We're complacent, all of us, to some extent or another. Lets just accept that. No matter how good our intentions, periodically, we need reminders like pins on our chairs to make us stand up and do something.
What am I talking about? Look around you. Look at the news on TV, look at the newspaper headlines, look at the internet news feeds, look at your twitter and Facebook timelines. Forget all of that, take a look around you in your immediate neighborhood, in your schools and colleges.Chances are, within the first minute of looking around, you'll find an incident that makes a cold finger run down your spine and your hair stand on end. Scared and outraged enough? What next? We feel mad, angry and a little inspired to do something to stop this, to bring justice to the victims and punishment to the perpetrators. More power to you my friend, but what then? What after two hours, when the boiling blood has simmered and everything mellows down again? We participate in one candle light march, scream three slogans on the road, donate a certain amount to someone carrying a tin box, sign an online petition, put up a status or tweet and write a blog post about it. Pachi shu?
Someone I work with calls this the 'Rang De Basanti Effect'- That just after watching the film you're pumped full of energy, ready to change the world and bring pride to your country. Then you get to the parking of the cinema hall and realise that your vehicle's been towed away. Next thing you know, you're finding the nearest police officer to "quietly settle matters with."
My context for writing this slightly saddened blog post is the ever rising number of rapes in our country and the world. However, that isn't it. This applies to all the wrongdoings that we're presented with, on a daily basis. They happen everyday, to ordinary people. Today it was someone else, tomorrow it could very well be you or me. Isn't this danger enough to make us stop taking things lightly? Above this, do we need brutal reminders like what happened to Jyoti Singh Pandey (Because calling her Nirbhaya isn't really giving her an honour) and that little child in Delhi and the photojournalist in Mumbai to wake our dozing consciousness? These cases received media attention and national sympathy, but there are hundreds of other women, and men, who have been similarly brutalized and have failed to see the light of the day.
What do we then? For them? For us? Where do we stop feeling internally outraged and try and convert that to some sort of meaningful step that can at least be a stepping stone to awareness? Just like the survivors of these crimes are ordinary people, so are those who commit them. So along with finding appropriate punishments, why not find ways to curb such intentions before the damage is done?
Image Courtesy: OBR Strike Dance