Duryodhana’s act of looting the very essence of womanhood beckoned the divine to intervene. In spite of the malice, there was a solution in sight. Today, however that may not be the case. A culture that proudly depicted explicit impressions of women and men as mature companions, in the ancient miniature paintings or carvings on historical walls, is in total despair.
We need to step back and look at the society that we are building. Rape is an act that does not need a particular segment or a location to manifest itself, a normal workplace, a day-care centre, a medical space or a living room, can in a moment’s time be shadowed by the dark face of society. The affluent are certainly more insulated from this exposure, but for a girl on the street, the villain could be lurking around the corner.
The landscape of India is regrettably evolving into a very treacherous mixture of “community disorder” which is no doubt every bit democratic, but with a complete flip side. Among the minority are those who are brought up with social values and tools to cope with the changing perception of ourselves in awkward moments. But then there are those who are less fortunate, lack any early moral education or the ability to see things from a responsible point of view. As adults both these types, react differently to a momentary loss of wisdom. While some are more sensitive and adapt well to a situation with good judgement, much cannot be said about the others, who may take it onto themselves, to explore the idea of the victor and the victim. It is sad that many lack judgement to differentiate between desire, action, reality and setting in decay of society through their actions.
Capital punishment will certainly instil fear and bring some relief to this epidemic but I believe the cure is in re-organising how we build our social blocks. The basics which start at home with our brothers, sons, fathers being reminded of the value and respect that women are privy to – the same women who have brought us men into this world.
Clearly the present sentiment in the capital will help us conjure up solutions that will come from within – however as a nation, the one sentiment that flows unanimously is that of setting an example for others by punishing those who turn our freedom and democracy into torture, so that there is psychological deterrent whether in a black glass tinted bus or in a remote village in the interiors of India, there will be fear, just as there is for murder.
(The writer is a well-known fashion designer)