…and the poor poor girl died earlier in the day I wrote this. Given the delay between my writing posts, and them getting published here, we should have collectively moved on from the issue by now, at least in terms of mind space and media space- mainstream as well as trending topics.
Much, much has been written about the issue – the male/female/Indian/ NRI/feminist/opportunist/armchair activist/ weekend activist/ ‘I was there to protest’ perspective, and these were only some examples – slice and dice any way you like and you’d find a voice that spoke on behalf of the piece you carved. Like this.
Much as I abhor what happened, I see it (rape) only as one symptom of the disease we all have – our own malformed sense of justice. Probably one of the worst symptoms, but not the only one. Injustice is injustice, and it varies by degrees only on the basis of our own perspectives of right and wrong. It happens everyday – talking on the mobile phone while driving/riding, fudging tax forms, making the maid plead for a salary raise, bribing a cop, drinking and driving because you have assured yourself that you are still in control… ask your conscience, you’ll come up with many more. No, I’m not really confusing it with breaking the law – here’s an example. Five hundred times you speak on the phone while driving and nothing happens, but nothing stops the five hundred and first time being the instance that maims someone for life, and leaving him/her bereft of limbs, and perhaps dignity. Ask that person which is a larger crime – what happened to him or a gang rape – the answer should not be surprising. Every action/inaction that affects the dignity of another person, that shows another person that one can get away with breaking the law, that walks the grey area between absolute right and wrong in however minute a way, is injustice in some form. And in this daily, casual, personal #theekhai attitude to justice lie the seeds of every horrible act of injustice. Any kid watching this today and seeing the perpetrator walk away scot free will imagine he can get away with a bigger crime. And so it grows, and morphs into multi-thousand crore scams and gang rapes further down the chain. A bit like the broken windows theory.
Granted that an elected government has among its duties the responsibility of ensuring the protection of its citizens. Should we protest if they do not? Of course, but that does not absolve me of my obligation, nor does it free me of the nagging thought that as a race, our notion of justice is based on convenience. Sometimes I wonder if the birth of laws in society was a response to the slow death of justice within human beings.
So yes, I am the privileged who can update my Facebook status, and move on with my life. I am responsible and there’s nothing I can do about it. Before I casually judge others, I have to wonder if I have the moral authority to do so. After all, I only vary by degrees.
(image via gaping void)
until next time, </justice>