One more rape. And yet more outrage. Newsreaders screaming louder and louder. Social media reeking of anger. Newspapers filling up space. Houses of Parliament spewing rhetoric. The noise, the din, the unbearable torture of a nation that is clueless, helpless and directionless. Yet again. The carnage continues. A nation is caught reeling under one more heinous act. One more brutal display of inequality rears its ugly face upon us.
Rape is despicable. Yes. Rape deserves severe punishment. Yes. But do we need more rallies? Do we need more rhetoric? What about long-term solutions? What about trying to identify the root cause of these atrocities? What about trying to eradicate these?
How about bringing up our boys better? How about teaching them that being macho means being cultured and treating women equally? How about sensitizing men and mobilizing them to ensure gender equality? How about doing away with regressive traditions, cultural norms and rituals that are blatantly discriminatory to women? How long will we keep a ‘giving’ attitude towards women?
I despair because of the gravity of the crime. But I despair more because of the way our nation reacts. Every cruel action has a jerky response. We ask for the death penalty or something even more severe for the perpetrators. Has severe punishment ever deterred a criminal mind?
We hold rallies, candlelight vigils, hold bombastic placards and strut through the streets in ethnic outfits asking for change. And we resume our lives soon after. Until the next crime.
We are an impatient nation on the lookout for overnight solutions. Result : Nothing is solved. The problems persist. Gender bias, inequality, human rights violations, corruption, discrimination, segregation, cruelty, violence continue to be rampant as we await the rise of messiah after messiah – only to be thoroughly disappointed.
Long-term solutions, positive change can only be possible when we as citizens put our faith, time, resources and energy in initiatives for systemic change. Solutions are possible only if we change. Eradication of societal evils will happen when we recognize and eradicate our own inner demons, when we become the change.
We expect Narendra Modi to usher in an era of progress while feigning amnesia over his atrocious human rights record. We look upon Rahul Gandhi as a vehicle of change because of his impressive genealogy and cute demeanor. We look for others to bring about transformation while we continue our apathy towards ourselves, our people, our surroundings and our conditions. We will continue tolerating red tape. We will find illegal short-cuts for short-term gains. We will let fascists reign in the name of democracy. We will let our women get raped. We will continue to vote for gangsters. We will continue to follow illogical rituals hoping for instant karmic rewards. We will allow our fundamental rights to be violated. We will suffer in stunned, scared silence. We will fast. We will rally. We will strike. But we will not change.
Sorry, but we have been raped for many generations. And we will continue getting raped for many. Rape is inevitable as we continue to exist in contempt, disrespect and lethargy.
Until the next rape.