Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Don’t Confuse this as a Battle of Sexes!



Courtesy - Google Images
This time we will not look away and pretend that the malaise never existed. We will not look away or convince ourselves that everything is alright. This sickness within our society is growing.

No more putting up with assaults on our dignity. Our voice will now be heard. We, will shout, demand, protest and not let the nation’s conscience rest in peace.

This is not a battle of sexes. This is a cry for the reclamation of our honour, a cry for girls who have to live and work under fear and humiliation. A clash of attitudes between empathy and apathy, the humane and the inhuman, just and unjust…frustration seeking sense in this madness…the voice of sanity dying to be heard…decency seeking a chance at redemption.

This a cry for a safer India that does not look at rapes as conquests, where the righteous can live with their heads held high.

In a nation of law breakers, the last thing we need is yet another law. Laws rarely serve as deterrent to crimes, especially when you know how easy it is to bypass them.  It’s a pity, when we witness an accident or an assault, our first thought is not for the victim but about the consequences of reporting a crime. Where the complainant has to make endless rounds of the police station and is made to feel like a petty criminal.

For the common man, police is the last resort. For the police the common man’s travails is yet another irksome irritant. But should we let their apathy deter us? Absolutely not!

Of course it’s a messy state of affairs. Things cannot be expected to and will not change overnight. That’s why it’s pertinent that we keep the flames of our candle light vigils burning. Ensure that this movement is not a fad that gets forgotten like yesterday’s stale news.

She fought against formidable odds, let us make sure her death was not in vain. In our small ways, let’s use our circles of influence to change things for the better.  Every effort, every word, every initiative counts.

If 2012 ended on a shameful note, let 2013 be the year where every Indian walked with his/her held high.

A young boy from Guwahati refuses to let "her" memory die. Support him and his cause, please!

http://subhabratadasgupta.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/voices-for-damini-my-humble-initiative/


87 comments:

  1. When so many of the reports of brutal rapes have escaped the attention of us Indians, finally it took a terrible spilling of guts of a innocent girl for waking us up. The worse part of the scenario is, even with so much protests going on demanding safety for women, rapes and crime against women have been continuing as though they are not affected. That is more scary!

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    1. I've heard that the government is considering chemical castration. I sincerely hope they implement it.

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  2. Nothing really much to add to this sad and brutal event which has collectively awakened the nation from slumber!I too wish, Purba that zero tolerance is the way forward besides a radical change in attitudes. Hope the New Year brings a few things to feel better.

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    Replies
    1. The Justice Verma Committee is the first big step towards intended reforms. Hope something positive comes out of it.

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  3. Yes Purba ...you are so right..she was just a scared young girl who battled with life till the very end . While I understand that these movements are well intended ...I really hope people won't forget her humiliation . It just takes a victorious cricket match or an electoral win to shift our energies to some other place .

    While many people are crying hoarse about "Capital punishment","Castration" and "Execution"...I don't see how that is going to bring down the crime rate . Even as the movement gathered momentum , in the last few weeks itself , many rape cases and a couple of acid attack cases were registered .

    Sometimes I feel we are a nation who show solidarity only with facebook shares and tweets .Let us see what the Verma panel comes up with

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    Replies
    1. So far, the committee has received over 6000 mails with suggestions for reforms. I hope they are able to sort the wheat from the chaff.

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  4. History shows that when women's issues come to fore in a society, that signifies one of two things. Either the ruling class changes their ways dramatically or a civil revolution is at society's doorstep. Wonder what's gonna happen here ?

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    1. The sad truth is, rape culture has existed for long and has enjoyed a tacit sanction.

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  5. Unfortunately, we are part of such system which is physically ,mentally handicap...we really have to stand out of it with our will power...otherwise these slaughterers will get another chance.....just don't let this ever happen.
    May her soul rest in peace.

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    Replies
    1. All of us have to resolve to stop putting up with bullshit. Being a spectator to crime is as bad as committing it.

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  6. We have the habit of reducing everything to a gender issue, which makes important issues go haywire. It is good that you have highlighted this and appealed for continued support to the movement. The government must be hoping that the legendary short memories of the people to come to its rescue, but I am sure this time no one is going to oblige. We have to create our own safe haven in our own country. what can be more depressing?

