Woke up yesterday to the news that one of the leading actresses in Malayalam was kidnapped, molested and was let go after her abductors took her pictures on their mobile. Since then the incident has been very disturbing as well as depressing for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have no personal bias in this – the actress is neither related to me in any way , or is a personal favourite, nor am I a part of any film fraternity - so absolutely no personal vested interests at all.
Why am I then so affected by the news ? Is it because she too is a woman like me , is it because for a moment I put myself in her shoes and could feel what she must have gone through ?
I guess what hit me harder was the fact that if a celebrity like her could be subject to this, what is the security for a common woman ? How safe are we in our own state firstly ; forget the country at large ? I am a middle aged single lady , living in the UAE for the past 12 years, and today one of the main reasons that keep me back from wanting to settle back in Kerala or India for that matter is the safety and security that my state cannot guarantee me . You may disregard my views to be the laments of an NRI far away from my hometown or brand me as a cyber-patriotic deshbhakt but that doesn’t stop me from writing what I feel today. Forget who I am , because it’s not about me !
The logical next question then is “ Why am I then bothered” ? , which is quite natural because haven’t we de-generated to a community that reacts only if the victim happens to be someone in our family or if we see a personal gain in the subject ? What do I get from reacting ? The common answer I often get from people is ,” what difference can people like you or me or even 100 others make in this vast world? “ My answer is always the same, if small drops can make an ocean , why can’t we ? My only advise to all of you out there is to please start reacting against atrocities that happen in front of you. Hats off to Bhavana , who actually had the courage to stand up and fight against her situation. Let’s stand with her and also any other person ( be it Man / woman ) who may be subject to any such violence.
One of the reason the culprits cited was that they did not expect the actress to go public on the same . They were sure that she would fear the shame associated with it. Aren’t we as a society responsible for such a dangerous presumption? Everyone remembers the rape victim’s name more than the culprit, I still haven’t figured out why . I have often felt that we as a society rape the victim many more times than what she is subject from the culprit with our love for sensationalism. The questions, the coverage are never done with empathy but rather we don’t forget to add on juicy bits / rumours to the same. Even today there were small nuances towards the involvement of a reputed actor because of personal grudge etc. All these divert us from the actual issue that is at question, which is the safety of a woman which has been violated.
I am amazed at the cheek of people and that too responsible ministers who say this is a one –off case . More than the issue they are bothered to reinforce the message that these kind of crime instances have considerably gone down during Our Govt tenure ( do they forget whose Govt. it is ! ) The ruling party or the Opposing party are of course ready to react in the latter manner and fling dirt at each other. Rather how ideal would it be if they joined hands together and put their whole efforts to make a fool proof Taskforce who is empowered to bring the culprits to light at the earliest. How secure would we feel then ?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not inclined to any political parties – I still don’t understand them or their ideologies which change every 5 years, I am not against the Human Rights or the Police or the Media.
I am just a lay man ,a commoner , who still believes that we can make a difference if we wish . Where are our moral values which we used to hold high? Let go of the voyeuristic approach on moral policing which has become common these days ; where is this moral policing in instilling moral values within our family? How many of us actually try to instill these values in our kids / in our fraternity/ society we live in ?
Our memories are limited, so are our reactions, so also the length of our patience. We have a tendency to sensationalize everything rather than rationalize . The first 3 days , newspapers, media will be flooded with the news . On the 4th day , they get something new and then everyone runs behind that leaving the first issue because it has lost its glamour now. Jyoti Singh / Sowmya / Jisha are all names familiar to us . We lighted candles, we expressed our solidarity, we debated , we cried along with their parents , what happened then ? We moved on…. to a newer cause… something more sensational and new…. Do we have a closure ever ?? ?
It gives a little solace to note that the Police have taken their maximum efforts(as they declare) to find the culprits though the main ones are still on spree. And once they do find them, what next ?? We will soon find them out on the street within a short-span of years ( let out of jail because of good conduct) or they would be defended in the Court of Law by highly reputed advocates flying in from several parts of the country or the last but least, we may have missed out that the poor culprit may have a handicap which was unnoticed by everyone except by some of our extremely loving Human rights people ( whose rights ?!? ) My take on such culprits , nothing less than Capital punishment or an death by encounter. Yes, you may term me an extremist , but I don’t see any other punishment which fits these kind of criminals, who wouldn’t doubt to repeat it a second time. When one of the Khans said that his wife raised concern about intolerance in India, how fast we were to react on it and sham them all over the media. How different is our current situation today? Are we too tolerant on atrocities / crimes against women ? How I wish our laws would change to this effect sometime soon !!
Wishful thinking – isn’t it ?
How many more years are we going to remain as the same old spineless reaction-less zombies? I remember a movie of TV Chandran, “ Kathavasheshan” .The protagonist in the movie played by Dilip, commits suicide out of the shame of being alive in a merciless society . The movie touched me then as well, and today that is exactly how I feel- Shame of being alive in a society that is purely superficial and selfish and doing nothing about it. In shame of being alive…..