I woke up one morning, the last week, to Facebook overflowing with comments smitten with rage and fury over Asha Mirje’s take on rape cases. What shocked my fellow Facebook-feed refreshers, enough to go on a share-click-like rampage was that Mirje’s opinions resonated a vibe of not only suppressing freedom but also assumed a defensive tone on behalf of the upholders of democracy.
This incident occurred three days after India awoke to 65 years of an active constitution. A constitution which proclaimed all of her citizens to be under a nation which was a sovereign, socialist, democratic republic.
65 years. Of waking up to 1.2 billion fellow citizens, 28 states, 350 odd languages and one nationality.
65 years. Of waking up to a home and haven for over 1.2 billion hearts and minds and aspirations and opinions.
65 years. Of uncertainty knowing that every 20 minutes, a new rape victim is born.
Did our constitution never age? Did we never pass the twenty first century mark and progress into development? Or did it so happen, that while the GDP advanced and the per capita increased; civility and common sense slid to oblivion. From a country subjected to the horrors of domination, by an alien Raj for over two centuries, did the ‘weaker half’ of the populace step into the beginning of domination by brutes who use force and threat to overpower the former?
One can only write and say so much about everything that is wrong with the Honey Singh appreciating, female letching, unscrupulous men of my subcontinent. Agatha Christie once famously observed, that the story of a murder begins much before the act itself. Similarly, the story of rape in India, stems not from the momentary lustful wrath and perversion of a fiend lured by an opposite sex, instead it germinates from the time of birth of that individual, wherein the deviant mind is conceived and nurtured by a society which subjects the mother to atrocities, where the wife is denigrated to a bonded slave, the daughter is a commodity and the women who earn a living and voice an opinion are immoral and uncultured. Yes. India is the land of dichotomies. We shall continue praying to Goddesses for strength, for wisdom and wealth; while we treat our girls and our women as second class citizens.
It is high time that this stops. And no, it will not be an overnight incidence wherein hundreds of petitions may or may not be signed. And millions may or may not take up candle light protests. Nor will it stop if you and I cease to venture past dark into the ‘wild’ and unruly streets of our cities. But yes, it may alleviate the position to a certain extent to understand the causes and refrain from discrimination and being discriminated against. Yes, that means cutting down on the gossip on character, just because a woman wears shorter skirts or deeper neck lines or because she stayed late at work into the wee hours of dawn, or because her reality is different from yours. Let’s grow up as a nation. Ans yes, that means you and me.
As for the existing cases of rape in our nation. The nirbhaya rape and murder, at the capital, was one of the many that brought to light the gore and filth that has accumulated in the name of bureaucracy and governance in our subcontinent. Besides blame games and slander driven revelations, the politicos along with the law makers and the law breakers coalesce into allowing perverse individuals to get their way with rape, murder and slander; while blaming the victim for the entire episode. Maybe it is time that we recognize that capital punishment might just be the way to go.
No, the title isn’t meant to be misleading.
I am very much against death penalties and playing God.
But I am against rape.
And in the battle between prevention of rape and granting life to perpetuators of the act, I chose the former and demand justice and death, even though it doesn’t seem enough, might just satiate, for now.