Sunday, there was a heinous crime committed in the capital city of India. A 23-year old was raped by 6 men, and they did not stop at that. After sexually assaulting her for an hour, they inserted a rod into her vagina, damaging her reproductive and digestive organs.

The whole nation is witnessing an uprising, as everyone stands united against the gang rape that shocked the country. Yes, it is a good thing India is asking for justice, but has anyone asked a question to themselves – justice for whom and against what? Do these people holding protests and demonstrations even realize that it is not only those 6 men who are criminals, and it is not only one woman who is a victim? Have we, as a nation, even thought about one second why this happened in the first place? Why do thousands of women get raped and assaulted in this country, every single day? Why do most of such cases go unreported and many a times, the criminal wanders free while the victim lives a scarred life? Has India forgotten about Aruna Shaunbag who is semi-comatose for 37 years while her rapist has led a normal life all this while, after spending just a few years behind bars?

Why are we creating such a furore over this particular case? Because it happened in the capital city of India! What about thousands of equally brutal crimes that are committed in the rural and backward regions of India? There are a number of women, young girls and boys, who are raped every day and still choose to stay silent because there is no one who will hear their voice. And also because they are forced to worry more about the hunger and staying alive than their dignity! Do we raise our voice for those helpless people, do we hold protests to bring their assualters to justice? For a big section of the Indian society, the poor people do not even exist! These young children go on with their lives with the memory of the crime etched in their memory and with a realization that it doesn’t matter to anyone else. Why don’t we feel bad about a 40-year old women raped by 3 men, one of them being the father of another rape victim this woman had helped! Why are we not shocked at the rape of a 3-year old girl? Why are we not shocked when a young boy is sexually assaulted by his teacher? Why do we not shed tears and hold protests when a farmer, who grows crops for us and expects only a very normal standard of life in return, commits suicide because he has given up on the system? Why is our reaction based on what media and politicians feed us?

The brutality of the crime cannot be overlooked but are we really looking at the mental state of these criminals when they commit such hideous act? Why does the main accused in this case does not even feel remorseful and he simply says “it just happened”. Can any sane person believe this statement? Every single day, we go though many moments where we become very angry with circumstances but do we let anything just ‘happen’? I am sure we control ourselves. So are these men not normal; are they sick; do they have some psychological problem that needs to be addressed? Maybe. But let us first look into the lives of such criminals; let us take a trip into the mind of a criminal.

A man lives in slum in inhuman conditions, where there is no clean water to drink, no hygienic place to stay, no education to give an opportunity for a good life, no electricity. He is born, lives like a pest, rather, treated like a pest by people and then he dies an anonymous death. Between those two events of his life, he looks at the other section of the society – the rich and powerful. He observes that these people go to fancy places to eat, waste half the food on their plates, go around in expensive cars and when they come face-to-face with him, they shoo him away like a dog. When he had no idea where his next meal will come from, these wealthy people get involved in scams worth thousands of crores rupees. He does not even have an idea what a million rupee means, and when he hears these people talking in billions, what does he feel? Most in his situation feel sorry for themselves and accept their fate with bitterness.

Then, there are others like Ram Singh, who want to give back to the society the treatment they have been receiving since the day they were born. There are many such Ram Singhs who decide that they would rather have their 15 minutes of fame, causing a damage to the society, than living a life of lowly existence. What does he do then? He finds ways to commit crimes – a robbery, an assault, a rape! He influences other weak men and takes them along since he is too scared to do it all alone. He finds an opportunity in a girl, who would be unable to defend herself against 6 drunk and crazy men. He ravages her, and then, hurts her so bad that she cannot lead a normal life, sending a message to the society that he was capable of something! He is sent to the jail and he might be hanged; but that doesn’t really bother him. He has got his 15 minutes of fame and he knows he need not worry about any more meals or a warm place to sleep till he is in jail. Who knows perhaps, when he is alone, he even smiles at himself at achieving a feat no one in his family has even been able to? Probably Ram Singh considers this as his victory since he could not really have any woman from that section of the society ever in his life and when he raped that girl, he knew he had full power over her life and he could decide her fate in those moments. He might have felt as powerful as he would have never felt or would never be able to feel in his whole life! For him, the victim was a symbol of everything he could not have, and so he decided to destroy her; for him, it was an act of rebellion against the atrocities he has been subjected to. We need to ask ourselves why does Ram Singh lead such a helpless existence that a crime for which he could be hanged, gives him an exhilarating feeling? Should’t we be worried that our society has reached that point where a particular section does not care what punishment they get if only they are able to do what they are sure they cannot achieve in their lifetime?

So what is responsible for crimes – the dress of the woman, the fact she was travelling at night, the lawlessness or it is the attitude of the society as a whole, who gives a shit to the poor people? Though these people form the larger section of the society, they don’t even exist for the other section! I think we all are accomplices in the crime that happened in the bus that night; I think we all are culprits for any act of immodesty committed against any woman on Indian soil. I am ashamed to say that it is not one Ram Singh who is the bad fish in the ocean; it is the politicians, the wealthy businessmen, the rich & powerful people, and us; we are the ones, creator of thousands of Ram Singhs, that are really responsible for any crime that happens in  our society.

I see these protestors screaming and shouting on the streets and I want to ask them – do they even know what they are fighting for? The police is already doing their bit, the criminals are behind bars and they will be severely punished and I am sure they will be made to pay for their crime. I am so sure because these men do not belong to a politician’s or a businessman’s family, because they are not wealthy to bribe someone and escape and because they belong to the larger section of the society which always gets punished. Now, I am not saying we should not raise our voices against what is wrong in the society but I think, in this case, the anger of the crowd is misdirected. And no one has ever achieved anything great with a misdirected anger or a misguided revolution.

The youth of India is capable and frustrated with the law, the state of affairs, and they want to do something good. It is a good sign, but what is the basic problem of the society? Only that men don’t respect women? Only that some men think they are above law and can do whatever they want? Only that most of the time, we get angry at such an incidence and then, some other news catches our attention and we abandon the case we were so fervently  supporting? The basic cause is the divide in the society, the attitude of those running the country and the impotence of the common man. We do not know what are we supposed to fight for. We don’t realize that when we are feeling emotions of helplessness, rage and sorrow over an event, it is because the media is making us feel those emotions. The media itself is also a puppet in the hands of the politicians who are just using such incidents as a vote-strategy. The media is creating frenzy over this particular case, but seeing the history, I am sure they will forget this terrible incidence as soon as they find something more worthwhile to raise their TRPs. The usual journey of anything shocking that happens in India is page 1 to page 5 to ‘who is interested anymore’.

Why don’t we rally against the corrupt politicians who control the wealth of the country and hide it away for their future generations while the current India is going through a crisis? Why don’t we hold a Sonia Gandhi, a Robert Vadera, a Manmohan Singh, a Shiela Dixit, a Hooda, a Mayawati responsible for the monstrous act that was committed and is being committed every day? Why don’t we rise against the rape that these people commit on our motherland every single moment? Let us join hands to stop the rape that started it all – of India, by corrupt politicians, TRP-hungry media, money-sucking industrialists, over-ambitious and easily-influenced youth (who are apparently ‘serving’ the country), the common man (voting the corrupt politicians into power year after year).

Yes, we need a radical change in the Indian society; yes, we need a revolution; yes, we need India to stand united against crimes. But the only question we need to ask ourselves before we stand up and fight is – do we know and understand what crime is? Are we sure that we are shooting the arrow in the right direction and on the right target? Why don’t we first do a root-cause anaylsis and then, we will be truly ready to carry forward an insurgency.

Advertisements