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    Replies
    1. It is a lonely feeling to know, as individuals we have no one but ourselves to rely upon for our safety and well-being.

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  7. Replies
    1. Purbaji, I don't know how much it'd help with just writing bout these things - we got tons of content on these thts only increasing n frankly not really helping... we need action and it's not easy to act on these things so quickly... already, public memory is slowly moving to the new year n stuff....

      the advice I giv to my womenfolk is only this - use protection ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klCemtBU1cg)

      make sure these bastards regret even thinkin bout it.

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    2. Of course it has to start with women being brought up strong and bold. But the responsibility for a more empathetic society rests with both the sexes.

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  8. yes purba..she was just a normal girl..juts like me..so many times during college have I travelled in buses at night..sometimes very empty...and I see myself in her place.....it is so scary!!!!...am scared hurt angry and also very very calm, coz i want it to go beyond anger...and i know the path is long to better society and better law enforcement!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com/

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    1. And us being more proactive....

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  9. Purba,

    You are right that it is not battle of sexes. It is battle to make India SAFE for each one of us, with special attention to girls. Overall mindset of society needs to change from gender discrimination to equality of genders. Police is still carries British Raj legacy - DANDAA for any thing which is not correct as per their thinking. Our Police force needs total overhaul to make it more user friendly and accountable. I will visit suggested link soon and join hands with him.

    Take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And we should do our bit as parents, as neighbours, as citizens of this country!

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  10. A 23 year old , innocent girl had to suffer endlessly and then die, to awaken the nation. The price we have paid for this movement is way too high. I can't stop thinking about her family and my prayers will always be with them.

    But still, as much as we have paid for it, I hope we learn from the past and the awakening stays. Let us not forget in after a few candle light marches. Bloggers like us, can keep the fire burning by writing about the safety of women in this country even after the national dailies put the incident out of their scope.

    Let there be peace, and safe India for everyone.

    Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Last year's outrage should turn into this year's resolve.

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  11. Completely agree with you, Purba. I only wish this movement doesn't die like Anna Hazare's and spreads like a never ending fire through out the nation. Everyone is so busy and buried in their day to day activities, we are losing the energy to carry on the spirit. I strongly wish and pray god that something should come out of this incident and her sacrifice doesn't go in vain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't we all scared of it! That this will be yet another movement that will die an untimely death?

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  12. The point however is that why are we realizing this now, instead of eons ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because every time we are in a hurry to move on and start regarding such memories as inconveniences to our otherwise "normal" lives.

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  13. I hope the support continues and something concrete can come out of this. As for the rapes they continue unabated with impunity :(.

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  14. The event was unnecessary and tragic. Perhaps it was so in order to wake us all up. It is messy in the complexity of the issue too. Right from parenting and social values to law, punishment and police reforms, it straddles almost every aspect of our moral and social bankruptcy. We are more theek hai and accepting than we need to be, and seeing and knowing the rot all around, we just skirt it and pretend all is well. It is time that we worked towards serious change - all around. The role of bloggers like you and me and the social media in making this happen is critical. Hang in there.

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    1. No, I'm not giving up on hope. Not yet. And I know these reforms will take years. But before that all of us need to be convinced that "sexual harassment" is a real issue!

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  15. This is not going to die soon. But its terrible that it had to come to this, for a revolution like this.

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    1. It simply exemplified our moral deprivation.

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  16. I can already see shrinkage in the column space TOI is devoting to her story. Sad to say, but sometime a cacophonous media is what it takes to awaken a nation deep in slumber.

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    1. National Dailies have a role to play - a permanent column dedicated to her cause. It's the least they can do to ensure justice.

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  17. Well written.
    While we wait for others (police, government, men) to do their bit we also need to start from our own home.
    We need to teach our sons about how to respect their mothers,sisters.
    We need to teach our daughters how to bring out the change but how to be safe too.
    We need to do more than Hope for Best!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Exactly! It's not just a woman problem. This is a malaise that needs equal participation from all of us.

