The big bad Delhi to the very safe Mumbai…No place is safe enough for my daughter and her tribe in our wonderful land of revering goddesses.
I am afraid for my daughter, period. We have the various news channels and placards stating, “don’t dictate us what to wear; tell your boys not to rape,” or “don’t curtail our freedom, we too have the right in our own land,” as the country reels under the shock wave of one gang rape after another. Alas, we are not living in a Utopian land.
I just would like to say that my son and his ilk will not commit this heinous crime, not because I told him not to but more so for varied other reasons.
The reasons being, he belongs to a family that has never resorted to a sex determination test when his mother was pregnant. He belongs to a family that appreciates and adores a girl child as much as it does a male child. He belongs to a family where the mother is equally respected and appreciated by her husband and others in the family and not witnessed any kind of domestic violence. He also belongs to a family where women are as much educated as the male members are. He belongs to a family that does not in any way give an exalted opinion about his manhood that he feels that he is superior to the other gender. He also belongs to a family that teaches by precept that compassion, consideration and respect are all needed to live a good life.
Having said all the above and more, I am forced to curtail my daughter’s freedom as far as her clothes and her venturing out are concerned, for I would be afraid to trust her out in a land where the fast track court takes eight months and still does not come out with suitable punishment. I would not trust her in the land where juvenile gets away with the vilest of crimes and people are educated enough to take advantage of the same despite their illiteracy!
They know that a juvenile even if he is convicted can serve a maximum of three years that too in a reform home. I would surely warn her that we never know what attracts the baser instinct of a depraved man. I would be forced to keep a tab on my daughter particularly when she is out with her young friends late in the evening not because I don’t trust her but I don’t trust the world she lives in. I would worry if she needs to stay late at office and expect someone to drop her to her house just to be on safe side.
Even though I may be accused of being unfair to my daughter, I have no recourse so long as some men in my country believe that it is macho to resort to violence. Crime prevention happens if not for conscience, for the fear of law and its long arm. So long as my countrymen know that law can be twisted to suit their purpose and that the punishment is not stringent enough to serve as a deterrent, I have no recourse other than to restrict my child because I know that the authorities are not going to hear my brethrens’ voice, leave alone my own.
Rape is such a grimy word. It is sad that the perverted mentality of some men make them perform this odious act. While the nation is seething on behalf of the poor brave girl (s) we have more rapes reported from different parts of India. It goes on to prove that the law of our nation with ‘sieve like’ loopholes is not respected leave alone feared and nothing is going to prevent them from doing the same. In a land where a woman cop can be gang raped, where do I tell my girl to go for protection?
Because of the above, I am forced to protect my child and all the young women of my nation. I want to tell them that in this big bad country, it is better to be safe than sorry. Maybe, I am propagating cowardice, but my heart bleeds for the poor girls who are fighting either a losing battle or fighting for their lives for no fault of theirs. It pains me to see two grownups fighting like a pair of 3-year-olds by saying, “Look at your own state’s rape statistics before you point fingers at our state’s rape statistics,” and that too on the national TV and that too by a women representative. Hello, are we really talking about breathing, feeling individuals?
It is indeed sad that the only land in the world that reveres Goddess blames the same gender for the heinous acts purported on them. This is the only land which calls itself Mother India but it is also a place where the victim is further victimised for becoming a victim by her own actions or lack of it like the clothes she wears, the time she returns or the company she keeps!
I do not think if Gandhiji had been alive today he would subscribe to his own belief, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the world blind.” His idea of being a leader is so different from today’s leaders that I am sure that he would be pained by what is happening to the nation he fought hard to achieve freedom for.