Sunday, January 6, 2013

How does one shame the shameless????


What a shame that my first column for 2013 has to be this grim....

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This appeared in The Sunday Times today...

This is not an empty rant against the ruling class. It is much more – it is an expression of utter and total condemnation. It is a notice. The entire country stood as one ( a rare enough occurrence) behind Nirbhaya who passed away in Singapore on the 29th of  December.  Her tragic death generated deep anguish, yes. But there was also deep disgust. Citizens raised their voices across platforms and demanded that this day be permanently marked as the Day of Shame. Will that happen? More importantly, will that help? How does one shame the shameless in any case?  Behind all the emotional outbursts, one thing was constant – the  vociferous demand for justice.The demand for change.Not years from now. But immediately. Perhaps, this is precisely the tipping point India has been waiting for. Here was one case which touched countless hearts and pushed an important concern to centre stage in a way no other case or movement has in recent memory. It  took a horrific rape to expose our politicians. Suddenly the netas of Delhi were stripped naked. And there was no place to hide. Years of strutting around pompously and grand standing during one crisis after another, provided zero protection to these people as enraged citizenry took to the streets crying out for  better governance, sickened by the apathy and abuse of power . The moment of truth was finally here. And the reins got seamlessly transferred into the hands of the people of India.
Announcing a commission to examine what went so horribly wrong in the 23-year-old girl’s case, is a ruse that will no longer work. Those days of buying time and fobbing off angry citizens with empty assurances of  ‘looking into the matter’ are over. This was the old way of doing things. Young India is not ready to play ball with such deception. As was amply demonstrated at India Gate ( yes, by those very dented and painted people). The arrogance that came through from those who ought to have known better ( from Sheila Dixit to P.Chidambaram), eventually backfired on them. And this is going to be the fate of any politician resorting to lofty rhetoric instead of addressing a problem head on. Had even one of these leaders bothered to meet protestors during those early days when storm clouds were rapidly gathering over the Capital, perhaps this clumsy, even callous debacle could have been better managed. The young girl would have died regardless. That was a given from the word go. But we would have been spared the farce of watching the meaningless airlift to Singapore. That was the final straw. It was the wrong decision taken for the wrong reasons, by the wrong people. It fooled nobody. If anything, it further fanned the flames of collective anger. Citizens instinctively saw through the political game that was being played out in such a brazen manner. That high minded gesture was not about saving a critically injured girl. It was about saving their own face. And faking concern. It was already too late. The time for such hypocrisy and sham is unequivocally over.
If those in positions of power refuse to recognize what this crisis is all about, it will be their tragedy. While a disenfranchised woman’s heart rending plea (“Mummy, I want to live!”) fell on deaf ears and was dismissed by deadened souls, it was left to the people of  India to continue the struggle, while our leaders  resolutely and foolishly refused to meet protestors.  Such aloofness! Such cowardice! It is going to cost! And cost big time.
Leadership is about engagement. Real leaders do not run away from crises. But ours have specialized in burying their heads during any emergency hoping it will resolve itself and disappear on its own. This was one time they miscalculated – and how! The courageous young girl is dead. But there is an elephant in the room. An elephant that refuses to turn tail and leave. Ignoring the animal is not an option. But which of our mighty leaders is ready to take on the challenge and deal with not just the elephant, but the hungry beast that is on the prowl. It is a beast without a name. It is ferocious and cannot be tamed.The power of this beast is bigger than the State. This insatiable creature is about to gobble up Delhi. Water cannons, lathi charges… even bullets, will not stop its march.
2013 belongs to the Citizen of India. Happy New Year, readers!

16 comments:

RAJ47 said...

How can you awaken the dead?
Stones have no shame.

Swaminathan Neelakantan said...

You are unreasonably and unfairly being critical of the government. The police acted quickly, arrested the culprits and brought them to justice. Now, the trial is being held in camera. In a country teeming with a population of over 1.2 billion (and counting), the government did very well to protect the identity of the victim. Had some of the accused enjoyed political patronage on account of which the police had not acted, there would have been some sense in the so-called outpouring of nation-wide anguish and anger. Let the protesters act as responsible citizens, and act to prevent recurrence of such cases in future, instead of hogging the limelight-that too at the expense of the of a crime victim!

