Our failure to protest loudly enough makes us complicit with weak governance. It’s a silence that threatens democratic ideas and places every citizen, regardless of ideology, at peril.
The right to be offended is now an all-inclusive Indian sport that unites citizens from Tamil Nadu to Kashmir, Jaipur to Kolkata, women, Dalits, Muslim, Hindus.
The events of the past few weeks have a depressing sameness. In Kashmir, an all girls’ rock band is declared un-Islamic and disbands. In Tamil Nadu, Kamal Haasan agrees to seven cuts to allow for the release of his film, Vishwaroopam.
In Kolkata, Salman Rushdie cancels plans to attend the book fair. In Bangalore, paintings of nude goddesses cause offence. An academic faces arrest for an intemperate idea. And on it goes.
Continue reading “Quiet in times of intolerance”
In the small room they call home, the family of the girl known as Delhi’s Brave heart is trying to come to terms with its loss. Already there is no evidence that she lived here only a month ago.
In the small room they call home, the family of the girl known as Delhi’s Braveheart is trying to come to terms with its loss. Already there is no evidence that she lived here only a month ago. Her books and clothes have been packed away, although her brother points to a physiotherapy textbook that somehow got left out. On the front cover, a name has been scribbled in pencil on the top corner. It’s a neat scrawl, as if unwilling to take up more than its necessary space. I can only wonder how a girl with such a big spirit could have had such a tiny handwriting.
The father, his face a stoic mask, doesn’t want to hear the old story repeated. But the mother recounts the events of that night of December 16, how the family began to worry when it began to get late, how they tried her mobile but couldn’t get through, the call that finally came from the police, the autorickshaw ride on a cold night to Safdarjung hospital, the sight of a girl, your girl, so frail on the bed. You don’t know yet what has happened. You don’t know yet the extent of her brutalisation, the iron rod, the man who sat across her chest yelling, “Mar saali.” You only touch her hand, her eyes open, she sees you and she begins to cry.
Continue reading “There’s no closure for them”
The things are changing: Gender issues are now a part of mainstream discourse.
Just over a month ago would you have imagined thousands, men as well as women, marching in protest against rape? Just over a month ago would you have imagined that an online petition could cancel a New Year concert by a hugely popular rapper who sings of his rape fantasies? Just over a month ago would you have imagined policemen in Noida getting suspended after refusing to take complaints of a missing woman seriously?
To those who say nothing has changed in just over a month since the 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped, tortured and thrown off a moving bus, consider this: perhaps finally the glass is half full. Continue reading “Finally, the glass is half full”