Monday, December 31, 2012



There has been a large scale outburst of public anger and angst at the brutal rape of a girl in the Nation’s capital and her ultimate death. The cry has been for the severest of punishment to be meted out to the culprits. My own outrage has been such that I felt the death penalty would only bring to end the life of the perpetrators and this will not serve the purpose. I wanted them to be maimed and castrated and thrown into jail for the rest of their lives. May be my feelings were barbaric but so was the act. This is a happening in the nation’s capital and it has received the attention it deserved but what about the happenings in the rest of the country where children are kidnapped, raped, murdered and the bodies thrown away to rot on the wayside. These are acts that keep on happening and what have the police and the politicians done to effectively bring down such crimes?

In a nation with a population of more than one billion and which carries with it a history so ancient that making it fall in step with the need to adjust to changing times is a herculean task. The gathering of so many people in Delhi to protest against this crime and demanding for immediate reforms and implementation in the setup of the judiciary and police is the need of the hour. But does this end here? These crimes will continue to be committed, some reported and others unnoticed. This is because we as a people are affected by a deeper malaise. I will not stop at that, because I feel that this is a global phenomenon. Does this not happen in other countries? It does, but may be the system of policing and detection is far more advanced. Who cannot abhor the dastardly act where a large number of school children in the US were killed in a mindless act of violence and this was not an isolated incident.

So is making stricter laws that bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes immediately going to put an end to crimes? It may act as a deterrent and may be, it is the first step, towards making people feel safe. But like I said earlier the deeper malaise lies elsewhere. It lies in every home. We are being subjected to what Alvin Toffler terms as the Future Shock. Our societies are fractured and our relationships have started becoming disposables. Consumerism is the order of the day. We make what sells. That is why we have movies which depict mindless violence because they sell and who is responsible for that, of course we ourselves. We want our adrenalin to flow and titillate our senses along with the action scenes on the screen.

The media has become one of the most powerful tools that has taken over the mindset of the populace. I am not saying that this is bad, for the media is also a powerful disseminator of information and knowledge. Its role can be constructive or destructive depending on the sensationalism that it resorts to garner popularity. We should admit that without the reporting of the gruesome nature of the crime that was committed, the gathering of such a large number of people in all parts of the country to protest against the ineffectiveness of the authorities would not have been possible.

When I said every home earlier, I meant that each and every citizen of this country should be made to realise his responsibility towards the society and the nation. This is very easily said but how does one go about it? We need educators, we need reformers and we need leaders with vision and with a fierce commitment to the country. But once again, where do we find such people? Is it true that we get what we deserve?

Let each one of us make a start at our own homes. Can we pay more attention to the emotional needs of our children rather than drive them up the intellectual ladder? Are we only bothered about how well they do in their material lives? This is a question each one of us as a parent has to answer for himself. 


Varsha said...

The reaction of the public all over the country to this tragedy in Delhi is remarkable. We as a people are so used to gang rapes, rapes inside homes, Innocent young children becoming victims of lust of their own extremely close relatives that we do not react at all. Therefore this reaction is extremely commendable. It seems that the youth of today, both men and women have had enough and are not willing to tolerate injustice and abuse any more.
As far as expecting a leader or statesman to lead us is concerned, I do not think we have anyone of that stature. If each one makes a beginning in his/her own home,the enlightenment will spread.
I think the need is to spread the message of equality by practicing it ourselves.
When everyone feels affected and reacts there is bound to be some improvement in the mind set of all the people.I see a better India in the future with the mass reaction and movement of the youth.

kishor kulkarni said...

We Indians seem to have inherited the British trait of asking "What is the govt doing?" rather than the American one of asking "What is it that I can do?" No doubt, there are many lacunae in the police and judicial functioning. However, if we reflect coolly on it, we will realise that police and courts cannot quite prevent such crimes to any significant degree. So, it is up to us as a society and especially as parents to see how far we can protect our vulnerable women. For example, both parents going away to work and leaving their daughter in the care of a maid servant can never be safe enough. How about rethinking parenting? Why not think about one parent remaining at home to take care of children? Yes; it will mean a sacrifice of one's career interest on the part of the parent. But it is well worth given the bad times that we seem to be in.