Sanjeev Kotnala: Kab Tak?

18 Dec,2019

By Sanjeev Kotnala

 

Oh! We have raised these questions through centuries in muted, hushed conversations and suppressed closed minds. No, I do not expect much to change in my lifetime, but for the sake of future generation, a start needs to be made.

The good thing about this era is that these are being raised – I can’t say- if they are being heard. The ALARM is yet to ring, and the ZID is anyway missing.

So, if you want to know till when (KAB TAK) will this keep happening? And even as one raises the questions, they know the answer are not important. The answers are known to all. Yet it is important to raise these questions with an expectation of change. That is all that remains.

This will keep happening if we remain cocooned in our thinking and lethargic in our action. Tab Tak- Jab Tak.

Till the time, it is not a problem for the problem solvers. Till the time wives-sisters-daughters of people of influence and who take action remains protected under their circle of influence.

Till the time, it remains someone else’s problem, and we believe it will not happen to us. Till the time we believe we are not causing it as we are not doing anything.

Till the time we have more significant issues of religion, caste, language to divide us and tag the victim with these unnecessary labels.

Till the time, it’s the victim who remains guilty and accused of the crime.

Till the time, we continue blaming her for having provoked and not taken due precautions.

Tab Tak- Jab Tak. We continue to turn a blind eye to someone else’s mother-sister-wife being molested and teased on the streets. And we do so to avoid putting our wife-mother-sister in trouble.

Till the time, these remain unreported because of the question of IZZAT of the family. Till it tells the culprits, they can get away with it.

Till the time, the journey between innocence and guilty remains long, tiring and unpredictable. Till the time, justice is not speeded up. Till the time the system keeps failing to protect the victim.  Till the time the conviction rate remains as low. Till the time, the percentage of crime being reported remains low.

Till we keep letting women down.

Till the time the penalty to victim remains far higher than that for the culprit. Till the time culprits do keep roaming free. Till the time they are not debarred from life from a position of power, influence, accountability and responsibility.

Till the time the victim is repeatedly raped in the courtrooms with a new set of questions to break them.

Till the time the daughters-wives-sisters keep protecting the culprits. Till it is the family name and secret that must be kept confined within the walls – so what if the woman continues to suffer and the culprit gets further confident and encouraged.

Till the time we keep the differences alive and the expectations different from each of the gender.

Till the time people fail to understand the cause of other remaining mute is not their indifference but a lack of trust and faith in the system.

Till the time we keep differentiating in the types and level of rape and crime against women. Till the time, we do not see all age groups as equally impacted and affected by the crime.

Tab Tak- Jab Tak, we keep trivialising the crime and keep giving irresponsible excuses. Till the time, we  believe it is a result of  influence of western culture, irresponsible dressing by women, a disease spread and encouraged by social media, prompted by exposure to porn, result of objectifying women to sell every product and service, glorifying stalking & eve-teasing in films or the lack of sex-education.

Till the time we do not consciously start instilling right value system in our children.

Till the time, brothers, fathers, uncles and every male in the family demonstrate the love, care and respect for the women in the family and set an example of right behaviour for the new generation to imbibe. Tab Tak.

Till the time, we keep treating such crimes as an opportunity for a brand initiative. Till the time media focus continues to stops at a few debates, articles and films. Till the time, we all, including the media, do not understand that enough is enough and that we need to keep up the pressure relentlessly till the objective is achieved.

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