change

Asharmattitude and the Aam Aadmi

There has been plenty said in colourful detail about rape cases in Delhi and in the rest of the country. Many a girl has radically changed her prayer request en route to a Saraswathy temple or Velankanni Church from “Please help me pass my exams” to “Please keep the bad men in the bus away from me”

In 2011 alone, the National Crimes Record Bureau of India reported a record 24,206 Rapes. While the Charge sheeting rate for rape is the highest (93.8%) next to Dowry Deaths (92%), the conviction rate is 26.4%. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting we run around with bloodlust in our veins at the mention of the word ‘rape’ itself. But the trials are so drawn out and emotionally exhausting that the victims in hundreds of cases, stop pursuing justice.

While many Interest Groups keep blaming women for not speaking up, think about the post-rape trauma that the victim suffers. The long wait at the govt hospital for the ‘two-finger’ rape test, recounting the most horrid hours of her life to the nurse-in-charge, doctor, constable, head constable, writer, Sub-Inspector, Inspector, magistrate, lawyer and whoever else just about needs to know, facing social branding, ridicule, sympathy, blackmail, depression, anxiety; we haven’t even reached the deeply embedded psychological trauma and physical health yet. When a rape is reported, believe me, the woman knows the battle has just begun. A brave woman is not one who never got a chance to take that decision. She is a victim. A ‘brave woman’ deserves a medal, a victim deserves justice. She deserves justice, not a medal for getting raped and killed. Please don’t insult her memory.

The attitude of certain ‘worldly wise’ veterans from different social groups, which I have named ‘Asharmattitude’ is certainly appalling. One Mr.Aasharma has stepped up to the challenge, offering his course ‘Three step  Anti-Rape Workshop’  : Module 1- Praying loudly, Module 2- Adopt a brother – stop the rape midway! Module 3 – Defensive begging-when all else fails.  Don’t forget to stay for the guest lecture where an advocate Mr.Sharma talks about ‘Rape and the Respectable Woman’. If you miss it, here’s the content “Rape and the Respectable Woman – It doesn’t happen, everyone should live in villages and if you don’t you are probably asking to be raped. Thank You Good Night”

What does this mean for the Aaam Aadmi, the common man? Cattle Branding. That’s what. All men are lecherous looking for women to mutilate. Women are helpless and if they wear jeans they are just begging men to take it off them. Men are murderous, sadistic psychopaths with a constant need to hurt women, feel up little girls and oh yeah rape women who are not ‘respectable’.

I will have you know Aasharmattitudist that I for every rapist I can show you  ten men who’ll treat me with respect, men who will be my friends, men who will let me fix my bike because they know I can handle it, men who will not treat me like a dainty doll that can be broken any second. There are men in the world, if you care to know, who understand that masculinity is not measured below the belt. A gentleman is not someone who carries a lady on his shoulders but offers an arm for her to walk beside him. There are things that men are good at besides harassing women and peeing in public.

Have a look see at the numbers for 2011Image

An increase of 24.0% was reported in incidence of crime against Children in 2011 over 2010. We hear so many comments about ‘Indian Govt is always like this, India is not safe anymore, the govt is corrupt, the politicians are corrupt, and the police are still in the Stone Age’.

Let us crunch more numbers, in 2011 the actual strength of police force was 12, 81,317 against sanctioned strength of 16, 60,953. However, there were 83829 Women Police against a sanctioned 49566. While it is grossly inadequate, it is still a faint glimmer of hope.  The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) currently connects 27 states and helps in sharing useful information and in inter-state investigations. While this is a drop in the ocean, it is a drop all the same.

We have to go from a wanting the change to being the change. Not all of us can take to the streets and not all protests are heard. Then what in the world can we do? Whether you are in the country or afar, you can continue to encourage and support the reforms not just the reformists. Help more people realise that their work is not futile. We hang these rapists and then what? What India needs is a sustainable model, one that can be replicated, one that is just and one that is swift.

I was heartbroken to read one person ranting about how the police were  determined to prove that all the rapists were ‘Caste-Hindus’ and trying to hide the name of one Muslim offender. He was vehemently calling this whole case as oppressive to the ‘upper caste’ Hindus. While he may feel that his outrage (I don’t know if it is the genuine case or not) is justified, It seems like he is shooting off on another tangent (You can read the article at asansolnews at wordpress dot com) Hate mails are popping up everywhere from people hating men, India, buses and the west.

India has some of the most talented and admirable minds in the world. If only we could get all this admirable energy to focus on the issue at hand, we certainly could get the ball rolling. Our battle is against the rapists, but our war… our war is definitely not against individuals or religions or other countries or the media, it is against Asharmatittude…

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Remember to footnote the words ‘So far’

Always when judging
Who people are,
Remember to footnote
The words “So far.”

-Robert Brault

So far...

So far...

Sometime back I got thinking about how people change all the time. Like water, we take the shape and form of the objects that contain us.

Our socio-economic background, choice of music, taste in movies and TV shows, family set-up, friends and their personalities etc definitely have a bearing on who we are. I wanted to test the theory on myself. See what aspects of my behaviour change when I’m with a particular group of friends / people.

And what do you know… I did change! “Am always the same” is a phrase I’ve heard myself say often. Little did I know that it was about to change.

Jerry Macguire was on TV and Sniffles(as I choose to call my mom) and I were watching it… ‘You had me at hello…’ sent me racing around the house ion search of tissues. Half-way through blowing my nose, I realized that when my brother and I saw the movie a few weeks ago, we were screaming ‘Show me the money!’ and rolling our eyes at ‘You complete me’.

Now you may say like I used to… ‘That’s a load of tosh. People are unique’. People are, and it takes a good friend to see the uniqueness in a person. A person can project images of self into another person’s head. I can be a sweet friend, innocent baby sis, bitchy boss, loving girl-friend, formidable enemy, horrible sister, pain-in-the-ass daughter all in one… So how long does it take someone to see me as I see myself? Sweet? Innocent?Bitchy?Horrible?Strong? What am I to these people? Do they see me as I want them to? Or am I veering away on an opposite tangent?

Hmmm… Oh well, so far so good!