Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Women of India rise against rape



System versus the People
The Indian capital and the Indian media have witnessed a turbulent period recently. Much to the chagrin of the ruling classes (who'd prefer a docile politically dead youth anytime), the educated urban youth of India actually came out in strength on the main street of Delhi - the Rajpath - demanding replies from the rulers. As expected, no replies were forthcoming. Leaders were not to be seen when needed the most. Hiding behind the vast paraphernalia of an inert, inept "system", the leaders let the protests take an ugly turn. Today, a horrified youth is witnessing various organs of the state fighting with each other (instead of focusing on the main issue - women's rights and dignity), and - as various sections of the media allege - trying to destroy a genuine movement of resistance (against an apathetic system) by hyping the story of one dead gentleman constable. May the departed soul rest in peace - but hundreds of women are raped and killed brutally each year. No leader or policeman expresses similar grave anguish then. So as the media alleges, the farce is clear for everyone to see - calling a spade a spade will do no harm.

In this entire episode, over the past 10 days, I wrote some pieces expressing my experiences. Here is the first:



Dear Indian Fathers,

From today onwards, every single day, tell your son(s) repeatedly that "You must respect all women, including your sister(s), mother, and more importantly - other women. If you do not respect all women, you will lose my love, care and protection. You will be a paapi, a criminal and a scoundrel."

When you do this repeatedly for many months and years, Indian society will start to change.

There is no hope for this great nation otherwise. Do it now. Do it from now.


I posted this on social media and was glad to receive great feedback. 

Then came this expression of desperation and sorrow from a girl student of mine:

दिल्ली में हुई वारदात के माहौल में मेरी एक स्टूडेंट ने मुझे एप्रोच किया और कहा की सर एक पर्सनल काउंसलिंग आपसे चाहिए .. मैं आउटस्टेशन स्टूडेंट हूँ और इंदौर में हॉस्टल में रहती हूँ .. मुझे बहोत कुछ आपको बताना है .. मैंने उसे टाइम दिया और मिलने के लिए बुलाया। उससे हुई बातचीत का सार इस प्रकार था --- पूरा पढ़ें ---


"सर, समाज लड़कियों से क्या चाहता है? हम अच्छे घर की लड़की हैं और पढ़ लिख कर आगे बढ़ना चाहते हैं। पर इस समाज के लड़के और मर्द - ज्यादातर - ऐसा नहीं चाहते और पूरी कोशिश करतें हैं की ऐसा न हो पाए। सर, जब भी मैं सड़क पर निकलती हूँ, ये मान कर, मन बना कर निकलती हूँ, की 3 से 4 लड़के तो कम से कम गंदे कॉमेंट्स पास करेंगे ही। सड़क पर निकलो तो मोटर साइकिल पर तेज़ी से आके गन्दी गन्दी बातें बोल कर भाग जातें हैं। ऐसा हर बार होता है, एक बार नहीं। पुलिस के पास जाने का सोचो तो डर लगता हैं की जीन्स टीशर्ट पहनी लड़की को किस नज़र से देखा जायेगा पता नहीं। और सर, ऐसा तो है ही नहीं की आप अगर सलवार कुरता पहन लो तो सब आपकी इज्ज़त करने लगेंगे। पहले तो ये ही लड़के आपको बैकवर्ड कहेंगे और फिर ये ही लड़के आपको छेड़ने मे आनंद लेंगे। कई बार इच्छा हुई की पलट कर जवाब दूं ... पर डर ये लगा की अगर ये एक लड़का का 3 या 4 लडकों को ले कर आ गया तब? ये तो मुझे भी उसी दिल्ली वाली लड़की की तरह नुकसान पंहुचा देंगे। सर, लड़के तो लड़के, बड़े भी वैसे ही हैं। अगर कोई पापा या दादा की उम्र का आदमी सड़क पर आपको मौका मिलते ही छेड़ने लगे या गंदे गंदे कमेंट्स पास करे तो सर, पूरे समाज पर से भरोसा उठ जाता है। अगर सब मर्द एक सामान अपनी माँ और बेहन को छोड़ कर बाकि सबको केवल एक ऑब्जेक्ट के रूप में देखते हैं तो ऐसा कब तक चलेगा? क्या हम पढाई छोड़ कर घर बैठ जायें? और सर, इन्टरनेट और मोबाइल ने तो वो कबाड़ा किया है की पूछिए मत। कई लड़के उसका इस्तेमाल केवल गन्दी फिल्में देखने के लिए करते हैं। एक बार हम 3 लड़कियां ऑटो में बैठी तो सबसे पहले ऑटो वाले ने अपना मोबाइल आगे रखा, उसमे गन्दी फिल्म चालू की, और हम सब हक्के बक्के रह गए। क्या करते? पुलिस के पास जाते? एग्जाम छोड़ कर? पापा को फ़ोन लगाते ? ताकि वो घबरा कर यहाँ आते और हमें ले कर चले जाते ? सर, हम लडकियां क्या करें? बहोत निराशा होती है कोई सोलूशन नहीं देख कर। और दिन प्रतिदिन सब बिगड़ ही रहा है सुधर नहीं रहा। आप आदमी हैं आप शायद पूरी तरह इस पीड़ा को फील नहीं करेंगे। पर दुःख के सिवा कुछ नहीं मिलता डेली बेसिस पर। टेबल पर पढने के लिए बैठो तो येही सब याद आता है।"

