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Thursday, March 5, 2015

India's Daughter - my thoughts

As the news about the Nirbhaya documentary was erupting on social media, I was a bit confused as to what my stance was/is about this. I tried to figure out why the Govt would be against airing it and several things came to mind (some of which I agree, some not so much):

  • Is it right for some foreign media house to come and interview our victims, convicts etc., for commercial reasons? Was there proper protocol and permissions followed?
  • What is the Govt trying to avoid by banning it? What do they think will happen by airing it on public TV?
  • Yes, while we love our country for many wonderful things, there are also many things messed up here, but do I necessarily want the entire world to watch my messy house? 
  • What is/was BBC's motive to do this? Why so much attention on the rape situation in India?
  • Why is it that the rape situation in India is in the face of the media always while, similar or even worse conditions elsewhere in the world are not publicly talked about/written about so much? 
  • Why do we Indians seem so self-critical always? Is that a good thing or not?
Upon further reading what was shown in the documentary, my initial reaction was anger "how could that *$&*DH* bus driver talk such rubbish? .. How does he have the guts to say such things in public media and get away with it?"  How many people in India actually think this way?
Then, this thought is still lingering: "do I really want BBC to show this to rest of the world?" Do I want people across the world to view India in this light? Of course not.... I think India that I grew up, the Bharat that I read about/heard about in the scriptures doesn't stand for this kind of treatment towards women.. Nowhere in any of our ancient books is woman portrayed this way or treated this way but, somewhere over generations and generations, the interpretation of our great heritage and culture has been lost in translation and things got messed up to put it in simple terms (too many reasons for why and how this happened and is a topic for a different post). That said, I am still not sure if I really want BBC to broadcast this all over the world.
While, I cannot control that aspect, I started thinking what is it that I want for my girls in India to learn from it?. What is it that I want to teach them?
  • I think I want to raise my girls equal to boys. I want to tell them they are no way inferior to boys in dreaming high and chasing their dreams and nobody can say they cannot do it because they are girls. I want to tell them to fight for what is truly theirs, their right to work, their right to be educated, their right to make choices and even their right to travel by public transport at 9 PM
  • I also want them to continue to fight until our Govt truly enforces quick justice in a way such that the perpetrators of any crime (not just rape) think twice before they commit the offense
  • But, I also want to tell them to use common sense and caution while exercising their rights, after all to continue the fight and claim their rightful space in this world, they have to be alive and kicking and not beaten and dead. 
  • I will also tell them that they need to consider the realities of their surroundings... so, just because you are watching MTV and want to believe you are in Barcelona, you can not dress up like you are in Barcelona while surrounded by the realities of living in Bengaluru. 
  • I will also tell them that men are men anywhere in the world, it is not that Indian men descend from a different race or something, they all have the same kind of hormonal surges that can go haywire if not contained and controlled by some social conditioning that comes with raising them well and by the fear of the rule of law. The difference in how the society treats the victims and the convicts is what makes them behave nonchalantly with a 'chalta hai' attitude here in India. 
  • So, running away from this country is not the solution, but exercising common sense and caution wherever you are while continuing to fight for equal rights and swift justice is what you can do as a girl in India today.
Now, coming to the contentious question of whether the documentary should be aired or not. Well, it is not a straightforward answer in my mind because the audience needs to be with a certain maturity to take the right message out of it for a positive outcome. If we go out bashing India and Indian men for all that is messed up and let the media make a mockery out of the situation or politicize the whole situation just to get some TRP ratings or political mileage, then it means nothing and can actually be detrimental. 
Instead, if it can make a  good fraction of thinking individuals truly introspect where and how we went wrong, how we need to raise both our girls and boys and make them realize what to fight for and what to be practical about, then that will do us all some good. 
So, hoping the documentary can trigger this thought process and introspection in some (hopefully many) individuals, it is better to air it than not.
So, to the girls in my life, let us not stop fighting for our fundamental rights but, let us also hope we can, at all times use our common sense and not get into situations that will leave us beaten.


Amit Gadhoke said...

Great thought

Did you ever thought that so much of false rape case is happening post 16th Dec episode

Please refer NCRB data...70% are the cases where women filled a wrong rape case and ruined men's many women got the punishment for the same

Law is equal for men and made for women safety not for misusing the judicial system.

If , media is focusing on mentality...then ideally they should tell the real pictures also

There are set of women who is misusing the law system...but you and media never think about it

About SKnites said...

Very good article. Realistic and practicle.

SreekanthGodey said...

More than the comments of the Driver, I am disturbed by the comments made by the driver's attorneys.

In someother video I saw the attorney (Singh) in full support of honour killing.

@Amit's comment, yes there are women misusing the Rape law, but I would expect that misuse to come down progressively.

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