Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Can't Stay Mum

Everyone is talking. Yes. Everyone. On facebook. On twitter. On TV news channels. On other mediums I do not care to surf. Something so repugnant has happened in city that our collective conscience has been shaken and invoked. There are cries of 'hang them' echoing across from some sectors. There is the customary government bashing which has begun. There are 'statements' from political leaders which are being circulated with a mock grin. There are silences which are being criticized. The world around me has plunged into rage and fury so deep that it has begun to asphyxiate me. Till a moment ago, I wanted to stay mum, and cut myself off, and hide from all this brouhaha. But how is that even possible when a woman my age, with bright possibilities, is battling for her life after suffering a deplorable and painful incident, one which is likely to alter the way she lives her entire life? I am pained, but what is my pain in comparison to that woman's, whose life is now the matter of public debate, of national shame?

A fresh chill of fear runs down my spine each time I think of the incident. Only a few days back I was thinking of rebelling against the evening curfews imposed on me, so that I could fall in love with the night-life of my city - one which I dearly love and pride upon. However, even my logical arguments now will have just one answer - I would be condescendingly reminded of the Munirka victim, and there closes my case, my attempt to be liberated from one among numerous restrictions. Honestly, I am not even sure if I want that bit of freedom now. What if its me the next time? What if its my sister, my friend? That's how we understand the magnitude of an event - by placing ourselves in it. The shudder comes again. And lasts a little longer.

Rape is an act of a diseased mind. It has little to do with sexual appetite, and is more of an expression of a violent streak, of a male ego needing that sick satiety of domination. That girl is a medical intern, who found just some time for entertainment. Medical students have a hectic life; a life they willingly devote to the cause of others. Little did she know that a hospital is what she would be immediately rushed back to, only now in a different role. And oh, not immediately. After suffering 45 minutes of excruciating pain, humiliation and violence. 45 long minutes. Her boyfriend, who came to her aid was brutally beaten and discarded along with her, reminding me of how hard is it in our society to stand up for something right. Shushed, maimed or murdered - people who dare to right a wrong meet similar fates. In that moving bus was being played the theatre of a severely rotten, barbaric psyche, while the city around continued to put up its fa├žade of civilization.

Its immaterial what the CM of Delhi, or the Chairperson of NCW say on this incident. It is not their daughter who has suffered this humiliation. I, on my part, have no interest in determining the merits of capital punishment contextualized to such cases. I am more interested in knowing what is the psychology which makes man a predator on fellow human being. The humiliation of the Guwahati victim is fresh in my mind; and I cannot even begin to imagine the agony of that girl who had been repeatedly raped for several days by students of Jamia Law faculty. These are one-off examples. Unfortunately, there are an infinite number of cases which never even surface, which go unreported. It has been testified in many researches that many women have their first tryst with sexual violence at home. In most cases of molestation, the perpetrators are known to the victim, are her kins. This unleashing of sexual prowess has even come to be accepted as a matter of fact. Yes, ours is a patriarchal society, ascribing to the worst definition of the concept. The male world conveniently ignores the identity of the female world. Till there, albeit is should not be, it may be acceptable, but this male world also feeds off and preys upon its females - now draw lines somewhere, will you?

There are many parents with bright daughters who will sit down with them, tell them to be back home early, to be safe, to keep themselves, covered, to not travel alone, and who will also perhaps buy them a pepper spray. However, I do not know if there are any parents out there who will also sit down with their sons, and talk about this incident, about consensual sex, about respecting their female counterparts. How much can the authorities do when out entire value system is corrupt and ridden with worst kind of sexual politics? In this very world, coexisting with us are fathers who abuse their daughters (sons too), brothers who abuse their sisters and mothers who helplessly watch. The role played by women in this sexual politics is abhorrent as well - for it is them who meekly accept their status as the inferior, second sex, who do not fight for respect. In my little journey of life, I have been reminded of my weaker stature in the society more often by women I came across than men.

