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Friday, February 13, 2009

If wishes were horses...


When I read about the NOIDA rape case, I was appalled. A little later, I read somewhere that the boys wanted to “celebrate” their victory and also that since they had seen the girl and the boy in an “intimate” position, they felt it was their calling to “protect” the girl from the boy. And the families of the boys didn’t think anything was amiss. After all, the boys were trying to “protect” the girl. It reminds me of the adage: With friends like these, I don’t need any enemies.


Close on the heels of this incident came the Mangalore pub incident. Shocking again. These men were “upholding Indian tradition”. Last heard, tradition was a perennially evolving entity. And even if drinking went against the grain of our Indian culture, I don’t see how beating those women becomes the “right thing to do”. Also, is that our true culture?


There is no way that either of these acts can be condoned. There is no sense in these acts. These guys had no business doing what they did. Shame on them.


I come from a family that didn’t differentiate between sons and daughters. An equal opportunity family you might say. And one that doesn’t believe in double standards. We’re happy to clink glasses together and say “Cheers”. Drinking is not something that is considered a “taboo”. My parents know when I visit a pub. I have no qualms about going there and having a good time. All the same, drinking and pubbing is not considered the be all and end all of our lives. After the Mangalore incident, I was shocked to read the headlines in the paper. Something to the effect of: Today pubs, will they stop us from going to school too? How on earth did they equate one with the other? One is a fundamental right. The other is a leisure activity.


And then, there’s this whole campaign. In my opinion, two wrongs do not make a right. If they do something stupid, we should do something that tells them as much. And then this entire Pub Bharo Andolan. Please, give me a break. We have truckloads of things to worry about. And we pick this. That this entire incident may have been orchestrated by some consortium of pub owners is a thought that crosses my mind very often. In these times of recession, pub owners and managers have told me how bad business has been. So, maybe they arranged this. How else were the cameras ready to film this entire episode? And the media! Are TRPs so important that they chose to film the entire drama rather than help those girls? The media has proven time and again that they are a big bunch of jokers. Now they make this a national issue and here we are. Saying that we should fill the pubs and send underwear to the guy who organized the event is bizarre. If a girl is raped, would you suggest that she rape the same or another guy in return? Would that make things OK? (If you ask me, castrate!)


I am not for one moment suggesting that what happened was justified. There is no denying that they had no business doing what they did. It is wrong and they must be punished. But sending underwear can’t be the punishment. To me, it feels like you’re saying, “I have a dirty mind too.” Which isn’t what I want to say to these idiots. Because that way, I set out do the exact opposite of what I intend to: spur them on. A wrong has been committed. Let’s focus on making sure it never happens again. And while we’re at it, let’s try to not forget our priorities. I’ve worked for 10 years (outside my job) to do my bit so girls can go to school. I will continue to do that. Somehow, I didn’t actively think about girls going to pubs. I hope I never will have to. But I hope never to make a hue and cry either. (How and why college going girls talk about being part of a “pub bharo andolan” in a city where you’re not permitted to drink until you’re 25 beats me.) I only wish Indians came together with such enthusiasm, in such numbers, to ensure the education of the girl child in this country.


While on the one hand, I always say: Never argue with an idiot. They bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.


In this case, this seems more appropriate: Don’t argue with an idiot. People watching may not be able to tell the difference.

11 comments:

pRiyA said...

i am glad to see another post at Random Thoughts.
Well said!

Pretty Woman said...

I wholeheartedly agree! I don't really endorse the 'pink chaddi' movement either despite getting invites from all my friends to join. My perspective...is that I don't see much difference between them and us if we get into it too...its immature and silly!

Revathi said...

I don't know all the pieces that happened, but we have to keep the rights to got to pub just as much as going to school. It is not for anyone but the individual to decide which is a bigger right/privelege.

Raaga said...

@Priya: I hope to be regular.

@Janani: There will be no difference once we stoop to their level.

@Revathi: Like I said, a wrong has been committed. All the same, how a girl in college is so "affected" by it, I fail to understand. She's at least 7 years away from legally entering a pub. And my post is about a wish... I wish people came together to put girls in school in quite the same manner as they have to ensure that a girl gets admission to a pub.

Revathi said...

amen

jayaram said...

A curse on the society. The root cause lies within the family. I will surely blame the parents and their upbringing 4 these inhuman acts. They need 2 be punished without any mercy. But WHO WILL BELL THE CAT? Or rather who has the courage 2 stan up 4 justice?

Ritu said...

Hey...A good post after a long gap. Yes..I agree with almost all of what you've said... I did join the Pink chaddi campaign on FB coz then, seething with anger and unable to DO something substantial made me think that it was right... only principally... I did not send them undies though coz that wud mean stooping to newer levels altogether...

Anyway, the fact is as u rightly said, we need to change our basic mindset in the first place and become voluble and supportive of graver causes such as education of the girl child etc.

Sakshi said...

Wow Raaga your post is such a breath of fresh air...Sitting here in USA I was astonished to read abt all that pink chaddi thing. I felt the same way u did...it just showed hey guys we have a dirty mind too...felt so repulsive..It's like telling them u stop us from going to the pub we will go one step ahead and remove our chaddi for u! Every individual has a right to do what they want and like you said we should be concentrating on education. Hey is it true that these college gals were for the campaign?? Gals concentrate on ur studies and try to stand on ur own legs first and then when you step out into the world you will have a firm shoulder to support your head when its time to deal with the world. Hoping to read more from ur blog...

Rajitha said...

loved reading ur post raaga....yeah..isn't it funny on how people are always drawn on unimportant stuff to focus their energies on...basically they are escapists...they do not want to deal with 'real' problems..so they come up with issues that basically are non-issues!
and agree with you on the correct punishement for rapists...i hope it truly does happen

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pRiyA said...

I am waiting for another Random Thought from you madam.