The Culture of Hysteria and Despair: Delhi Rape Episode

It seems Delhi is well on its way towards being crowned with infamy of being the Rape Capital of the World surpassing Johannesburg in sheer outcry. The last week has been in the spotlight regarding sexual crimes one after the other, spontaneous protests and irrational political response, and the this entire conversation is being mediated by a even more irrational media establishment. Rational and sane voices seem to getting drowned in the cacophony of irrational rhetoric.  The right issues are being sidelined. Men and Boys have to be taught how to respect women from a young age. Rape is cowardly act, a symptom of inferiority complexes. Our esteemed Presidents Son called the protesters at India Gate ‘Painted and Dented’ , a horrible male chauvinistic quip being a public figure. Use of Water Cannons and Lathi Charging the crowd is abominable, as is the death of the poor constable on duty.

The sensationalism of the media adds to the chaos. Sexual Crimes are the greatest shame of a civilized society. A deep rooted catharsis of our male dominated culture needs to change. The word rape is getting raped in India as eminent Kashmiri tweeter Shehla Rashid wrote.  Rape is about exertion of power and not sex. It is equal to murder of flesh, spirit and soul.

All the participants in this conversation; media, intelligentsia, youth, government are all getting it all wrong. But the anger is palpable, although Bollywoodesque Rang De Basanti type candle light vigils at Carter Road, Mumbai and India Gate, Delhi are not the solution, but thats the best that the youth can engage in. What other way do we have.

Effective Policing is needed, not more laws. One of the most desensitized places a woman can go is to a police station.  People passing the onus of responsibility to women to dress sensibly are simply passing the buck. The Buck needs to stop somewhere and concrete measures need to be taken. The last sentence was written with a sigh of exasperation.

That woman did not die in vain. She struck a chord in our national consciousness.

The inflection point for change is now.


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