Delhi – The Unsafe Capital

Few stray thoughts, some point of views…and a slice of realism.

Meer Taqi Meer has said:

“Kya bood-o-bash pucho ho poorab ke sakinon,

hum ko haqeer janke huns huns pukar ke.

Dehli jo ek shaher tha alam men intakhab,

hum rahene wale hain usee ujre dayar ke.”

It is a dismal evening. As I’m writing this article thousands of demonstrators are clogging around the India Gate to express their anger, frustration and despair. A 23 – year old college girl was raped yesterday in a moving bus by six men. They savagely beat her and her companion with iron rods as the bus passed through several police check points on its excursion trip around the city. At the moment the victim is lying in critical condition in the hospital with fatal injuries. She is battling for life.

A lot of crocodile tears are shed by politicians of different hues and they have already made their feelings known in louder tones. The cameos of sympathy will be there on exhibition for some more time and then we will go for next headlines. Sonia Gandhiji visited the victim and wrote a letter to Chief Minister Mrs. Sheila Dikshit. It says: “It is a matter of shame that these incidents recur with painful regularity and that our daughters, sisters and mothers are unsafe in our capital city.”

I feel that this horrific incident should become a turning point in country’s history and  a clear message should go to authorities that society would no longer tolerate their sloth and inaction. They must answer as to why the bus remained unnoticed on the streets of Delhi for so long? Why the authorities have failed, time and again, to give protection to the ordinary citizen?

However, blaming authorities would not suffice. We  as members of civilized society  must do introspection – are we fulfilling our responsibilities as we ought to do? For about one hour two  human beings, you and me, were lying naked, shivering and bleeding, seething in pain at the road side while both male and female members of civilized society passed by  indifferently, didn’t help…. even failed to throw a sheet of cloth upon them. WE collectively failed. Shame on us! Today we have no right to make the photo-tamsha  protest for what has happened.  The rapists were not human beings, not animals but beasts – the worst and cursed creation upon earth. No amount of punishment would heal the wounds. The society of animals would have done better than us in such a situation.

Sometimes back a website ‘Good Men Project’ put up a post by writer Alyssa Royce titled ‘Nice Guys Commit Rape Too.’ The editor of website published the first hand account of an admitted rapist who really enjoyed the life of a reprobate. The project classified rapes as Date Rapes, Acquaintance Rapes and Predators Rape. The first two rapes were defined as situations where the perpetrators knew the victims and often ran in the same social circles. Rape was incidental. The criminals defend their acts in courts and society as sort of mistakes and blunders by a nice guy who was in a wrong place at a wrong time. They try to gloss over their pitfalls and often society believes in them.

In the Indian context, it could be argued that we are trying to imitate and emulate the western culture without proper safeguards against the flip side of that society. It took them centuries to empower women.  The fair sex there possesses the necessary attributes to face the challenges of the developing scenarios. In India, we are still fighting the old ethos, prejudices and traditions. For our male society the company of women is desirable as long as the name and prestige of family is not at stake. Women are also ambitious and they are in a rush to bridge the gaps of ages. Today, we are slowly but surely turning into a promiscuous society. Our women enjoy more freedom than ever before. They are free to pursue their intellectual and instinctual ambitions as it helps them to share the new-found prosperity and liberties with their families. Men folk look the other way as they also want peace of mind and a fat purse. Some compromises are acceptable as long as their standard of life gets a pep and pop. But there is a dark side of the story also. You can’t have your cake and eat it also. To achieve their goals our Women folk have to go out and face the predators who are ready at large to pounce upon them. These predators come in different garbs, hues and from different segments of society. Some of them are very powerful, tactful, talented intellectuals, experts and some are desperate destitute. Some of them also carry few grudges against society that make them psychos.

We appreciate that Women are equal partners of our new society. They often tower over man in mental and material achievements. Let the men-folk realize that marriage, motherhood and rearing kids are desirable virtues and milestones even today but they are just OPTIONS for womanbeing in contemporary India. This may or may not be the flip side in every situation.

The society had never reacted the way it should have when the innocent females were raped in Gujarat and elsewhere. Video films were made and circulated. Today  we are glorifying the very individuals who failed to protect those innocents in those horrific situations. We remained heartless, unmerciful, unrepentant and apathetic in the least. The politicians connived with the criminals. In the present day India any criminal who can win an election is nominated by any political party and we condone meekly to their choices.  We get what we deserve; we reap what we sow. Our own deeds are coming home to roost.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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