When 369 MLAs and MPs of a country’s Parliament are charged with sexual abuse, you know it’s time for the ones in power to clean up their act and fast.
The horrifying news that greeted us last Saturday may have been the last straw for an already vulnerable nation, but you can always count on our good ol’ politicians to leap into damage control mode with lightning speed. Our honourable Prime Minister promptly treated us to his brand of silent reinforcement and nodded convincingly as Sonia Gandhi took to making long winded speeches. And so overcome was Sheila Dixit with grief, that she even allowed a couple of tears to slide decorously down her cheek.
However, our admiration rests with the legislator who came up the brainwave of banning skirts from school uniforms. After all, it is these skirts worn by school girls that are causing our nation’s impeccably mannered lads to go astray. Of course, some might consider banning a girl from wearing what she chooses as a direct attack on her freedom, but we are sure these politicians have nothing but our best interests at heart.
So dear politicians, we took the liberty of drawing up a list of New Year resolutions for you. We are sure that fulfilling it will come as easily to you as casting aspersions on the victim’s character:
Being the noble, selfless politician that I am, in 2013 I will grant to my people,
• A city where rapes on roads are the greeted with the same fury that protests on roads do. A city where water cannons, tear gas bombs and lathis are reserved specifically for the spineless cowards whose idea of fun involves slyly groping a woman in a crowded bus.
• A dedicated police force who works single-mindedly towards catching culprits instead of aiding him in covering his tracks with their inefficiency.
• A society which drops the façade of ‘development’ and just admits that misogyny starts at home. Let’s just stop passing the buck to films and advertisements and admit that our chauvinist mindsets were developed eons before Honey Singh was even born.
• Politicians who actually have the guts to step up and take responsibility. Not the hollering buffoons whose only interest in asking for death penalty is to feed on the public anger. Not the ones in power, who refuse to take off the rose tinted glasses - Because the alternative would mean actually serving justice; a course of action that they are yet to encounter.
• Development of fast track courts as has been done in Rajasthan, appointment of a motivated jury and above all, a stringent set of laws. Yes, we may bristle at the words ‘third world country,’ yet we see no harm in living under barbaric laws that have the audacity to command a victim to marry her rapist.
These measures are, of course, by no means comprehensive, but do excuse us. We are but an angry and confused public, thirsty for justice. So how about you squeeze a few minutes out of your hectic schedule of giving long winded interviews and making oh-so- sympathetic speeches and instead make a start SOMEWHERE?
Who am I to make these demands? I am but, an ordinary girl. A girl who travels only by buses. A girl who is no great shakes at martial arts. A girl who feels sick thinking how easily she could fall prey to the same trap. Thanks to your utter indifference, I am now truly afraid. It could have just as easily been me in the bus, and today I’d have been mourning me.
So congratulations Sheila Dixit, congrats Sonia Gandhi and good job, Abhijit Mukherjee. In fact, let’s just go ahead and applaud every last politician who pompously assumed that he knew enough of the victim’s trauma and misery to pass generalizations on her. Congratulations; if disillusioning the people is what you set out to do, here’s another heart that you’ve mercilessly crushed and here’s another vote that you’ve irrevocably lost.