Recently, the parliament passed Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 which prescribes stringent punishment for sexual offenders including the death penalty. It prescribes death penalty for a person who rapes a girl below 12 years. Now, I don’t want to sound cynical but do we really believe that this will stop the rapes in our country? Heck, I thought I wouldn’t hear about rapes after the Nirbhaya incident and the anger and resentment that it garnered towards the rapists. But rapes have only increased after that.
My point is until, and unless we try to bring a change at the grassroots level, problems like these won’t stop. Death penalties might deter a few, but the fanaticism and the mentality behind raping a few-months-old baby won’t’ be changed by laws. Until and unless we try to bring a change in the mentality of the society, where rapes are attributed to the attire of a girl, you can make laws after laws and keep blaming the government, but nothing would change.
Until and unless, we the youth, actually try and bring a change, instead of engaging in debates about how bad the politicians are, nothing would change.
I turned 18 last year and among the things I was most excited about being an ‘adult’, was finally getting the chance to vote. I wanted to vote because I genuinely want my country to change and progress and not be what it is today. I know one single vote which I cast is not going to make any difference, but just imagine, what if all of us just go and vote, that would actually turntables. Imagine, what if all of us, who sit in our comfortable rooms and college canteens and classrooms and debate about how our country is dirty and unsafe for women, and overpopulated and poor, get out and actually try to transform the world around us.
Just think, how many of us, who feel India is one of the dirtiest countries, actually care about cleanliness around us, on roads, in our houses? How many of us who vilify the government and politicians do actually follow all the laws and bring a change. How many of us do actually try to bring a change in the system instead of just sitting and blaming the government relentlessly? I am not supporting the government in any way whatsoever, I am no ‘bhakt’, and I am no ‘congressi’, I am just a simple Indian who wants to see her country change because she loves it. How many of the intellectual uncles who complain about how bad the politics of our country is, actually think about changing something and fighting against the system. Wouldn’t that mean getting out of their comfort zone and actually doing something?
Our comfort zone and middle-class mentality is the biggest hurdle in our progress. Who wants to bear the pain of getting into politics and fighting against what is wrong. Why run campaigns and fight against authorities and make people aware when you can comfortably sit in an AC room and crib. The middle-class mentality wants you to study in a reputed institution, get a government job, get married and settle down. My parents want me to follow this conventional path, like many other parents. They wouldn’t want me to risk my academic career and fight against what is wrong, after all for how long can you fight the system, right? And the system is very resilient too, I don’t think a common person like me will survive solely on ideals and principles in our country’s politics. Without insane amounts of money, and power, I am nobody, no matter what my ideals and values and principles are.
The government has made enough laws for us, but do we actually follow them? Or more importantly, do we even know about them or about the rights we have as the citizens of this nation? We say India is one of the most illiterate countries and the government has passed an immense number of schemes and laws to eradicate illiteracy, but how many of us “know” that we are legally entitled to free primary education? Those who need this right the most, actually don’t know about it.
We can’t keep waiting for our government to put things to action. NO. We have to wake up and spread awareness about our rights and responsibilities. One person fights, then another and then another, this is how revolutions happen, and this is how things change. Do we really want to live in our country where a 4-month-old is raped, or people are lynched because they trade cattle or we fight over building a temple when we have many important issues to deal with? NO. But do we do something about it? NO.
If we don’t do anything, no one will.