In the aftermath of the Delhi rape tragedy I see so much anger on social media by dads of daughters and brothers of sisters that sometimes my desk trembles and one day I almost fell of the chair. It’s an indescribable tragedy and my heart goes to the parents and family of Amanat. The perpetrators should be severely punished (emphasis on the word ‘severely’). And that would solve the problem and make India a very safe place for women? I think it will have no effect whatsoever.
Carrying pro-women banners doesn’t do guff. Until we educate ourselves morally (by simply changing our own self) to see the inherent problems in our social norms, which are disrespectful to women (quite frankly, disrespectful to another human being in the broader sense), we will never become a society safe for women and girls like “Amanat” will continue to fall prey to thugs who exist in all echelons of the society:
Few examples I can think of…
1. A girl is caught stealing a wallet on a busy train. The angry “dads of daughters” on the train carry out vigilante justice by beating her up ruthlessly (who by the way is someone’s daughter as well) – often tied to a pole with onlookers passing by. Justice served! Unless the girl is dead, no one is ever prosecuted.
2. You have a maidservant coming to your house twice daily. She does everything from cooking to cleaning. Yet in this day and age she sits on the floor in most households or at best has a separate chair. She is a woman too – a mother, a wife, a sister. Why such disrespect? She cleans your house, your dirty dishes and even your dirty undergarments (almost always the case). Yet the “Book of Medieval Heuristics” says she must not sit at the same level as us.
3. You bought a Rs. 1000 shirt for Rs. 3,500 from a fancy mall and as soon as you walk out, you see a woman in dirty clothes with a newborn on an even dirtier rag on the footpath. She is skinny, some spare change is lying beside the baby, the baby is crying and yet she is aimlessly staring at nowhere. We instantaneously presume she is a conniving scammer who does all sorts of drugs and we walk past her without “indulging” her any further.
If you see the point I am trying to make, then know this … change is easy and will come with 100% certainly if you just change yourself in the direction of the cause you believe in.