What is wrong with us, as a nation, as individuals, as a society? Everything I think. Yesterday's brutal gang rape in Mumbai
has such a sad and pathetic sense of deja vu! Nine months or so ago a 'nation' was 'enraged' at another brutal rape, the Delhi one. And excuse my cynicism but nine months hence the 'nation' will again be enraged against another brutal rape in another city. If we as a 'nation' a really enraged at brutal rapes, then we should be in a state of perpetual rape as every day women, girls and even babies get raped somewhere in this vast land of ours. But that is not so. I guess we only get enraged when the victim resembles us. A physiotherapist, a photo journalist. Someone we are in sync with. Our 'rage' is short lived. Some of us take to the streets, others consigned it to words - me -, yet others go a step further and ask for new laws, new training programmes. The powers that be make empty promises that are never kept but no one is there to ask them why. For instance CCTV were promised, they are yet to be sourced. Fast track courts were set but who defines fast! An old repugnant self professed God man assaults a minor
but he will never be caught.
We will write, make some noise and then go back into the safe little boxes we live in. As long as it is not my child, my daughter, my friend we are not willing to see what is happening around us to children, to women to co citizens. Our rulers get away with impunity. They can loot, rape, abuse, threaten and murder, they not only get away but we vote them back to power!
I forgot these rapes make good material for heated debates where we hear the 'country wants to know'. Which country and above all why do they want to know if they are not going to leave the comfort of their box and dirty their hands.
After 66 years of Independence we are still trying to address and legislate food laws. I would feel embarrassed if I were in a position of power. That 5000 children die every day of malnutrition should be enough to make a whole government resign in shame. But no they are busy debating a law that will give a few kilo of cereals to the 'poor'.
Schemes to help the door have been voted time and again and never properly implemented. Implement them for God's sake. Do we really need new ones?
And let us talk of education. It has taken our legislators decades to address the situation. After 66 years we cannot even provide a bench to every school going child in the capital even by running 2 shifts. Can't our leaders and politicians see this. No they are busy fighting on petty issues. Parliament does not function though its costs lakhs for it run every minute. Grains rot because you cannot store it. Quacks kill as we do not have a proper health programme for the poor.
What do we look like to others. I do not even want to think of it. Let me just share one image that I see regularly these days as I take my husband for treatment to one of the super speciality hospital. Just in front of the super speciality hospital that charges the earth and the moon to treat you is a huge open garbage dump that stinks. If I were administrating that hospital that mints money, I would have done something. But that is who we are: a nation that would keep its home clean and dump the filth in front. We have no civic sense. We are aware of our rights but forget our duties. We have erected walls between the haves and have nots and forget that the two are inter dependent.
We want to show case ourselves as a young nation with immense potential youth power and true in a couple of years we will have 760 million
young people, but as was said in a recent article unless we provide this youth bulge with education, employment, health, safety and liberty, we will soon have 706 million extremely pissed-off, marginalised, restless young people on our hands.
But unless we get off our back sides, forget petty politics to take brownie points and give these 760 million a good educations and sufficient employment, the frustration of these young souls will translate into crime of all kinds. And when those happen, we will again step out of our homes to join some vigils or the other and get our conversation subject for our next kitty party or page 3 do or a chance to appear on a TV show debate where India wants to know! But 760 million is a tinder box waiting to explode. It is time we did something.