Monday , December 5 2022

Bharat Mata, who?

Published Date: March 2, 2016

What is a rape? Is it anything less than murder since it has the ability to do more than just kill someone? The past few days have witnessed something which we do not want to believe to be true. The rioting in Haryana, the mass gang-rapes in a university’s girl’s hostel and also the repudiated and hushed gang-rapes in Murthal.

When the news was first reported in just a few numbered newspapers, many of us were numbed; after asking a few people and in the absence of sustainable evidence, we set our minds to it being a rumor of the political kind to defame the rioting community. The news reappeared with an article containing the comments and statements of the raped and her family members.

The lack of action on it because a report had not been filed against the crime is nothing except a lame excuse than a legally fit action. There is a dormant unrest. But, the unrest can’t be with the authorities, it is more with all of us who constitute the civil society. When a girl was raped in a moving bus and thrown out half dead, the whole country saw an uproar and forced action to be taken against the culprits.

Here, the rioters are not the only culprits, the ones who asked these women to go back home and stay quiet since “it can’t be undone” are equal party to it. There are a lot of things which can’t be undone; the sloganeering at JNU, what happened with Rohith Vermula, the death of Jawans in line of service, the robberies and murders in the society or Aarushi’s murder; but, action was always taken against all the culprits. Action is taken in order to set example that such thing if done shall be not let go. And, action is taken to bring a sense of order and security to the minds of people that the state worries and cares for them. Then why and how is it that nothing has been done about this particular incident.

This brings one of the two conclusions to mind, one, women are an unsaid gift to the society and they should be left at its disposal to use or misuse; two, the Bharat Mata for who’s honor the state has been fighting is nothing but a gimmick.

The rioting in this country has always witnessed mass raping of women and surprisingly, it is never remembered or acted upon. Is it so because it is something that is considered collateral damage? The state machinery is busy counting monetary and property losses and it is unimportant to count the lost and decapitated minds and spirits of these women. Who is taking accountability for it? Calling the women of the country “behen, beti and mata” in election speeches must be enough then.

This is not an appeal, it’s a question of dignity and honor and of the hypocrisy of the so called protectors of the culture and tradition of this country. The hypocrisy that we witness when groups of men raid parks and party sites on Valentine’s Day in the name of protecting the culture of this country. Where are they now? Nobody files a report when the self-motivated brigades take to the streets.

Will the women continue to be collateral damage in the name of riots, be it Punjab or Gujrat or now Haryana? When women in Punjab and Gujrat were attacked, the rest of the country was silent and the state was busy focusing on perhaps things of larger importance like religion and god knows what. Today, when women in Haryana have been attacked the rest of the country is silently waiting for it to happen again. We continue to do the same and again set an example that women are a gift for the society to be at its disposal. They can be done away with in whatever way is deemed fit and nobody will come back to ask a question, let alone taking action.

There is then no need for the government to take any steps to make the women of this country believe that they are respected or cared for. Programs like Beti bachao/padhao or the reservation schemes or the schemes on monetary aid from the state are nothing but utter failures at a make believe. It is time the women of this country should come to terms with the reality of being a nobody and worth nothing.

We should keep ourselves happy and content with the kind of attention we get when movies like Bandit Queen and Neerja are released and when a girl is kidnapped, aw with mouths open and chit chat about how unsafe the country is becoming for women and then forget about it as the news disappears too.