The traumatized souls
Let's pray they rest in peace
Ever since that gruesome Delhi gang rape, this country saw one of the biggest outpouring of public anger and grief. Most of us know the exact reason behind the lack of mass interest in this case today, as the debates and demands for justice in this case seem to have gotten overshadowed by the popular frenzy over cricket, politics and entertainment. Because had it not been so, the blatant abuse of Section 144 by the incompetent authorities in Delhi would’ve continued. Then came the disturbing news about a dozen such incidents around the country and sometime back, tragedy again struck in the heart of Srinagar when another girl fell victim to a grievous acid-attack. As usual, the intellectuals asked questions and public were outraged, until more ‘urgent’ issues blunted public memories. Everyone knows that such crimes are not new to this society and also that nothing has been ever done to prevent them. In fact while typing these words, I can sense a line of monotony in my own words; after all, these words have so often been repeated by most of us that now they seem to have become totally irrelevant!
As always, people across the social divide have their own opinions about how this can be prevented and how justice can be done, etc etc. But nobody, at least no body that I’ve met, has genuinely tried to take the import of the implications of this debate. Any person has his opinion but personal opinions don’t matter until they are backed by the popular swing. Maybe that is what has always been lacking in us – a cause to understand.
Individuals make the society and conditioning makes an individual – one does not have to be a psychologist to know this. And what kind of a conditioning do we receive? What kind of conditioning have our parents received? In our families, schools, colleges and universities, the leadership is expected to remain in the hands of one person. The concept of participative management is alien to most of us. The twisted theory of Victorian education and Victorian definitions of ‘decency’ and ‘mannerism’ have ensured that every single person among us views this world with a limited idea of his/her own ‘morality’ and ‘right approach’. All of us judge any other person on this scale of moral behavior and when somebody acts in a way not inscribed in our mental rule-books, we declare that person an immoral entity! Sometimes, ‘westernization’ is blamed and sometimes ‘the lack of religious/moral training’! In doing all this we forget that we are closing down on the very concept of actual freedom of thought. After all, the earth is elliptical - what is ‘West’ ... is also ‘East’. Why have we always been creating complications in our own search for truth? The only and only thing which matters is that we are born on a planet, free, without chains (which our so-called ‘moralists’ would like to put on us).
Sexuality of any person is the basic mode of expressing his/her self-conscious nature. Life is all about expression. Education means learning the art of human expression for kindling the positive, creative energy among us. And what our society has propagated is the exact negation of all this – something called mindless suppression of thought. Any form of physical or sexual assault is the direct result of suppression which in such cases leads to extreme perversion – the ultimate fallout of male chauvinism. In a rapidly changing society such as ours, the persons with this kind of a conditioning tend to remain in their own idiotic world which their society, family, friends, teachers, planners, artists, movies etc have created for them – a mental world in which male domination is something that is ‘natural’. They tend to ogle at women, verbally or physically abuse them. It happens almost all the time, in families, educational institutions, workplaces, roads, streets etc. Right after political independence, we needed to rebuild our social structure from the very basic foundations. Instead, in a vain effort to ‘catch up’ with the changing world, our society got engaged in plaster-up games. Nothing concrete was ever done and planning for the future was left into the hands of a generation which simply could not understand what was happening. That is why right from 50s up to 90s, our society emerged as a collection of stereotypes, with little or no emphasis on the energies of the youth. Stratified society implied a stratified human resource with absolutely no vision of what it wanted. That is why we do have successful professionals or academic ‘achievers’ everywhere, but genuine human beings with widest universal visions are a rare breed in this country.
Delhi did not care when the unfortunate rape victim was lying in an unspeakably gruesome state in all that cold for a couple of hours and nobody helped. Her boyfriend had to beg before the police and later the hospital officials, before he could get a torn bed sheet to cover up the trembling, bloodied body of that girl, whom he was going to marry next month. No words can ever express the terrible pain of such a horrific brutality, which has so often occurred and keeps on occurring, not because of any ‘westernization’, but because the ‘eastern-ized’ zealots, who seem to belong to the dinosaur age, go on justifying this inhuman tragedy, because they have become used to things which no longer exist. A profusely bleeding system and a monstrously ugly society – this is what this whole Indian subcontinent has ‘achieved’...nothing else. On one hand we, as individuals are always on a look-out for our place in this world, while on the other, we refuse to dispose off our meaningless baggage of slavish mentality, which is dragging us deep down. The result is a terrible conflict, which our institutional failure further aggravates. Moreover, the bundles of information that we have accumulated in our educational institutions has been passed on from generation to generation like some run-down treasure and this has been defined as our ‘education’. What an irony! The way, we or most of us define things like ‘social responsibility’ or ‘effective administration’ is just meaningless because instead of changing our own obstinate, twisted mindsets, we are hell bent on changing this world! If you don’t like the way a young girl moves about in this world, there is a problem. But the problem is not with her attire or her personality, the problem is with your own mind and your own visions. Freedom of any individual, irrespective of sex, is the prime attribute of nature and main malaise is in the way we have been fed with ideas about ‘honor’ and ‘moral’ behavior by our society, which in turn cannot be blamed because of the fact that its very foundations are so rotten that it is actually collapsing against the tides of change.
And actions for poor mortals like us means nothing but prayer and when it comes to prayer, let us reflect the eternal glory of the universal observer. May our actions be our prayer. A prayer for this girl who was ruthlessly killed, and for Asiya and Neelofar Jan of Shopian, for Priyadarshini Matoo and for each single person who is assaulted by criminals.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 30 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST
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