The horrific rape-cum-attack on the Delhi girl and her friend happened on the night of December 16. I reached Noida on 17th evening and the next morning, at around 6am I decided to go for a morning walk, as is my wont. It was a cold morning and I was enjoying my brisk walk, lost in my thoughts. It was completely dark as the authorities had wisely decided to switch off the street lights!
Around 6.20am, two persons in a scooter gestured me to stop. Thinking they were asking me for directions, I told them to ask someone else and kept walking. They came back again, but I did not stop. I must have gone around 50 meters ahead and this time I saw two scooters with their pillion riders come from the front and corner me. I stopped.
One of the pillion riders from the first scooter got down and started abusing me left and right and kept on threatening me that he will shoot me if I did not hand him all my valuables.
I was wearing one gold ring and a gold chain. Since he was constantly threatening to shoot me if I did not oblige, I decided not to resist and remain calm and quietly handed over the ring and the chain. They quickly fled the scene, leaving me stunned and shocked.
Shocked, because I never thought such a thing could happen to me — a senior IAS officer on a busy road — these things happened to others. I did not mind the loss of gold at all, but felt more sentimental at the loss as these were given to me by my parents.
But more important, I felt utterly violated. That someone can waylay you just like that on a road in a big city and carry out robbery with such brazen impunity, was painful for me to accept.
If this incident made me feel so violated, how would a rape victim be feeling? Since that morning newspapers in Delhi reported in front page the terrible Delhi rape incident, I felt more in empathy with the hapless girl and her friend about what a nightmarish ordeal they must have gone through.
Why do such incidents keep happening frequently? Social depravity, deep-rooted bias and prejudice and the lack of fear of law certainly lead to such heinous acts. I also feel that as a nation, we are fast losing our spiritual moorings.
Spiritual moorings essentially deal with an attitude to show respect to human dignity and a concern for the other being. Lack of it leads to a kind of dehumanization which prompts a bunch of men to commit the dastardly acts as in Delhi and act as if nothing has happened. We are becoming more and more brutalised and indifferent and that is why human depravity is manifesting itself through such heinous acts.