When I was a young boy, my early morning was accompanied by nausea. Everyday I used to wake up and hate morning time. One fine day, my parents found out a solution, I started to have a few glucose (Parle G) biscuits with my morning tea and voila no more nausea.
Year 2012 – Everyday I wake up and out of sheer habit grab my morning newspaper. Within 5 min of reading, on most days, I have the same feeling of acute nausea. The news of women being raped, brothers raping sisters, women being sold, couples being murdered on Khap instructions, rich brats mowing down pedestrians, teachers beating the hell out of children, children made to drink urine . . . is too much to bear.
And when I look at my parents this time, they like me, are in the same situation and we have no biscuit to help us overcome this feeling.
What has happened in all these years, where did we loose it, why are we in such a free fall. We have problems with our administration, our police are insensitive, our bureaucracy does not care, hell our president pardoned rapists (http://goo.gl/ub2CF). I think the answers to many such questions, we all have, is with us only.
While we are all seething in anger, I would ask you all to think and ponder –
I) When was the last time you opened a door for a lady or allowed her to go first.
II) When did you stop your car and allowed a pedestrian to cross first.
III) When did you object to a women being harassed.
IV) When did you make a conscious effort to tell your child that the women in our society are a blessing and they need to be respected.
V) When did you last talk to your maid with respect and felt a sense of gratitude for all the work she does.
VI) When did you last tell a person ogling a women to get the hell out.
VII) When did you last tell your daughter that she should not accept any outrage as her fate due to social pressures.
I can go on citing examples but I am sure you get the drift.
My first reaction, like everyone else, to an incident of rape is accompanied by a great sense of disgust and acute anger. I also want death penalty for every rapist. Hell, I would say their private parts should be cut off in full public view first. . .
However, while that “might” install a sense of fear in a rapist and a general sense of relief for us, it may not stop this menace.
In a society like ours, the number of unreported rapes, child abuse, sexual harassment cases could be equally spine chilling. No death penalty will ever deter the horrendous beasts
What will, is our absolute resolve to work towards sowing the seeds of respect in our children, in our society, within our friends . . . We need to make that effort, we need to have a sense of gratitude, we have to change.
Do we have the resolve not to watch those stupid soaps on TV, do we have the resolve to stay away from movies that treat women with disrespect, do we have the courage to standup for what is right.
It is very easy to have a sense of outrage, it is very easy to write this blog post, it is very easy to tweet or put a few lines on facebook. I can assure you it not easy at all to actually do something about it. It is mighty difficult. However, remember, when the next rape happens it could be anyone, ANYONE !
I will leave you with one final thought – Remember what you do, is what your son sees and what you don’t do, is what your daughter notices.
Start small, be the change, do it now !