questioned. A movie glorifying stalking as pure love should not be among the highest grossers. And there should have never been a need to write this article and point out these things.
These things should be part of a dark history – a history to be ashamed of. There should be consequences when such crimes occur, but first, we need to find and stop the process which is leading to such heinous crimes. Ten lines of law can never undo the years-long process of becoming what one is. Instead of pointing fingers, we need to direct our microscopes at ourselves. Crimes need to be reduced, not normalised.