(translated it means roughly that 'every single time I go on to the streets of my city, I am eve-teased, harassed and demoralised by the men and boys around me. The methods and intensity differ from incident to incident, but the intent remains the same').

All I could say to her was - I feel sorry for you, and women of this nation. But don't lose hope. Just carry on with life, with a great hope that things will slowly change. The Indian male, at present, is unable to digest the Indian woman's freedom. But ultimately he will have to accept it. Historically, India was an equal society. Past 300 - 400 years have ruined us. But we will resurrect. We surely will. Till then, don't lose hope.


Witnessing the strong police action on youngsters, the poet in me then wrote:



Male police beating women!
Mat maaro in bachcho ko..
Yeh ek din ka rosh nahin..
Barson ki beizzati ka..
Aaj hisab mangti hai desh ki naari.

(translated it means 'do not hit these young people, for this is not the anger of a single day... the Indian woman is now seeking answers to decades of depredation and insult').


And finally came this from my 8 year old daughter:

With a quizzical look in her eyes, my daughter (class 4th) asked me this morning : "Daddy, why do boys in my class laugh at me when I tell them I like to play football? Why do they say it is not a girls' sport? Then they should stop swimming - it is not a boys' sport."

This is one of the best schools in town, and the students are from the best families.

What a mirror this statement holds to our society. Irrespective of income brackets, social layer and education levels, it is all the same from top to bottom, generally.

If we start seriously now, perhaps in another 20 - 30 years, this society will change for the better.



For the police, every couple is a criminal couple.
What about constitutional freedom they have by birth?
As expected after such a series of incidents, the local police force in various cities have become very active. They have started catching the roadside romeos (which is good), and in their over-zealous outreach, have started harassing genuine couples (many of them above 18 years of age) found together in parks. I find it disgusting that to stop eve-teasing, you have to actually catch and insult couples sitting in parks willingly! Will this not further frustrate both boys and girls? Is this not a direct attack on the young girls' (above 18 years of age) right to choose their friends, boyfriends, or future life partners? We have to learn to give them their space! This is the problem with a heavy handed approach - any boy or girl sitting in a park is suddenly the target of the police force. Our medieval mindsets will never mature, it seems. Of course, decency has to be maintained by these couples.


People's perceptions also vary a lot. A female government officer in a function in MP felt that the gang-raped girl (Delhi) should not have put up such a resistance that the criminals felt like tearing her intestines apart. She felt that the victim would have been better off by surrendering. It really takes all kinds! Click here to read


Finally :

Heartwarming fact - women are taking to the street raising their voice against the daily string of atrocities against them. And men in large number are joining them.

Sad fact - the system is doing exactly what it does best - conspire, retaliate, pretend and seek revenge from those in the forefront. It does not realise that this is a great moment to be captured for the benefit of posterity.

But something tells me, no matter how rigid the system may be, it's going to be different this time. Even those "inside" the system have women folk in their families, after all.
~

14 comments:

Tushar Rokade said...

Really touching, especially the girl's speech. I approve her message, the other day I was traveling with one of my girl friends when a bike cut fast from beside her and the pillion guy was passing some indistinguishable comments. Sad! Worse, she said not to not the number and not to report to the police. Why? Numbness! Girls--like the one who narrated the events to you--have lost faith in system, and have made themselves complacent and painfully immune. Too sad!

Aditya Kumar said...