She, and I am glad her name is not being juggled around by the media, I am sure, was a girl with bright possibilities. earnestly hope and pray she recuperates well and soon, and comes out a winner a in life. Yes, I know it is too much to expect, but I still hope she turns those possibilities into opportunities and becomes a daughter whom her parents are proud of. The word 'daughter' reminds me of a small incident. A friend's mother was ecstatic when she delivered her, when she was blessed with her first daughter. Beaming, she went to share this news with the principal of the school where she worked. Matter-of-factly, the Principal responded - "Koi baat nahi, agli baari ladka ho jayega." Where in the world are we going wrong?!

To hell with all of you. Women are grand. Daughters are glorious.

A portrait by - Priyanka Tampi

39 comments:

  1. omg! Khatarnaak tareeke se likha hai tumne toh!
    Fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i can very well understand your agony saumya - am also worried - because i too have daughters - and have daughters only - and they too have 2 daughters each -am worried abt my granddaughters,wat type of sick society we r leaving to them .worried of wat may happen wen going to school in bus. sincerly me too agonised.very well xpressed yr feelings .which am sure other indian girls /women will be having.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Subodh Uncle. It is only natural that we be worried sick about our daughters and sisters and even mothers. I mean, does the sick sadistic psyche ever constrain itself by age or situations. I am safe today, but who knows about tomorrow. I do not want to be confined to my house in the name of safety. I want to be out and enjoying the world - without the world coming in my way!

      Delete
  2. Yesterday, i was searching on my time line that where is saumya di...why she is silent today being dehliate girl.. And at mid night you emit all outrage the emotions and agonies via this blog.. I must say its the not voice of saumya but its a voice of common girl in delhi..~(contd)

    ReplyDelete
  3. So from the shame incidence i felt dismaying, many bolywood people media people all had raise the voice that means people are really having concern with this lame event. And yeah i would like to adivse you that you are my twitter friend but now you are like sister to me so you please be meticulous now in delhi..dont go any where alone specially in bus..and use the technology at best. (Cont.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now what to do with those bastered and stupid men according to me even if that girl will survice she will live as a dead body so for this kind of henious crime, the same thing should be done with them castration is the best remedy for them so this will set a example to the idiots and people will take a lesson from this. Shun them tourture them ostraczie them... I know its very cruel but one has to do this only. (Contd.)

      Delete
    2. Now comes to the last part of my comment, legally deifinition of RAPE has to be amended now according to me now EVETEASING SHOULD ALSO BE INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION OF RAPE. Thats it didi.. And i'll share this blog with my pals for sure.. Hope you wont mind with this..

      Thanks di!
      anant jain !

      Delete
    3. Thanks Anant. I am thankful to you for sharing your genuine outpour here. I went through the revised guidelines for rape law. The one which exists is antiquated. It is a colonial law, and very confined - not at all potent to act as a deterrent against raging libido. Thank you so much for your concern. I hope that Delhi doesn't make me a victim of its wicked, sadistic side.

      Delete
  4. People say that those are demanding blood for blood in this case are showing that they are no better than the criminals. I disagree.
    The full physical details of what the injuries are have come out - rape is only a part of the mind numbing torture they made her endure... the brutality of what they did after that is worse than even what is seen in horror films. They've damaged not just her privates, but her intestines and more.

    People want to say I'm like them because I want to see these people lynched by a mob, castrated and left to die on the streets - so be it. I will gladly accept that blame. As long as it makes atleast one ch%%%%ya think twice before he decides to have his way with an innocent girl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have staunchly stood against capital punishment Roshan, and I will do that now too. But not because the humanitarian side to me is hyperactive, but because capital punishment seems so less! I second you, castration. Chemical castration is what I will suggest. Let, for once, the stigma belong to the perpetrators and not to the victims. I have gone on record saying this - I am ashamed and angry. Scared too.

      Her intestines are damages Roshan. I cannot even begin to imagine what those devils did to the poor girl. I don't want to be there, it is still sending shivers down my spine.

