In Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, a five-year-old girl was raped and killed. And when the people launched a massive protest, the cops launched a counter-attack on them and did not spare even women among them.
The very next day, a six-year-old girl was raped, and doctors found foreign bodies in her. There also, when people mounted massive protests, the cops assaulted the protesters including women.
Television showed dirty spectacles of the cops’ attacks on protesters including women, making every sane person terribly angry as well as frustrated with the system that fails to protect even five- or six-year-olds from rapists and killers, and then launches a counter offensive on protesters.
Is the system — official or social — waiting for women to pick up arms and go berserk? Is the system waiting for the people to rise in revolt? Why is it that instances of assault on women and even girls as young as five years are on the increase following the Delhi gang-rape case?
Not only do these questions haunt every woman but also every sane person in the society today. For, these angry and frustrated questions are coming up from very agitated minds that do not have solutions to the problem of violence against women.
Such a society where women are targets of needless attacks and where the people feel helpless against a frigid system that refuses to get stirred up, just cannot make progress. For, any society where such conditions prevail, just creates impregnable walls in the path of its own progress.
This is not to remind ourselves of the old Sanskrit verse that means that gods reside in places where women are worshipped, for one is not much attuned to seeking old references all the time. Yet, when women — young and old — are subjected to such tortures on an almost continuous basis, one feels like resorting to ancient wisdom as a possible answer to the present problems of social savagery. For, perhaps, our redemption may be hiding in those words of old wisdom. Perhaps, our reformation may come from that mature thinking promoted by our sages who knew it all, the good and the bad of life.
Of course, we have to admit that the official system does not cause the rape, but it fails to offer protection to the women on many, many occasions. And the rape is caused by villains and demons among us, as part of the larger social system where there no efforts seems to have been made to convert kids into fine human beings.
This is intended as a sweeping statement. The intention here is to highlight what kind of dirty treatment we, as a society, mete out to our women.
Let us get back into that moment of assault on those two little girls, one in Aligarh and one in Delhi. Those kids must have screamed and screamed, and then perhaps fallen unconscious with the torture. And there must have been no one to run for the kids’ help. How those two kids must have got overwhelmed with a sense of utter helplessness!
Any society that allows such moments repeatedly is not the society where gods can ever reside. This is a society that seems to enjoy harbouring demons.
Are we such a society — of demons and shameless scoundrels? Are we a society of bandits and dacoits?
I, for one, would never like to be part of such a society. That I would not go away from this society is a given, but I would also not rest until complete social justice is attained, at least as regards women, young and old.
This is the simplest pledge I would expect every woman, and also every sane man, to take as a mission of lifetime.