Being a woman was never easy. The perils just get quadrupled if you are in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai,for that matter, anywhere in India. A truth that most of us Indian's seem to have gotten used to of late.
Last few weeks have seen back to back cases of young girls being raped, mauled, shoved off a running train or left locked in a house without food or water for months together. As a nosy media brings these images to us in a 24/7 tamaasha, the news seems to have numbed us out of our ability to empathize, react or protest.
Crime against women is not a recent phenomenon. This sorry state of our female populace is an age old bane of our society. There are laws against such crimes. There also is woefully less usage of these laws. However, apart from ineffective archaic laws, there is another very appalling and sinister conspiracy that nurtures these crimes. The Conspiracy of Silence.
A female college student gets killed in broad daylight by a jilted lover. A few hundred people watch the murder. And keep quite.
A sportswomen is thrown off a jam packed general compartment of a train by a mob. She loses her leg and with it a career and a future. The people in the train keep mum and move on.
Not so many years ago, a bartender is shot in the head for refusing a drink. The hundreds partying out there at the bar refuse to speak out.
Silence, it would seem, is a an art we have perfected effortlessly.
Contrast this with a rape attempt at a Denver airport in the U.S. two days ago. The people at the airport raise an alarm, outdo the rapist, call the police and the medics and save a girl's life and dignity.
What is it that makes us Indians morph into silent spectators in the face of injustice and crime? Are we a citizenry bereft of any human emotion and conscience?
Where is the famed "melodrama" and "bhaichaara" that we as a nation pride on? Why this Silence? Why is it so difficult for us to speak out and act against crime?
It is not enough to have a police escort on all our trains. It is not enough to have a male protector with every female Indian all through the day. No stringent law will be able to stem this moral rot unless there is a shift in the mentality that fuels this behavior.
Our silence condones crime. Our apathy is their power source. Our indifference is the curtain these criminals hide behind, each time they ruin a woman's life.
Where women are worshiped, reside the gods,said our wise men. By that measure, India today is bereft of any godliness, a swamp or evil and its minions.