Wednesday, 12 August 2020

NaMo Magic

Updated: January 5, 2013 2:34 pm

Narendra Modi’s splendid win third time in a row has given a strong message to the Indian secularists that strong ideological conviction and good governance can make one an ideal leader. NaMo factor has created history for the BJP and now not only the proud Gujaratis but also the whole nation is waiting to witness his good governance at the Centre. For the hapless BJP, which has been routed in Himachal Pradesh, would now harp on about Modi’s charisma for the next Lok Sabha elections. Narendra Modi has become a heartburn for many BJP leaders in Delhi, as he will spoil the aspirations of many who are PM in waiting. NaMo has become a torchbearer of young India for a developed nation and has established a brand of nationalism in our country.

The second thought that comes to my mind is that the nation today is grievously moved by the gang rape and brutalisation of a 23-year-old medical intern in the national capital. This inhuman crime is utterly shocking and must be condemned in no uncertain terms. Not only has it shaken the confidence of the women folk across the city, but also added another shameful footnote to Delhi’s notorious tag of being the rape capital of the country. The incident has also vindicated the complacency and apathy of the authorities to tackle effectively the rising incidents of crime against the fair sex. However, politicians and Babudom now bark their momentary voice, and the police swing into action. But really why do such incidents happen and why are some so insensitive? Despite all the modernity and hypocrite big talks, a bigger chunk of our ‘macho’ society seemingly does not treat women as equal. They are not respected, but are given treatment of a commodity. In Indian society, everyone says that women are treated like Goddesses. Well, I don’t think so. They are not even treated like a human being. It’s the failure on the part of society that women by default are reduced to a place of less rights and freedom and more of responsibility to obey arbitrary customs and rules. In a case, where they become the victims of such crimes, society further makes them victims of shame-bringers to their families. Besides, it being a failure on the part of the legal system, it’s also a failure on the part of society as a whole that it has made the whole set-up anti-women, where women are hardly respected, not treated as she should be and given freedom that she deserves. Once upon a time we had value systems, so universal that all visitors marvelled at the state of law and order through the times, when girls and women could freely move around. Now we are burdened unfortunately with a lengthy and cumbersome judicial process, which is of little help to the cause of victims of groping and rape. And this encourages the perpetrators of such inhuman crimes. And the utter viciousness with which the present crime was committed is not only a testimony to the sick minds of the perpetrators, but also to the fact that such cowards simply have no fear of law.

Exactly, every politician speaks now, but does nothing after that until yet another crime happens. This is the real tragedy. They need to enquire why young Indian men are routinely committing gang rapes in metropolitan cities with women who are just going about their daily lives. What is the frustration that prompts this level of violence? Does the sight of a young smartly-dressed educated female professional engender a sense of displacement in men? Over the past several decades, women’s rights have proliferated and they are claiming their subjectivity, asserting their identity as women as opposed to being someone’s wife, daughter or sister. And with the opening up of the market, women are more visible in the workplace. That they are entering male bastions of power has challenged the sense of superiority and entitlement of the traditional Indian male. Against this backdrop, the threat to masculinity, as probably imagined by the perpetrators, could only be one of the reasons for this heinous crime. Disparity in lifestyle and the denial of natural aspirations for reasonable living conditions of the under-served on one side and cornering of almost all opportunities by the privileged few is probably one of the root causes of this affliction. Another contributor is the use of official machinery by politicians and the financially powerful in pressurising the guardians of law from following due process. Furthermore, appalling living conditions like those exist in slums, where there is total lack of privacy, apathy of partners, extreme suppression of sexuality as it exists in some societies, and a total lack of discipline and disrespect for law and order in an anarchic feudal and political atmosphere are some of the other reasons to be inquired into by the sociologists and law and order administrators. After the action against the perpetrators is taken, provided there is enough political will, we must ask ourselves what it is in our society that is turning men into such feral beasts. What values are being imparted, not only from our elders, but also from the haves to the have-nots as is usual in any society? What does it say about our progress as a society, if we cannot even adhere to the basic standards of human dignity and morality? The male-dominated society with suppressed lust can always be dangerous. Added to that is the false male ego! The need of the hour is a complete change in outlook, which can be achieved through education—right from the lap of the mother.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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