Just some thoughts…

Very few amongst us would have been unaffected by the Delhi Gangrape, and eventually the death of the brave young woman, who tried so hard to stay alive.

Some like Hitchy, have written posts, straight from their hearts, and make me feel so hopeful, that things can’t possibly not improve when people think like this. It gives me so much hope.

The last couple of weeks, I have been travelling, and interestingly, came across so many subtle indicators of how the society thinks. Things which, at an earlier point in time, I would have just not noticed or would have ignored. This time, I reacted slightly differently to some of them.

– People who try to walk a little too close to you in an effort to get to touch. I was lucky it was in an airport, not in a shady road, so I just stood still and stared right back until he was forced to move away.

– People who refuse to reply to a question asked by a woman, would instead reply to her husband. Almost as if they could not stand the fact that a woman dared to talk when her husband was with her. I could actually feel their antagonism towards me.

– People who still believed that women had no business being outside their homes after dark.

– People who believe that without a man in their lives, women are totally, completely helpless.

The one thing that I did notice that most people did shy away from openly blaming the victim. I guess the massive outrage has, in some ways, if not completely changed the way people think, has made them rethink, just a wee bit. Of course, we will still have our share of painted-dented and India-Bharat quotes, but then, not everything can change in a jiffy, can it? Then again, had women been a vote bank for our politicians, I can’t help feel that things would indeed, change in a jiffy. Of course, a lot of the measures might just have been token measures but still, they might be slightly more sensitive.

India has a strange way of making one feel optimistic and pessimistic at the same time. And in a lot of ways, it feels like we are part of a massive change which will make history – fingers crossed.

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Brutality

.. of a new level, that’s what the last few days have been, haven’t they? First the senseless shooting in America, and now the horrific gang rape in Delhi. I couldn’t sleep last night. Sitting up listening to the news, reading.. Made me stay up, wondering, worrying.. Just how brutal can people be, how confident they must have been of not getting caught.. Just reading all this made me feel so very helpless. And if we, are feeling this hopeless and helpless, I can’t even imagine how the victim and her family must be feeling right now.

What kind of country are we living in, when the systemic failure ensures that half the population could be attacked randomly, repeatedly, and we can do nothing about it. When women are told to be ‘careful’, to keep themselves safe, when nothing, absolutely nothing is done to keep those criminals off our streets.

I hear of people saying that this is why we need to teach our daughters self-defence, that we, the people have to take measures to keep ourselves safe. Yes, absolutely. But again, these are individual measures. What about the responsibility of the government to ensure that such crimes do not happen again and again? I’ve been reading up on this, and this article makes so much sense. It talks about deterrents to prevent the crime. Ways of ensuring that potential rapists are warned away so that crimes themselves stop happening. The way I look at it, one of the most important things to do, is to try to ensure that crimes of this sort are prevented. At least as the first step.

Looking at all the issues crop up – police reforms, judicial reforms, stricter punishment, mentality of our people, it sometimes gets so disheartening. It makes me wonder if anything will ever change. If we will ever be able to live in our society without the constant fear. It makes me wonder if a day will come when I can call the police and not be scared. To be honest, I think it is, us the innocent, who are more scared of the police than the guilty. Remember that
problem we had with the maid, well, we had to go to the police station to report it, and we were actually a little scared, while she was totally comfortable. We could only assume that she had been there before, and knew how things worked. Sad, isn’t it? Is it any wonder that people would rather not report a crime, if they have an option.

All I can do is hope that one day, if not me, at least daughter will be able to live in India, confidently, knowing that we have a system we can depend on. Knowing that the police is there to protect us, knowing that the criminals are the ones scared, not us. A day when a woman knows that she is safe in the country that she lives.

PS: The one good thing that has happened is that, at the very least, the case is not being referred to with the victim’s name, as used to be the case, until a few years ago. I just wish they wouldn’t hide the faces of the suspects.