      Delete
    2. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/delhi-gangrape-doctors-remove-victims-intestines-say-she-is-still-critical/311336-3-244.html

      What intestines, Saumya... they have also been removed. You all are asking for people to pray for her to live... believe me when I say this with the experience of looking after thousands of ICU patients... pray for her to pass away peacefully. There is no life from here on for her...

      And for the idiots in Parliament who tell each other to make strict laws but none are ready to actually do anything - there is nothing to say. If strict laws were made when a mob assaulted the girl in Assam, the teens in Mangalore, the 20 odd women in Haryana last month... if laws were made then, today this girl may have never been approached.

      Delete
    3. Now that you say it Roshan, I see more sense in what you say than my overtly optimistic visions. I do not know what to say or to hope or to wish. Its bleak. And I live in this city. I have been a victim of eve-teasing more than once, but never told my parents because they would have restricted my movement. I don't know what is worse - being protected unto suffocating extent, or being free and facing such hideous predators.

      Delete
  5. Tthe thing that irks me the most, is questions like when a rape happens, the so-called highly educated journalists from the media seem to want to spend more time analyzing the victim rather than the case or the perp. It's the same mentality that shows up, amplified in the Khap panchayats etc.; talking about the trend of movies and item songs, "Indian Culture" and over-casual new generation and blah blah

    Who cares whether the woman is a student or a mother? Who cares what she does for a living? Who cares whether she has a boyfriend and goes out for a drink now and again? Who cares which class she is from? Is it not enough that she was a victim of rape on our land? What more matters? Something is seriously going wrong! Why is it that in west live men and women; whereas in our land there live MEN and WOMEN.!!
    Urrgghhhh

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes. We've all been there, haven't we? Inappropriately dressed. Inebriated state. Questionable morals. In male company. Out at night. A girl always invites cheap attention, isn't it? Its a sick mindset, and this very thing is what needs to be uprooted. It will take ages, I know, but it is at the end of the day our own society which gives birth to these convoluted mindsets. Having fun by making another suffer - may they not find a place to rest in hell.
      Ugh.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I feel there is something crawling under my skin. I am apalled and shaken. Completely in agreement with you Saumya, rape is violent, it is brutal and depraved. There is nothing sexual rape. It is NOT an act motivated by sexual desire. It is an act of violence,domination and humiliation.
    Good writing. keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *nothing sexual about

      Delete
    2. Yes Nayema di. Writing is better than going out on my terrace and shouting at the world. We're all in this. Men, women alike. How have we come to this level? The accused broke down in court and wanted to be given death punishment. As of now, political leaders are gaining mileage - wait and watch how human rights watchdogs come out and gain mileage at the cost of an innocent girl. The girl. Damn. Each time i think of her, my insides start shivering.

      Delete
  8. Well Written, quite touching and dealing with the core. have been reading all kinds of stuff related to the topic for last 2-3 days, gone through at least 60-70 articles and was planning to write one, but while reading this, for the first time in life, felt ashamed on one's manhood and have abandoned the plan to write one.I am unable to figure out, what makes some one to loose all of his moral values and develop the kind of animal instincts like what has been showcased. All the most valuable people in my life (may be my mother, sis or friends ) are women, and can't even imagine any kind of hurt to them and am feeling quite insecure and fearsome for them. Don't know what to think or what to do in this kind of environment !!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not know what touched you in this article, but I will tell you, that the writer of this piece is one who has seen instances of assault at very close quarters. We are very lucky that our parents treat us like a princess, but there are other daughters out there who languish in anonymity and ignominy, who are told daily that they are unwanted, that they are a burden. When a guy stares at you - you are responsible. The guy has a libido he needs to satiate, woh bechara kya karega.
      Its our value system Abhishek. Corrupt.

