I do not know why I remembered a long forgotten song by Simon and Garfunkel. It was 7 O'clock News/Silent Night
by Simon and Garfunkel. It was a beautiful yet chilling song, a grim comment of events that occurred in 1966 in the US. If you have never heard it, do so.
I was reminded of this song as I heard today's news bulletin: in East India a young teenager was molested
by 20 men for half an hour whilst people watched; in a village in North India
a local council has decreed that women under 40 cannot leave the house unescorted, cannot go to the market and cannot use cellphones; a man kills his wife
for not giving him a son; handicapped women
are raped and even murdered in a rehabilitation home; food for meant for undernourished and starving children has been sold as chicken feed
; a hospital that caters to 12 villages never had electricity,
yet another child
falls in an open drain and dies...
Enough! I can hear hear no more. I am ashamed, outraged and incensed. What is happening? And above all what are we doing. When will we come out of our catatonic state and act. When we will leave our comfort zones and do something. When will we have the moral courage to get up and scream. How many more such cases will it take for our collective conscience to awake.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many other such aberrations that go unheard. What kind of nation are we? What has happened to our social fabric. Have we become inured to anything? How can we sleep at night and look at our face in the morning without batting an eyelid.
How can we continue voting to power people who have sold their souls to God knows who? A girl is molested for 30 excruciating minutes on a crowded street and we, I say we because we are part of that crowd, watch and say nothing, maybe even 'enjoy' the show! Women are suddenly deprived of their freedom and we remain mute. Oh I forgot, there is a logic of course: it is always the victim that is put in the dock! A man kills his wife for not producing a boy and we, yes we who are educated and know that the poor woman can never produce a male child as she was never endowed by the Creator with the magic Y - I mean the Y chromosome - cluck our disapproval in the comfort of our drawing room, prevaricate a little and then have a nice drink and go to sleep. A deaf and dumb woman is raped by the very people who are meant to care for her and again we say nothing. Oh sure some of us go on TV show and get their minute of fame while they mouth politically correct words and then go to their homes and continue their empty lives till their next appearance. We have time and again come face to face with the terrible statistics that reminds us that 5000 children die everyday of malnutrition then why does not our blood boil when we hear that food meant for them has been sold by vile middlemen as chicken feed!
The media will play its role but then every story, no matter how disturbing will loses its flavour to the next one. Politicians will make the required noises and do F**** all! Vote banks politics you see! Commissions created for God knows what reason as they seem to have scant power will inform us pompously that they are sending a team and will give a report that will ultimately gather dust in some cupboard. Wonder why these Commissions are set up. Oh yes for political reasons as they look good on paper and often help rewarding people who have served their masters well. The Courts may take suo motto cognizance and issue a decree that will go unheard. Were not open wells and drains to be covered.
It is time we as humans, as citizens, as voters, as tax payers acted. We need to put a stop at all this. At girls being humiliated, women being tortured, children dying be it of malnutrition or by falling in an open drain. The time for hanging our heads in shame is over, the time for prevaricating is over, the time of remaining silent is over, the time of feeling helpless is over. It is now time for the collective conscience of this country to get up and scream and be heard!
The question is will we? We have blood on our hands. Are we too blind to see it!