Sorry to disagree with you Mr. Rokade its not only girls who are immune we have also become painfully immune to this system. We are letting this happen. So stop blaming them. Remember the Guwahti molestation case a mob of 30 people molesting a single girl.

And now what saddens me to see is that people like Abhijit Mukhurjee son of Mr. President give a disgusting remark on women protesters and then just by taking your statement back now would not change my perception about your upbringing.

What this system needs to realise is that this protest is lead by any single person. Protesters are genuine I saw a facebook status of one of my friend SHE says - "A chill runs down my spine when I think about that moment.... when the tear gas shell exploded on my foot... It was someky, i coudnt breathe, I coudnt hear and my legs were burning. The ordeal i went through at the hospital. I thank god that I escaped a fatal injury. I thank my family , friends for their well wishes. I am hurt, I will heal. I shall be back soon IN ACTION!"

All I believe is women of India demand respect more than any parliamentary quota.

Aditya Kumar said...

Sorry to disagree with you Mr. Rokade its not only girls who are immune we have also become painfully immune to this system. We are letting this happen. So stop blaming them. Remember the Guwahti molestation case a mob of 30 people molesting a single girl.

And now what saddens me to see is that people like Abhijit Mukhurjee son of Mr. President give a disgusting remark on women protesters and then just by taking your statement back now would not change my perception about your upbringing.

What this system needs to realise is that this protest is lead by any single person. Protesters are genuine I saw a facebook status of one of my friend SHE says - "A chill runs down my spine when I think about that moment.... when the tear gas shell exploded on my foot... It was someky, i coudnt breathe, I coudnt hear and my legs were burning. The ordeal i went through at the hospital. I thank god that I escaped a fatal injury. I thank my family , friends for their well wishes. I am hurt, I will heal. I shall be back soon IN ACTION!"

All I believe is women of India demand respect more than any parliamentary quota.

Sandeep Manudhane said...

Tushar Rokade - I totally see the perspective. It is sad, but we have to act an help the system change. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Aditya Kumar - Wonderfully said. Many men from amongst us may only talk and do nothing. But only doing will lead to lasting change. Hats off to Indian women for hitting the streets and demanding equality. We are with them all the way.

Vishal Kale said...

Tinted glasses on vehicles are not acceptable.... and illegal. This incident raises social questions, true. But perhaps more than the security of women, what it also highlights is the careless attitude of Indians. We usually dont react until it effects us: how many of the protesters have removed tinted glasses from their cars? I would love to know! It is fine to protest; but actions should reflect in your own lives before you have the right to protest on the streets. How many of us actually respect women in the streets, and how many treat them as eye-candy just to ogle at as if they were a delectable pastry to be devoured? Change your attitudes, India!

Which brings me to Police Reforms... we routinely demonise the police, but what do we do about it? Nothing. Precisely nothing. Despite having a supreme court judgement, no one has cared to ask the government as to why reforms are being delayed. I recently attended a police prayer meet and dinner. I could not see a single policeman or woman; all I could see were human beings. We do nothing to take the government to task, despite there being A Supreme Court Judgement in our favour. We keep silent, and worry about the Sun Rays in my car, we worry about the filth in front of my house forgetting the smelly railway station... I could go on and on. What right have we to question the police? Look inwards first! Sure, we know the Government is not acting, but what are we doing about it? Even ex and serving police officers are asking for reforms - but no. We are silent.

Very good, India. Please continue silence. Excellent. And come out and join emotional protests when things go wrong... and go back to your home and cars a few days later. Good, keep it up. Just dont ask the Government Of India to be accountable to the people on a regular daily transactional basis as opposed to sporadic outbursts. The Government can weather those with ease; as it did the Lokpal agitation. By the way, any of you remember the Lokpal agitation?

Alternatively, use poor brave Nirbhay as a wake-up call; understand that it is your family at stake and build a sustainable issue-based pressure on the Government to be accountable - truly accountable to the people.

Or else... another day, another time, another....

I sincerely do hope not.

Sandeepji, I cant help but wonder the above.... what right have we to protest? Absolutely none. Pehelaa Pathhar woh maare jisne paap naa kiyaa ho...

Vishal
(The above is an excerpt from my blog post "http://reflectionsvvk.blogspot.in/2012/12/nirbhay.html"

Sandeep Manudhane said...