      Delete
  9. I do have the feeling but not the exact words to reply to this strongly-worded post. I can understand your pain, your anguish and can very well empathize with the state of mind you are in. And I hope the judiciary does something to help ease the pain the victim is in, and along with her the pain and fear the society has to live in, everyday. I hope words are met with action, that promises don't lie flat, that better sense prevails, and hopefully humans become more humane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Aaqib. I am praying for that girl. I am praying for our society. I am praying for the men who do this, for the women who go through this, and for the bystanders who allow this to happen. May God infuse some sense into this mad world.
      This still doesnt make sense. She should not have gone through all that.

      Delete
  10. Damn well written...glad to see so much rage and fury all around but just praying this again doesn't slip out of public memori in a few days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kirithigaa, is that really you? I am so happy to notice you still drop by at my blog. And this piece is personal. Extremely. I hope you stay safe, and so does each woman of my city, country and the world. Each human, for that matter.

      Delete
  11. I like your write-up a lot. Largely because it steps aside from the ongoing farce discussions on punishment and talks about the root causes at play.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is because it is personal Twish bhaiya. All these emotions had been festering for so long, and they merely needed a cue to spill out. Thanks for leaving these two lines here - they encourage me to continue writing constructively.

      Delete
  12. I feel really sad, all this happening is not human, life at large has a greater and much more noble purpose, but we the people hitherto have failed to understand that.
    I draw my inspiration from you, and be the change I wish others to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that Narayan Bhatia?

      Irrespective, thank you Narayan. I agree with your statement, and I staunchly believe in the nobility and purposiveness of human existence, but somewhere, as ages progressed, humans imbibed this very convoluted sense of development, progress and satiety. Live, but not at the cost of others - that is rather simple to understand, is it not?

      Delete
    2. Oh, nice to hear from you Narayan. Nice to know you drop by and read this space.

      Delete
  13. Courtesy my friend manan
    We're shocked with the whole Delhi Episode? It is so sad.. This should not happen to women.. Men are ass holes... Why should I wear a proper attire? Why don't you teach yourself some sanity?? BLAH BLAH BLAH!

    IN OTHER NEWS.. (happened in Past 2-3 days)
    8-year-old girl gangraped, killed in Saharsa. 14-year-old girl raped by brother, his friend for over two years - Kerela. Teenage girl arrested for setting classmate on fire - Madhya Pradesh. Kolkata students release teachers from captivity after holding them hostage for over 21 hours. All rape cases aren’t reported, police admit. A married man abducted and raped a 14-year-old girl girl in Yamunanagar district. Woman kills, chops her husband's body into 11 pieces - Mumbai. A recent study of ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) reveals in India, one rape every 40 mins. In past 45 days there have been 300 rape cases & 700 murders register in Uttar pradesh.

    Lets give all the media attention to this thing for the next 10 days.. Lets talk about it everywhere.. And lets just focus on the Delhi Rape and give example of the same.. Lets bring in Rape laws & tinted glasses laws.. Rant about it on Twitter & Facebook for few days (including me) and just forget about it.. This will never be a continuous process.. STILL IT WILL HAPPEN..

    My colleagues and friends are telling me since yesterday.. Why don't you do something about it on air?? What are we going to do - Give CLASSES for self defence to females, take psychiatrists/celebrities/authorities speaking about it, zyada se zyada file for a petition ?

    GOOGLE "TV journalist arrested in ‘homestay’ attack case" - Bad things happen to Good people - Good things happen to Bad people - worst case scenario - not so bad things happen to bad people. The people who have tried to do something good for the society in a peaceful manner are always killed - Gandhi, Lincoln, Lenon etc. Evils in the society are NEVER assassinated.. Did anyone have balls to assassinate Kasab, Murderers, Rapists, Politicians of our country during their hearings in the court for the things they are accused of?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers to your friend Anant. People say, how will talking about it help? Well, it will. Spreading this outrage will help. This outrage needs to catch up, it needs to be contagious. This movement started today should not rest till appropriate results are achieved. Its our voice which will sustain this movement.

