Indiagate, that's right, just like America had Watergate. The reason I chose this title is because it points out to a larger malaise: the failure to protect girls in India. This happens to a girl who believed that she was "safe" in modern India while returning from a 6 pm show. Can we even justify the premise for a brutal gang rape such as this? It's a tough question which would again receive subjective answers. Maybe, somewhere, we are innately evil and it's just the societal laws and rules that keep governing us and our evilness gets repressed. As a quote from Lord of The Flies by William Golding says: "Maybe there is a beast...maybe it's only us."
It is indeed that her life was abbreviated due to the insensitivity of a few men. Worse still, the nation woke up to the heartbreaking news of her death on a Saturday morning. We didn't know her name nor were we shown her face and despite the immense anonymity surrounding her identity, she became a symbol. A symbol of hope, collective anger and truth. Her death, unfortunately, led to a thousand dreams being shattered.
It's not often that I cry and though I never knew her, the loss was a deeply personal one. As we head into the new year, it becomes extremely important for us to pause and introspect on which is better--to have laws and agree, or to hunt and kill? It's not that we are choosing to only focus on one victim. But it does seem that for many the horror has hit home with this one brutal attack.
Our impotence stares at us miserably as we collectively fails to protect girls like her. In a country which proclaims itself on the road to being a superpower, it is indeed unfortunate that our political class makes insensitive statements. As a father of three daughters, one would ideally expect the Prime Minister to feel the pain. Instead, the Prime Minister asks "theek hain?" as though it is a theatrical performance. It is indeed unfortunate that the government uses patronizing tones to tone down the anger on the streets.
Our economic growth statistics do not mean anything unless our attitudes and thought process undergo a change. The transformation can happen only if we realize that it is our personal transformation that transforms the nation. Mahatma Gandhi had asked us to be the change we wish to see. While it is indeed sad that the year ended on such a depressing note due to her death, she is still a survivor even in death as she has shaken a nation's conscience. Her death gave rise to repressed public anger manifesting on the streets and it is indeed positive to see how she could stir emotions while fighting to live.
As Virginia Woolf once said: "The eyes of others are our prisons and their thoughts are our cages." The quote could not have been more apt in light of the rapists. While I certainly demand the toughest possible punishment for these victims, I am also of the opinion that the faces of the rapists should not be covered. There is absolutely no honour attached when commits a rape and the honour (if any) has to be stripped.
As we enter into the new year, let us hope that we can renew our commitment that security remains the most basic birthright an individual can be born with. The year 2013 must be dedicated to improving security and welfare of women by strengthening laws so that girls can live with dignity and without fear. In the coming year, I hope that we evolve as a society strong enough not to penetrate deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness. In 2013, my only wish is that justice should prevail and let positivity uplifts the nation!
"For last year's words belong to last year's language,
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."