fourthly, the gathering of young people (as it was on the first day) should have been addressed and placated by some senior person in the government and should not have let continue beyond that. instead, we had the administration patting each others' backs!
why? because if we parade the rapists publicly, stone them and hang them in the square, there will be nothing segregating them and us. we will become one with the rapists and murderers. we will satisfy only the inner animal of the mob. and once we do this to one 'criminal', there is no stopping the mob. we go down a very slippery slope from there
in fact, while these same people were talking of hanging kasab (one of the perpetrators of the 26/11 carnage) publicly and quickly and mocking the government on how soft it is on the issue, i used to be proud of pointing the same out to non-indians as an example of democracy and the rule of law in our country. the killers of mahatma gandhi, indira, rajiv, gen vaidya, all got a fair trial and all were assumed innocent until proved guilty. even the bombay bombers of 1992, the dreaded mafia bosses who were stupid enough to get caught, the terrorists who attacked our parliament, or the 26/11 shooters, all got a just trial, and we should be proud of that
of course, this is not to say that no protester or politician or policeman understands this. there are some pretty shrewd people out there who cultivate the media and manipulate them in a classic double cross, with sometimes the media not knowing till its done, and other times, the media playing along as if naive. any which way, what you see on t.v, or read in the news, is at best a filtered and at worst a doctored version of the truth
unfortunately, after seeing so many 'revolutions' happening around the world (reported by the same media), innocent, well-meaning people get caught up and pick up the half truths and lies being spewed out, magnify them, and post them on social networks. other innocent (and some not so) people pick these up and further embellish them, in a ghastly game of chinese whispers until there is just so much bulls**t out there that that even the truth sounds unbelievable
in this region, crimes against women happen mostly not because of a failure of law and order, but because the way people are constructed. no amount of policing will stop a delhiite from molesting a woman on a bus. i know too many people who will pounce on me in public for making such blatant generalisations and racist allegations, but will agree with me in private. the smallest of incidents highlights the rowdy culture of the capital city. scratched someone's car? guns are pulled. refused someone a drink? shots are fired. objected to lewd comments? fist fights happen. physical fights are considered part of normal life in delhi
why i say that is when you compare it to any other metro around the world, it stands out for this one particular peculiarity. the most normal conversation will contain abuses, the slightest of slights will result in confrontation and raising of voices, and compound this with alcohol or other intoxicants, and you have a lethal mix. yes, the lax policing does not help the cause, but my case is that delhi police is as efficient (or otherwise), as well (or poorly) staffed, as trained, as equipped, as corrupt, as lazy, as sycophantic as any other police in any other major city in india. the only thing different is the people they are policing
while this could be a result of history where this region had to bear the brunt of every invading army, or if it is a result of the superiority-complex driven aggressive mughal culture which is so steeped in these regions (while not so much down south), or if it has to do with continued prosperity throughout recent history (due to the fertile rivers), or with being more populous (in density) than the rest of india, or with the disproportionate representation in the indian parliament, or if it stems from the well-known 'capital city' complex where people who stay in the capitals historically have had a mistaken feeling that they 'rule' the nation (and go on to impose their language, culture, sensibilities, food habits, clothes, religious beliefs etc on others), is not something i can analyse, anthropology or sociology not being my specialities. but i am sure the reasons lie somewhere there
i can just feel the righteous indignation swelling right now in several of my very articulate friends who shall spare no word in the OED to tear me and my reasoning apart, but then, someone had to make this argument, and i chose to. having lived in several places in india and abroad, from my personal experience, if my daughter had to choose a city to settle in india, delhi would be the last choice, if at all
we need to introspect about our media, that shows women in a certain light, in certain roles and in certain situations, and men in other. about our movies where there seems to be no distinction whatsoever between the behaviour of the hero and the villain as far as treatment of the heroine is concerned, except that the hero is probably better looking. and about our approach to education, even in our most basic primary text books: why does 'ram' always have to do physical tasks while 'sita', menial?
but all that apart, we must realise that: a child will grow into a man or woman through what they see and experience and not what you say or command
my own treatment of women is vastly due to how i saw my father treating women (and especially my mother) in my childhood, and not so much by what i was taught or saw in the media. it is also moulded by how my mother treated my father. fortunately for me, my mother was a tough marathi mulgi from pune, and took no s**t, while my dad was a young air force officer who was always a gentleman. so, it has moulded me, it has made me, and it reflects in my behaviour with other people
is there a case to be made for all of us to start behaving differently with the other gender in order to change how future generations will behave? i mean, if children today see men being respectful to women (without the typically indian hypocrisy of 'mother', or 'daughter', or 'sister' or 'wife' and no other options) and women standing up for themselves, maybe in a generation or two, we can see the change, what say? maybe it is time for men to stop calling other women 'chicks' and for women to refrain from referring to other women as 'sluts'. maybe it is time to treat our own relatives & friends and people who come in contact with us, with respect, without reference to their gender. maybe it is time not just to tell children that all humans need be treated equally kindly, but also to actually practice what we preach. maybe it is time to start inside ourselves rather than look for a solution without
(later edit: i had discarded this post as too controversial and open to accusations, but as events unfolded in delhi, i decided that this is the best time for my voice to be added to the cacophony. hopefully, someone will hear it)