Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chuck the Politics, Be the Change

I was returning home from school by bus when my eyes caught the news line that was being run on the BEST TV: "gang-rape victim dies in Singapore”. . .
I felt a lump in my throat. My body felt a little tight. I was angry and shocked. I was so full of rage as I read the news item that I even began to plan methods of torture for those men who raped the girl. But then I wondered if it would really help. The crime has been done. The girl has died. And girls will continue to suffer if things continue to be the way they are. 

Today when the gang rape victim died, it wasn't just she who died. A part of India's humanity died. A part of all women of the country who constantly live in fear of suffering the same fate, died. A part of India died. And it is not about the death of one gang rape victim. It's much bigger than that. It's always been bigger than that. It's about those thousands of Indian women who have suffered sexual assault. It's about all those girls who have been killed before they even came into this world. It's about all those girls who have been prevented from going to school by their parents, who have suffered discrimination in society and in the workplace. It's about the harsh reality of the loss of values and the rise of sexism in Indian society. It is indeed shocking that such things are happening in the land of saints like caber and Nanak, in a place where we worship goddesses like saraswati Durga and Kali. 

Reading what various politicians said on the news line, my rage only augmented. All they have done is offer condolences and assurances. It does not help anyone. The crime has already been committed and such crimes will continue unless they bring about change. However, offering false assurances seems to be  the only thing these politicians can do. We have been seeing this for so many years. And we must learn now.

So the question arises, what is the solution? Stop blaming the politicians. They will keep giving condolences and assurances but will never act. It is up to you and me now to take action. Unlike most developed countries in the world, India does not even have rape crisis groups. It is up to us to create them. It is up to the citizens of the country to bring about change: Change, not by rising up against the government or the politicians. Change by participating in peaceful demonstrations such as the one happening in Delhi right now, by doing our bit to teach others to respect women, by trying our best to stop gender discrimination around us, by telling our little sisters to be courageous.
Chuck the Politics, Be the Change.  

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