Vishal Kale, thanks for your meaningful and emotional comment. Appreciate it.

vivek pathak said...

heart-touching statement given by that girl, the issue was suppressed those days by the police force and our neutral goverment, but instead no matter is solved even on nemerous gatherings. I still feel our society needs to change a lot & see where there roots are. AS, it was also suggested by you sir at just after the beginning of the blog in the lines where you told all fathers to take care of their son's character, even if that was really tremendous word but it's not applicable in these days when everybody is busy doing negative roles & cruel competition where anybody is trying to eliminate the opponents and not to share the things, this is really bad & only some strict rules are going to develop the optimistic habits in the youth.

Nilesh Nathe said...

respected sir,

it is really a touchable thought of mind of everyone's mind. In India like capital city Delhi capital punishment is true or may be not because in their childhood we have to learn them about respecting their mothers and their sisters as we say that we have to taught them from root area.

thanking you.

nilesh nathe


reema jain said...

I don't know what i feel more shocked, dismayed, betrayed .... worst of all is that people have forgot it so soon!! the brutal/fatal assault.. its not just about justice in this matter only but creating a system & a judiciary where everyone can live without fear of being humiliated & having faith that wrong doers will be punished.Although all the accused were arrested & charged with sexual assault.Every corner of nation with full anger came out with candles,hoardings and other stuffs just to show that women should feel safe.

Women have become increasingly worried about their safety not only in New Delhi but every corner after the gang rape and torture of a young woman aboard a moving bus last December.Even many times when i travel in a public bus i see many eyes stuck onto me while entering it then mostly i keep diverting my mind so that no bad situations crass my mind. Not for nothing do people call the city India's rape capital.one of the reason is illiteracy but soon these reason is also changed as per the case heard of 5-yr-old Delhi girl raped, held captive for 4 days, battles for life ...I really feel when it will all change when do women can freely move without hesitation.


The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 was promulgated by the President, Pranab Mukherjee, on 3 Feb 2013 which provides for amendment of Indian Penal Code, Indian Evidence Act, and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on laws related to sexual offences.Just after these laws declared many other rape cases were highlighted its not only the laws but human mentality should change.Ya of course we can't go to every1 and request them to change, but to change the world we need to change ourselves and so human mentality.If every indian wills to change then you can just imagine how powerful and safe a women feels while traveling alone late night.

I wish a "SAFE INDIA FOR GIRLS"...
Reema Jain
Kindly accept my comment
Thank you
Mr. Sandeep Manudhane sir

Anonymous said...

The people of our country have lost their trust on the system which is really true.The system should help us but instead it is standing against us.
---Parth Saraf

vaishali soni said...

molest and harassment girls,this line, how many times would be repeated?
thanks sir write this blog for this topic. its very serious topic but every body can't do that neither government,nor court.
many types of rules write our law,but not follow that.its very shame that every body can't do that.
i saw also many times youngster,adult comments the girls(women).i am also girls i understand its very tough path.
i agree that student .because she is saying right. this is not her but many girls(women) face this problem.
i want to say that lastly "please safe girls don't died and don't do again this situation".

Thanks




siddharth asati said...


Siddharth Asati


this type of incident is deeply disturbed and hurt by the accused. `the need for society to look deep within and work to root out evil of rape and other such crimes from our midst'.there is a need to take the strictest possible action against the worsen incidents.every one knows and wants a good deed to stopping such frustrating and protesting unworthy cases.but the question rises that "how". the time is to extend the power and the community lead.often women are protesting herself to another further they have nothing on her palm,cause;lack of writes and unsafe conceal. the think should be beyond,if the government undergo an articulated support within women writes and freedom for make her become safe,these may be there modifier or even bad cause may be reduced.

parmeshwar patidar said...

Indian women have a lot of positive power which can change every thing. The Delhi rape case protest was the biggest protest against the Indian system and rape as well, people are becoming are more angry against the rape and slow Indian law system, and the main cause of slow Indian law system is corruption. India is a democratic country and the democracy is mainly based on four pillars(legislature,executive,judiciary and media), but i think the one pillar(executive) is not working properly in the Indian democracy because the almost 85% to 90% executives are completely corrupted,but whoever system is exist, because there are 10% to 15% extremely honest executives are exist in the system but they are decreasing day by day, so government should take some strict steps otherwise system would be collapse and crime will increase rapidly.

Parmeshwar Patidar

Anonymous said...

Appreciate every one's comment......it clearly shows that there are people who seriously think and react on such brutal incidents.