Let Us Never Forget
We woke up today to a terrible news. The brave girl who suffered the horrifying gangrape in Delhi passed away last night, after an extended battle with her injuries. May she rest in peace.
Now we know the usual drill. Something terrible happens. We outrage on Twitter and Facebook. The politicians shed some fake tears, announce a bunch of half-measures hoping we will forget about it soon, we soon forget as expected, and life goes on.
Let that not happen this time. Let us not forget what happened to her. Let this outrage not die down. Let this case serve as a constant reminder of what all is wrong with our society.
Let our government remember that we have had enough. It is time they move beyond half measures, such as claiming to cancel the permit of the bus which didn’t even have a valid permit, or passing the buck across governments or departments, to actually doing something to improve the law and order situation in the country.
Let the government remember that one day the outrage will spill over, and no number of water cannons or expired teargas shells will be able to stop it. Let our leaders realize that they cannot get away with making stupid statements in public, such as Abhijit Mukherjee’s ‘dented-painted‘ comment, or the TMC MP’s comment about a gangrape victim being a sex-worker, or the various comments that try to attribute blame on the victim’s dress, character etc. You are our leaders; show us it means something to you.
Let the police be more sensitive. They are our protectors; let them behave like one. Let the judiciary become a deterrent to stop crime, not a deterrent to citizens who fear spending half their lives enduring court appearances. Let us stop saying that justice delayed is justice denied and do something to make the legal process less cumbersome.
Let our politicians move beyond myriad scams and divisive politics, and start doing something for the people who brought them to power. Show us once again that democracy was not just a theoretical concept; that our democracy is not on life-support. Let them serve as role models, and not people for whom the Parliament is all about shouting slogans and getting the house adjourned. Because you are thwarting the democratic process by doing that.
Let the media remember that sometimes it is important to think beyond TRPs, and show some sensitivity. For god’s sake, don’t throw a camera in the face of a grieving relative, or show the live telecast of a funeral procession. Give people some space. Set some boundaries.
Let this also be a reminder to the Indian people that blaming the government for everything will not do. Because it is people from amidst us who are committing these crimes, and getting away because we Indian people have become so insensitive.
Let this be a constant reminder to us that women are to be respected, not groped or molested. That it is us men who need to behave ourselves. That it is not ok if we have our boys playfully make comments about their GI Joe toys raping the girls’ barbies. That we need to get over our sexist attitudes and give women some more respect. I have personally seen educated men working in elite companies make remarks such as ‘women are just show-pieces’ or something even more crass. If this is what education does to us, then it is all a sham.
Let us teach good values to our kids, for they are our future. Teach them the importance of respect. Teach them that everybody is equal. Teach them that life is not only about ‘I, me, myself.’ Teach them that no means no.
Let us try to be good citizens and take more ownership of our cities. Small gestures help. Be nice to your neighbors. Don’t threaten to shoot them over parking disputes. Don’t drive like maniacs. Be courteous to fellow-drivers and try not to run over pedestrians. Don’t litter. Don’t try to bribe your way out of fines. Pay your taxes. Good begets good.
Let us NEVER forget this incident. Let us keep up the outrage, if it helps improve our society. Let us talk – talk about ways of improving things, talk about what we can do to help, talk about the ways for getting us out of this mess.
Let there never be another such case again. Because a part of mankind dies every time a girl suffers a fate this gruesome.