Ram Rajya

I don't know why all mention of Indian culture seems to consist of subjugation of women and denying women their right to lead independent lives bounded by their own choices. The so-called guardians of morality don't think that the so-called Indian culture they supposedly venerate also includes showing respect for women or not molesting them. I notice that not one of the moral police was out protesting against the gang of men who molested two young women on 31st Dec 2007 in Mumbai as they emerged from a hotel. Well, of course, stupid me. I forgot this was 21st Century India. Of course the women must have done something to cause what happened to them. I'm sorry, I must have missed it – just what was it that these women were doing that was clearly wrong and that gave these men the right to molest them? Oh, right – they were exercising their rights as independent young women to go out and enjoy themselves. Or was it enjoying themselves that was wrong? Or was it that they offended by leaving the party at that five star?

I notice none of the moral police came out and protested when the young student was raped in Noida in January. Well, naturally, since there was a woman in the case, she must have done something to call this upon herself. Umm, let me guess…driving in a car? Expecting the suburban road to be safe? Breathing?

No surprises, the Mangalore goons are out scot free and probably feeling all too triumphant at having emerged unscathed. In fact, they are now known and feared by people in their right senses across India, so this was a great PR exercise in gaining political clout. Next thing you know, Sunil Mittal and Ratan Tata will start supporting Muthalik for Minister of Culture.

That humble and self-effacing politician, the Minister of Health has also jumped on the bandwagon now, claiming that pubs are against Indian culture. Never mind that giant ancient boulders engraved with the recipe for Som Ras are strewn across the beach in Dwarka, right outside the temple. Never mind that Tuberculosis has returned with a vengeance to India and the number of cases is steadily rising. Never mind that AIDS is spreading and that polio which was supposed to be eradicated in 2003 as per government guidelines is still around. Never mind that malnutrition remains one of the severest health concerns of India. No, no let's not get distracted by these small petty things like disease and death. Let's focus on the big health stuff – closing down pubs in urban India.

While Renuka Chowdhury, true to her image as firebrand came out with a tongue-lashing against what happened, I don't see any of the young, so-called future leaders going out on a limb here and protesting against what happened. In fact, whenever a major issue erupts, the young politicians are noticeable for their silence. Why should any of them protest or voice an opinion, even though going out to pubs or having a drink with their male and female friends is part of their everyday life, just like it is for hundreds of other Indians? Is it going to get them any votes? Of course not.

And then we have the National Commission for Women which was ostensibly in town to figure out what and how it happened. Instead, they're busy pointing fingers at the pub owner that he didn't have a valid liquor license. It's another matter that someone else should be looking into that independently, not as a result of this incident. Could the NCW just stick to the job they were supposed to be doing?

And then there's the media. Forewarned of such an attack by the publicity-hungry Ram Sene, rather than warn the police or other authorities, they hung around in wait, cameras at the ready to capture this news story. No one tried to help the women who were subjected to this attack. The other people in the pub stood on the sidelines, apart from one lone student who tried to help.

And post the attack, the parents of the girls are going to town about how the girls were 'modestly dressed and drinking only coke', when it happened.

Does no one get it, that it's about freedom of speech and action and not about what the girls were doing or wearing?

I'm not surprised that the mob called itself the Ram Sene, given what Ram did to Sita. In such a Ram Rajya, no wonder Sita is standing around denuded!!!



dipali said…
I guess Ram is responsible for a lot of the flak women still go through in India today, starting with the first agnee pareeksha and ending with the banishment of Sita to the ashram after the dhobi questioned her chastity. These recent developments are absolutely disgusting.
bird's eye view said…
You're right - that's why I've never liked the Ramayan.

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