Are we responsible for the arrogance of our law makers and rulers is the question any self respecting India should ask him/herself in the wake of the spate of incidents that have occurred in the past 48 hours or so. Let us begin with the premise I hope still holds true. We are a democracy of the people, by the people and for the people. We are the ones who elect our representatives both in Parliament and State Assemblies. These representatives are supposed to protect our interest and put forth our views. I guess we are all agree on this. So in the best case scenario representatives should be a reflection of who we are and it is our responsibility to ensure that.
However the reality is quite different if we are to go by what happened recently. We are agree that rape is a heinous and loathsome crime. It is a crime against women and girls, the worst form of abuse you can imagine. No a political leader of the ruling party
in a State that has seen an unacceptable number of rapes in the past month stated two days back that in 90% of cases rape was consensual! Please explain how rape can be consensual as I am unable to figure this one. The last rape was that of a 6 year old who was lured with a bar of chocolate
and raped by three men. Now is accepting a chocolate consent to rape? And what about the 13 MONTH old that was raped yesterday! How can we hope that with such a mentality our politicians will take rape seriously and get the victims justice they deserve and hope for. As I write these words, a Khap Panchayat, read Kangaroo court- is busy discussing lowering marriage age for girls
to solve the rape problem. It is never the man's fault, is it?
Let us move on. Some days back a senior politician and Minister insulted
a priestess. The altercation was cost on camera and it was horrific to see how he abused the poor woman and ordered that she be locked up to teach her a lesson. Now Mr Minister there are laws in the land and no one can and should get locked up at the whim and fancy of anyone, let alone a person who can only aspire to the holds without the help of people just like the woman he was abusive to. It is a democracy and not your fiefdom.
But that is not all. You agree that an official needs to do his duty. The duty of a toll tax officer is to collect the toll tax. Now some people are exempted - why is that I do not know - and need to show proof of their identity. If I told you that one such exempted person - a Member of Parliament in the occurrence, the kind of bloke you and I are supposed to put there - chose to jump out of his car
gun in hand and threatened to shoot one and all in true John Wayne style. Now wonder what would have happened if you and I had tried that!
And last but not the least, should you not like what an officer is doing and want it done your way, then kidnap him! Yes you read right! That is exactly what another Minister
did recently. It is true that he has since resigned, but on the other hand no FIR has been registered against him.
So it seems that when we - and by we I mean voters - elect a representative we give license to shoot his mouth, license to insult and abuse, license to brandish a gun and maybe even kill and license to kidnap. Wow that is something I was not aware of.
But let us come to the main point. We are a democracy and a democracy can only function well when each and everyone of us exercise our right to vote freely and intelligently. We are proud of being a democracy and cherish the freedom it gives us. Then why is it that most of us - so called enlightened electorate - fail to go and vote. I too have been guilty of this crime, for crime it is. We have to accept responsibility and take our role as citizens seriously.