      Delete
  14. Yes - The whole episode is a GANGRAPE. Rape by the whole country. Including you & me. Not just the system. Not just Ram Singh and his fellow chu#$&*s.. Its all of us. I have something to say about the same.
    ings can do anything. Rape, Cannibalism, Necrophilia, Genocide, Terrorism are extreme forms of human behavior. Internet, Android phones, entertainment can not take away the fact that we are BEASTS. Just proving the point further when we think of EXTREME punishments (worse than capital punishments) for the rapists makes us no less.

    NOW. Coming to the point I want to focus on. PARENTING!
    This could just minimize the whole thing.. Tell you how..
    When I meet my teachers today who have taught me the important lessons of life directly or indirectly.. THEY CRY. Tears fill my eyes when I see them crying right in front of me when they share their experience of this generation. TEACHERS ARE NOT AT ALL RESPECTED these days. Teachers are just PROFESSIONALS for this generation. Teachers can't even make the students stand outside the class as a punishment, Students abusing teachers in their faces is very common these days, Two Kids have a fight, Principal calls the parents, Parents fight each other for telling the other kid not to provoke their kid instead of scolding their own kid. Parents - Beat your f@#$in kids if they don't behave. Scare them, Threaten them. Be possessive. Don't try to be cool - Don't try to be smart working parents - Give them time.. Not mobile phones & Xbox. Every single VIDEO GAME is violence based today - ANGRY BIRDS. It is all about the upbringing. The seed is parenting. If the educated feels the necessity then only the uneducated will understand and behave. We're going back to Barbaric times. 21st DEC seems to be the beginning of the end to me.. Oh wait! Dabangg 2 is there to save us and bring our lives back on track and forget about the whole episode. Media please start creating Box office stories and forget RAPE. Mental Rape is acceptable through bollywood movies. And I m not joking
    Human being

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A point well made. You spend a lot of time around on my blog, don't you? Well, its nice to know. Nicer is the fact that when I take up issue, you actually give it thought and time and share with me your views. It is immensely elevating. I know whenever I write, you, at least, will read.

      Delete
  15. SPEECHLESS!!!
    I don't say it's wonderful... Truth is always bitter...

    Khuda to milta hai, Insaan hi nahin milta,
    Yeh cheez woh hai jo dekhi kahin kahin meine...

    Sabaq Phir Parh Sadaqat Ka, Adalat Ka, Shujaat Ka
    Liya Jaye Ga Tujh Se Kaam Dunya Ki Imamat Ka
    (Read again the lesson of truth, of justice and valour!
    You will be asked to do the work of taking on responsibility for the world.)

    Yes we guys need to learn again everything...

    Cha Bayad Mard Ra Tabaa-E-Bulanday, Mashrab-E-Naabay
    Dil-E-Garmee, Nigah-E-Pak Beenay, Jaan-E-Betabay
    (What else does man need but a lofty spirit and pure character,
    A warm heart, a pure‐sighted eye and a restless soul?)

    SHAME!!!WE ARE PERVERTS AND JERKS!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do not have to be hard on yourself. You are a wonderful person, as are most of my male acquaintances. Its just a few perverts who bring shame upon an entire community. And these perverts need to be brought to book.

      Delete
  16. After all the hue and cry the city was engulfed in since this incident, there has still been 2 more casez reported in thecity itself...every time i think abt the girl i imGine her wondering in her every waking second what she did to deserve this. Rape is no less than muder, it is a brutal butchring of a woman's pride,dreams, hopes, modesty and basic human rights. So if amedning the law is the only solution, then even the possibility of being awarded death sentence would have acted as a detterent to the accused in the recent 2 cases. This is a more deep rooted problem and has to be addressed as several levels- legal societal cultural... It took hundreds of rape cases to awKen the country from its delusionL peaceful slumber, i pray and hope it doesnt take another hundred for the govt to open its eyes to the pitieable and pathetic state of women in the country..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly enough, I can only feel that only negative prophecies will come true in this case. Many incidents are being reported each day, and it is the civil society itself which will have to cleanse itself. For now, my heart goes out to those daughters and sisters who have no peace at home, for whom being abused is a daily chore.

      Delete