Swaminathan Neelakantan said...

After the recent Delhi crime, leaders of political parties of every hue have been advocating castration or death penalty for the rapists. While so, the suggestion of the nearly-90 DMK leader, M. Karunanidhi, that the rapists be confined to solitary life-terms is arguably the sanest and the most practical, as any student of criminology and penology would readily agree, for the following reasons:
• The culprits and the other inmates are isolated from one another, thus preventing mutual evil influence;
• The culprits are given a chance to repent for their sins in absolute solitude, which may reform their lives, with passage of time.
No doubt, the Tamil leader’s most invaluable suggestion at this hour of crisis, springs from his 70-plus years’ experience in political and social life, and thus deserves all praise

Swaminathan Neelakantan said...

Rape is an age-old crime perpetrated against women, and it has to be condemned in the severest terms. Again, the crime may be premeditated or circumstantial. Whatever the nature, the crime does not merit death or severing of the male organ, as fit and proper punishment. Are be going back to barbarism? What about the crime committed by comfort women - professional prostitutes, models , actors and all other celebrities included - who systematically ruin the institution of marriage? What's the penalty suggested for such culprits? Which part to dismember?

Swaminathan Neelakantan said...

Please read the third line in my last blog as "Are we going back to barbarism?". It was a typographical error. Certainly, I am not a Bengali to confuse 'v' and 'b'!.

vikassingh123455 said...


vikas

Pooja Rathore said...

Its true that start of the year was not hearty ....still there is a gloom...true post yet with an optimistic attitude that things should change and will change if we dont forget what happened and continue to stick to our stand.
I finished reading sethji- i liked the novel,i loved the end eventually amrita chose the man she could count on..few moments in the book were hilarious,the political game was very well portrayed in your novel(was shocked and surprised by few events in the novel,but from what we read in newspaper....its true such things happen actually worse things happen).I did not like sethji(the character in the novel)intially but in the end i felt atleast he was honest about what he wanted a better person than other characters in the novel, a winner.
iam not much of a novel person i prefer non-fiction but iam huge fan of yours i will buy anything you write you have earned me through your good work( i absolutely love most of your non-fiction work,sometimes when my mood is off i re read the chapters(selective memory- Feeling great is my favourite) i feel so good absolute mood lifters) and yes you can count on me as your fan.
Happy New year De!

Meg said...

Comfort women ? Only a misogynist would call actors and models comfort women. Only a misogynist would suggest that they ruin the "institution of marriage." What about the men who seek this so called "comfort." Adultery is mutual. Rape is brute force and never involved the consent of the victim. How could anyone mix the two ?

Meg said...

They raped AND killed. Double homicide. I don't know what the punishment for such barbarism should be.

Madhu said...

Swaminathan, either I am grossly mistaken or you are. The news so far is that congress had "recommended" life sentence and not castration or death sentence.

Ms De, according to me, the only way to combat any crime is to make sure that the circumstances encouraging these crimes be controlled. We all know that India suffers from unemployment. We all know we need more police on the roads. So why not recruit more police to patrol? Of course if the existing police do their work properly, this mess wouldn't be here at all. Recruiting more police would take care of the in employment and

Madhu said...

Sorry, posted the above too soon.
I simply don't understand the 181 number concept. When a rape is being attempted, do you think that the rapist will give a chance to the victim to dial 181? They pin the victim down; she is lucky if she is left alive; in most cases she will end up dead. Isn't it?
Is this the governments way of passing the buck... "You should have called 181. Why didn't you?" Is that the governments way of escaping? It's good to have emergency dialing numbers but in case of rape, it's totally pointless.

Hope you have a wonderful year ahead ms De.

Pooja Rathore said...

Dear shobhaa DE...Happy birthday to you....HAppy Birthday to you...God bless you with whatever you feel you need or that which makes you content ,peaceful,healthy and joyous...Have fun!

Jogeshwar said...

Happy Birthday! Mam, wish you many happy returns of the day.

MONICA said...

Many many happy returns of the day mam!!

Mayank said...

Nice Blog Dear Seo Services in Delhi

Aditya said...

Amazing Post
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