Regarding the Mass Molestation at Bangalore & related incidents.
The system is broken.
But you don’t need me to tell you that.
You know it. You’ve experienced it. You’ve seen & experienced things that you shouldn’t have.
When the Home Minister of a state says, nay, declares with impunity that “Such Incidents do happen” and then an SP MLA, then comes in with his own BS opinion, and then men on twitter respond with #Notallmen, you know the system is broken. It is not long ago that Mulayam Singh Yadav, the patriarch of the Samjiwadi Party said that “boys will be boys”.
I don’t need to point to more examples. You know it. Insensitive and undignified comment after comment.
But back to the issue at hand.
You have in all probability experienced it. Or if you’re a boy, you’ve (most probably) seen it. It might have been your mother, your sister or a friend. You’ve seen how Women are treated in a public place.
I wouldn’t say that things haven’t improved.It definitely has. Women are given and afforded freedoms that they weren’t given even 25 years ago. But that is not enough. Thre Nirabhaya Protests of 2012 resulted in an amendment in Criminal Law that was years past necessary. But that’s not enough.
To be a modern and developed country, to give justice and equality to all sections of society, that isn’t enough. That is never enough.
The Republic of India has not given its due to the female gender. We have failed in ensuring to our female citizens the states basic function: of providing the freedoms they are guaranteed. Forget that, we have ensured that our Police and Judicial system is apathetic to the victims of these crimes.
Our society, is patriarchal and conservative in its very nature. The response of the political class- that of shifting blame to the women, and that of men – that of shifting blame to a minority of men, exemplify its very nature.
Being Apathetic, being a mute spectator to such an act is as big an offense as the actual one.
Back to the issue:
All these incidents follow a similar pattern now, doesn’t it?
An incident that is extremely shameful & undignified occurs, All of us collectively outrage, some idiotic politician make insensitive comments, we outrage over that, some protests happen- here there, We discuss this for one or two more weeks, then the next thing takes over the media circus & kills any further discussion.
This HAS to change. We have to change this. Don’t abandon hope saying that Society can’t be altered. Keep in mind that you too are part of ‘society’.
Teach your children about the Importance of bodily autonomy.
Teach them that mental, physical and verbal abuse is wrong.
Teach them that all Humans have their dignity.
Support your local Women’s self help groups.
Support Women’s advocacy groups.
AND DON’T STAY SILENT. SILENCE IS THE FIRST STEP TO ACCEPTANCE.
NEVER NORMALIZE THESE INCIDENTS.
DON’T VOTE FOR POLITICIANS WHO DO.
IF they can’t accept that Men & women have the same rights under law, well, DON’T VOTE FOR THEM.
Never accept sexism & misogyny.If you find people accepting, or making such comments: Name them and Shame them.
NEVER LOSE HOPE. No person is irredeemable. No person is unreformable. NO goal is unachievable.
The system is broken. But We can fix it.
As a person of the male gender, I cannot aspire to understand all the pressures and experiences that women experience as a result of misogyny, sexism & victim-shaming. I can only aspire to empathize with it. This privilege that I have – of being a male in a patriarchal society must be kept in mind while assessing my opinion here.
धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah
Those who protect Dharma will be protected by it.