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  18. Great Purba! Not been commenting since my right hand went out of action but this one I needed to write. In all this angst the one worrying thing for me was the undertone of a battle-of-sexes since this is one crime that only a man/men could commit (by and large)! It takes you to point out that it is a battle against how Government deal with crime and how the requirement of individual courage in this country is far higher when it comes to raising our voice against certain types of crime/criminals! And, yes, laws are only as good as the efficiency and sensitivity with which they are enforced. (Btw, there is an issue of the attitude of Indian men in general vis-a-vis women which is the root-cause of the way crime against women is handled - and, indeed, for the higher incidence of crime against women - but tarring everyone with the same brush serves only to antagonize)

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    1. I hate it that a section of the society is trying to dismiss this outcry as a gender war. This is so not true. It's not a woman v/s man movement. It's the righteous trying to raise their voice against injustice.

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  19. Very well written. Yes, its not a battle of the sexes. It a battle to be fought within people's mind - both men and women, in trying to change the psyche of society in which we live.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! And instead of taking the moral highground, we all need to look within.

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  20. My only fear is that the voices don't get drowned and die a natural death. I juts wish that all the upheaval actually results is some changes in the law and faster punishment for the accused. Today itself I read a story of another rape by two qualified IT professionals of a class XI student on new year's eve....

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    1. Isn't that sad! And it's the girl who will have to face all the flak - you should have been more careful..yada..yada...yada!

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  21. I am sure the laws will be amended but I am not sure what will be the impact. If we put all the rape cases in fast track courts, then I can see a ray of hope. That will definitely deter any future rapist.
    Most important factor that can bring in change is to raise the next generation in a better way. We really need more initiatives on that.

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    1. And it starts with sensitivity towards others. We have the tendency to turn everything into a joke!

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  22. I liked the title of this post , because majority of the time all these episodes end up being just that , the battle of sexes.. and till that happens I doubt things will improve.

    Two weeks back we were on a training session where we were being taught how to be humane and how to react to such cases, different examples were being given, statistics and all and it was a SHOCK to actually know that the number of incidents that take place in India is so much higher then reported in the media.

    The laws can be amended but I dont think they will help as its the same people POLICING those laws.

    The mentality of people needs to change ..

    Bikram's

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    1. Why can't we have such workshops for our police force! They are an overworked, underpaid lot. And our hate for them doesn't help things either.

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  23. You are right Purba, we have enough laws and lies in our country, the challenge is who follows them? I think it was George Bernard Shaw who said it is not the severity of punishment, but the surety of punishment that makes people follow law. No wonder even MPs stop at red light in London and Singapore.

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    1. Oh yes! In the West if you break the laws, there's a slim chance that you can get away.

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  24. Purba, you are absolutely right, this is NOT the battle of the sexes. As I said in my own post, rape is not a sex crime, it's an animal crime or lower than animals really. The scary thing is not that no laws exist, the laws are there, but the fact that a distressed girl cannot take shelter with the police and cannot hope for justice from the courts. This is the real tragedy of our "free" society.

    I had decided not to write any more on this topic (it's a heartbreaking topic) but your post and Subhrata's initiative have convinced me that I must, and everybody must write, speak, shout from the rooftops until the system does change.

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    1. Absolutely! It's not about lust...it's more about anger, hate and repression.

      We as a society need to heal.

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  25. There have been quite a number of instances where a rape/eve-teasing was reported. I wonder why we had to wait till this event when the collective conscious of the nation was aroused. Were we all sleeping till now? However, better late than never. I'm encouraged that slowly but surely things are moving for a better India for women. Or are we forgetting this story too the same way we forget or don't care to remember many of our countrymen who laid down their lives so that we live a better today.

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    1. If we can raise our voice against evil, we also must not forget the good deeds by our good Samaritans - couldn't agree more!

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  26. Thanks for the link Purba! Actions need to speak, and not just words; it is time.

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  27. Thanks for the link Purba! Actions need to speak, and not just words; it is time.

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  28. just superb.....i like most d things which u have said about LAWS...unfortunately Indian people dont want to hear truth...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The truth is, there are no shortcuts to reforms. It's a long, tedious process.

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  29. It took the gruesome death of an innocent girl to awaken our conscience and unite us as a nation. Let's not let this fire be put off until the girl gets justice.

    A well put post.

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    1. And we all need to strong and bold.

