The current incidences & the responses to them have underlined the need to change the mentality. We need to return to ancient Indian value systems. Ratan Sharda writes about the need.
Rape of ‘Nirbhaya’ (as TOI has rightly called her) by a gang of boors has shaken up our society like no other recent event. One is shaken to core when one visualizes the event as it may have happened. Even as society, especially youth, erupted in protest, we read more instances or base behavior of the lowest kind from horrible. A Nepalese lady who had come in search of her husband in Mumbai was raped not once but thrice by different people in whom she had put faith. How have we sunk to such low levels? What kind of value system have we given to our people in last six decades that turned us from humans to animals?
I have a Sessions judge friend in North India who tells me that he often advises people who come to him, to avoid going to police station at night. Even he avoids doing so at night! Is this the police force that we have raised? After all, the police force has also come out of the same society. Many of them would have paid huge ‘fee’ to reach where they are. Many of them would have been obliged to political masters for their postings or for avoiding transfers. How come, we are blaming the police and not their masters for what they are doing to young people at India Gate?
We have a judicial system which grinds so slowly that it grinds even the lives of the people who end up in courts. So, how does it matter whether you make laws to hang or castrate? Culprits are comfortable with the thought, that –
1. They can bribe the police to weaken the case
2. They can ask their political ‘bhais’ or ‘netajis’ to save them.
3. Get bail easily and then roam free with their friends to perpetrate more crimes
4. Wait for ‘justice’ for a decade or two, then appeal to higher courts by which time most of policemen, witnesses would have withered away.
Thus, we have a conviction rate of 20-25% after all this run around. Who is afraid of law? That is why we read today the exemplary news of people in Jharkhand lynching 4 people to death for eve teasing and but professional human rights activists are shocked with this ‘vigilante justice’. Such incidences will only increase if citizens see impotent state all around them.
The governments at centre for last six decades have not just plundered the wealth of the nation, but also the character and values of the society. Blind aping of West has weakened our moral fiber so much that we are left with worst of both worlds.
Protestors have been demanding death penalty for the rapists, which can be understood. Some have talked of speedy justice, true. But, not many have asked for reforms in police force, which had been recommended by Dharamveer Commission as back as in 1978, yes, 1978! We have a police force that has its hands tied by political compulsions, beholden to political masters with fear or favour. They get training of poorest kind, face poorest working conditions and life bereft of dignity, living often in shanties.
We have remained silent because so called liberals shut us down with taunts like ‘moral police’ when we raise objections to women being made into a ‘commodity’ in the name of liberalism. Women encouraged to ‘strut their stuff’, show skin, show each and every part of their body to satisfy men’s voyeuristic instinct in the garb of modernism. They forget that different parts of our country live in different periods of time – from 21st Century to 18th Century; where legal system faces onslaught of ‘khaps’ and ‘personal laws’.
Modernists and Secular intellectuals evangelize break of family system, Indian value systems in the name of modernity. They abhor religious teaching and ethics classes in schools as it is ‘unsecular’. Entire generations of children are growing up without any knowledge of our cultural values, except making money and enjoying life. Our so called dominant thought leaders talk selectively about negative aspects of our ancient culture that has helped nurture one of the longest surviving living civilization. Could this society have survived hundreds of years of onslaught if there wasn’t much larger positive aspect about our social systems? Break up of families, nuclear families, rootless youth living among islands of vulgar display of wealth and life of sense pleasures has created a phenomenon of highly mismatched society – a small growing affluent society of the 21st century versus a large deprived section of society living in pre-modern times. We should not be just worried about economic divide but also cultural divide staring at us in this growth model headed by lecherous plundering political class, that has surpassed even big business in lust for money and luxury.
What we see in this horrendous incident and so many other incidences against women, is not the malaise, it is the signal of a deep rooted malaise in our society. The answer is not so simple as we search for in the streets, but much complex. Simply put in brief for sake of brevity -
1. Reform police force – stop political interference, provide training in soft skills, better living conditions
2. Reform judicial system – stop political interference, set up fast track courts, fill up judicial vacancies, make judicial jobs attractive to attract better talents
3. Change educational system – come out of British education system, give up the bogey of secularism and inculcate value systems in children, make ethics a compulsory subject in education, provide religious or dharma based education to children, informing them about good points of all religions. Don’t throw baby with bath tub in the name of secularism
4. Change political culture – let the bill for constitutional reservations for women, wait. Let political parties give atleast 33% seats to women in ticket distribution. Stop giving tickets to candidates who have crimes against women in their CV.
5. Return to Indian value system – nurture family system that is seen as one of the fundamental reason of Indians’ success globally, not by us but by foreigners too. Stop generalizing relations into Aunty, Cousin, and ‘friend’. Let us define our relations clearly and honestly and come back to ‘Maa’, ‘Maasi’, ‘Bua’, ‘Behen’. Learn to respect womanhood.
6. Let government not become ‘mai-baap’ sarkaar. A system that has brought down economies of the world where governments had taken up the role of family care taker but abandoned citizens to the escapades of capitalist or socialist plunder.
It is not easy to come out of the mentality built over thousand years of subjugation, to drop shibboleths of so called liberals and start believing in our own unique identity and nurture it.