Let’s wake up before it’s too late
India and the world watched the young man on television as he spoke about the terrible experience he and his friend – the 23-year-old girl – went through. As he bore testimony as to how his young friend’s life was shattered to pieces, the torture inflicted on his mind was evident. The young man did put up a brave fight. But now, we, as Indians, too need to learn from this episode and get conscientious citizens of society. While we may continue to blame the system, or the lack of it, we must remember that, as a people, we too are equally responsible. Let’s look within ourselves, and we will realise that we have overseen or tried to behave indifferently to some cruelty or the other taking place around us. This is not just about the young woman who was attacked, it’s about basic humanity or the lack of it on our parts.
—Priyanka Dube, Nerul
Interview not in good taste
I wonder whether it was necessary to show the interview of the young man who is the ‘only witness’ to the gruesome murder of the young woman in Delhi. Surely, like the young man said, the blame has to be squarely attributed to various factors. But, if we want the rapists hanged, it was not right to broadcast the interview at the time that it was aired. It also got me thinking about the impact of broadcasting a show where the witness condemns the role of all, except the rapists, in the fate of the victim and moreso, on the day before the rapists go on trial for murder; the only charge to justify demand for death penalty as per our laws applicable in this case. What does it mean to the case if public apathy, police delays and hospital’s lack of caring contributed to the infection that finally killed her? While it is undoubtedly true (along with her last minute Singapore trip), if we want rapists hanged, how useful is it to bring this up after chargesheet is filed and on the evening before the trial begins?
—Vidyut Kale, Mumbai
Change begins from within
If there is one thing we have become experts at, it’s the blame-game. The politicians and the bureaucracy blame the population and the population does vice versa. What we refuse to accept is that our own mentality and lifestyle has to change before anything else. Most of us consider men to be superior to women. It’s not just men but even women nurture this mentality. The difference can be seen in a household itself. Children grow up seeing the woman of the house being treated worse than servants and adopt the same practices later in life. We crib a lot about subjugation of women in public spaces but are silent about the private domain. There are so many households where women have to suffer silently at the hands of their own family or new found family. Most of us may call ourselves educated and modern but when it comes to raising our voices and defending the weak, we put silence to shame. If we want to change this situation let’s start with our own selves, our mentality and the situation in our own house. No doubt a lot of things need to change on a macro level, but for now let us begin with the micro. My own self, my mentality and if possible my family. God willing, the society will follow.
—Anthony Mathew Jacob, Iran
Legalise prostituion, sex toys
India is a truly a land of paradoxes. There’s no kissing in Indian films but rapes happen in every nooks and corners of the country. We pride ourselves on the Ajanta and Ellora and yet blame what is happening on western decadence. Girls are often unsafe in their own homes and their modesty is violated by family members. They are threatened into silence and were she to speak, I’m sure they will put many of their own family members behind bars. The Indian mindset is very anti-girl child,.it is no wonder then that the RSS establishment is making conflicting statements.
To change this mindset, I feel the government has its work cut out. Legalise prostitution, allow screening of blue films as late night shows as is done in Europe, allow the sale of sex toys so that the sex starved citizenry can satisfy their lust and sexual urges. Make rape a non-bailable offence with capital punishment or life imprisonment including for crimes committed by immediate family members of the victim too. This will serve as a strong deterrent.
—Lew Ferreira, Malad
Govt takes undue advantage of voters
The New Year gift that we received from our dear government was the hike in prices of gas, petrol and diesel. The greedy government remembers us whenever they need ‘finance’ and immediately, our great finance minister hikes the prices of any commodity. They’re lucky to have permanent financier i.e, the public – to squeeze by way of taxation and hike in prices. The public or the voters are like bonded workers, any time taxes are imposed or prices hiked, they bear it without any murmur as these commodities become ‘essential’. The government takes undue advantage of this as they know that the public will protest, shout, strike but will pay anyway. The Indian government will never give you comfort, but people will continue to vote for member of parliaments, legislative council and corporators. This vote power can easily be considered the worst thing as it is literally ‘purchased’ from the poor public.
—Gopal D Sant, Pune
Voluntary help a wonderful idea
Apropos of ‘Parents plan to fund school requirements (Jan 5)’, it was good to see that better wisdom has prevailed upon the parents association at Raigad Military school to come out with voluntary help to redress the grievances of the students. This should also serve as a lesson to be imitated by other parent associations in the city, bringing home the fact that charity is better than legal battles when it comes to the interest of their wards.
—P.M.Gopalan, via email