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  30. Nicely put in.
    The spark that has come up should not die down at all, we should not let it down in any case.
    Every female faces the trouble almost everyday and its important we take it to the highest heights until we get justice...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! the crap we put up with. And it's only getting worse with time.

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  31. Well written post Purba. I really hope that we get justice this time, which may be a possibility i.e. if we keep the candle burning, and also because no politician or hot shots are involved here. If they were then the case would have been closed, defamed or died down even before it started. I don;t have much faith left for our system and u r right going to the police is the last resort that a common man resorts to.

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    1. But we must not let their apathy deter us. In fact most of us are not even aware of our legal rights!

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  32. The event really shook the nation. Our inactivity has led to such circumstances that women' life and pride is taken so much for granted. Now our protests and voice is going to break it up.

    This case was terrible and Govt is mum over bureaucratic issues. Yes it is not battle of sexes but a war against deprivation, lowly treatment and shamelessness prevailing in this lawless society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Hold on to that anger. Don't let it dissolve with time.

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  33. Hi Purba,

    You know, somehow, no matter what one does, sometimes it just isn't enough. This might be a fire which will burn for just few days and extinguish. The memories of Dhananjoy Chatterjee are still fresh, when after all those years of committing the crime, he died like a hero.
    Deep inside me, I get the feeling that Indians do not deserve the democracy we take so much pride in. Have we Indians forgotten that not so long ago, we were slaves under the British Raj. We've come a long way from there but what have we done to prove our credentials.

    Regards

    Jay
    My Blog | My FB Page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its because most of us put ourselves over society. Our individual good is more important than collective good. We have to stop being so selfish.

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  34. Very apt point....it is not the battle of sexes as it is made out to be. This case brings the issue on the forefront and hopefully some good will emerge from the brutal death of a young life.But it will take decades to change mindsets.

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    Replies
    1. We are miles away from an egalitarian society and on top of that we have politicians making statements like - women who cross their limits have to pay the price!

      Delete
  35. Even I feel that we are somehow united now. I agree it is not a battle of sexes. This is a cry for the reclamation of our honour and to make our society live-able and civilized. More than legislation, we need execution and some strong precedents.

    Hoping this year will be better than last year...

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    Replies
    1. The saddest part is, after each such incident it's our girls whose freedom gets curtailed.

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  36. We are not fighting for supremacy, but equality!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Until our women are made to feel safe, India will never be a progressive nation.

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  37. It is not a battles of sexes; Agreed. But this case won't change anything unless it is fast tracked and the judgement is delivered and executed swiftly. Every case in India has become an "issue" that have shelf lives. I see this dying out too couple of weeks like the famous Baby Palak case..sadly...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruchika Girotra...Nithari killings....Arushi Talwar...so many unnamed, forgotten victims....

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  39. So sickened by this. Thank you for the post and will definitely visit the link.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the push that you and Shubho gave me! I wrote a post just now and submitted it at his blog! http://www.bigaandlittlea.com/2013/01/rape-in-the-twenty-first-century.html

      Delete
    2. Thank you! Will certainly be reading what you have to say.

      Delete
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  41. The real men know that this is not a battle of the sexes. They know that we are not fighting for reservations or better benefits or special treatment. They know and support the fight for equality. The men who are insecure will never get it anyway. They've been raised to think that men have to be supreme. The word equality doesn't exist in their dictionary.
    PS: Turn off anonymous commenting if you want to get rid of the spammers. Genuine commenters won't mind. They'll still leave comments. I used to have the same problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pity, that a quite few men are taking this as an attack on their integrity.
      If we turn this into an us v/s them conflict, things will never change.

      P.S Quite a few of my commentators prefer the anonymous route. Don't want to make it difficult for them.

      Delete
  42. It is saddening..It irks me..But we cant crib on and on..Actions speak louder than words..and thats all we need to do :)

    love
    http://www.meghasarin.com

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  43. May her soul forgive us for being so insensitive to women and attacks even after her death.
    May her death not be in vain.
    Wake up India.

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  44. Very thougtful post. You have rightly described the incident from all angles.Collective voices cannot be snubbed. I am optimistic that some kind of revolution will awaken our law makers!

    ReplyDelete

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