Dear Mr MP,
I did not vote for you or for any of your adversaries in the last election. I do not shirk my civic duty. Far from that. I did 'vote' as I exercised my right not to vote, a right that the makers of our Constitution had given to all citizens in who simply need to fill form 49 O. Yet a right that was kept hidden by the likes of you, forcing the likes of me to abstain from voting and thus allowing our precious vote to be misused. There was a time when I voted regularly and blindly believed in our democratic system. Alas that is not the case now.
My first disappointment in the system stemmed out of a visit to Parliament House circa 1983. Since, thanks to live TV, I have seen time and again the rowdiness and shenanigans that happen in the House. The time wasted that translates into 250 000 rupees a minute is shocking. The political games played are outrageous and the whole drama absurd.
We elect you to represent our aspirations and hopes. We elect you to be our voice. We elect you to enact laws that would benefit us. When laws are passed, it always seems to be in a raring hurry and the game of the ayes have it, the ayes have it seems just that: a game! But most of the time Parliament is stalled for entire sessions and bills are not passed.
Last week you had the chance to redeem yourself and show us you cared. But you did not. There was an uproar in Parliament over the horrific gang rape that has got the country outraged. Thank God you found the time to discuss the issue. There were many impassioned speeches that almost rang true. But you could have walked one more step. How proud we would have been of you had you decided to pass all the pending bills relating to women issues. But you did not. These bills are still gathering dust in some remote corner of the building. You could have set a precedent by showing us you cared about our feelings, our fears, our desires. Do not tell me you were not aware of the anger and despair of all of us who were on the streets. Technology allows you to keep track of everything, does it not.
Do not tell me that you have not passed bills in record time. You have done so in the past. I guess women are not important enough. Perhaps we are not real vote banks. Perhaps we are second class citizens in a patriarchal land. Perhaps our safety is not important enough. I would have thought it mattered as in spite of killing us in the womb or in the name of honour, we still form a large chunk of the electorate of this country!
Do you hear the raging roar coming from every nook and corner of the land? Will it make you leave your comfort zones and take action. And by action, I do not mean a few outlandish measures that we know will not work. Will you give up your holidays and sit in session and make the laws we women are clamouring for. Is that not your primary role? To make laws to benefit the citizens. But who am I kidding. A quick perusal of the scores of laws that are 'pending' show that when it comes to laws that help the people you never find the time to enact them.
Today the country is outraged. Do not think that it is only because of one case. The tragedy that befell the woman who is fighting for her life was the straw that broke our back and believe me when I say that we have strong backs. But how can we not be incensed when even as the country took on the streets a 3 year old baby was raped in her play school .
You talk of increasing police presence but do you know that we have lost faith in your police has been caught saying aberrations such as women deserve to be raped because of their dress. I would like to ask you why action has not been taken against these so called protectors of law? And you want them to protect us. We have been told by those in power not to go out after a certain time and so on. We would like to remind you that we too are citizens of this country protected by the same constitution that protects you. We demand our right to freedom and we demand it loud. It is for you to ensure that this happens. That is why we elected you.
We do not want lip service or band aid therapy. You need to address the real issues. Where have you failed society as this is where it all begins. Rapists and eve teasers do not come from another planet. Have you failed in providing quality education and enabling environment to children in your city. You have not. It is time you thought about this. The men who harass women and the cops who abuse them stem out of this failure
Yes we need laws to punish culprits. We need fast track justice. We need a punishment that deters. I want to ask you why you do not raise your voices when killings of women are ordered by kangaroo and extra constitutional courts. You always fall short of acting because of vote bank politics. And by the way a study published today states that men accused of raping women are given tickets to contest elections and this across the board. Some are elected and thus become law makers. You expect us to believe that they will enact laws in our favour. I for one do not. We need electoral reforms. But who will bell the cat.
We are angry today. I am angry today. Enough is enough! It is time you heard our voice.