I spent most of last night covering the protests in central Delhi. It is a touching sight to see people taking to the streets like this.
Yes, there are many logical reasons to question why this one case has become a rallying point. Yes, Dalit women face huge problems, and in Delhi itself a 3-year-old was raped just days after this gangrape.
Introspect on our fraying social fabric and the breakdown in law and order
Sometimes it is impossible to ask why one particular instance of a rape or kidnapping or whatever grab the public imagination. But the good thing is it drives greater public awareness and greater responsiveness from the government. Given the general apathy in India, I’ll grab any opportunity that gets people to introspect on our fraying social fabric and the breakdown in law and order.
In India, most people are under serious stress, fighting for power, water, sanitation and space
The one aspect being overlooked in the current situation is of how dehumanising life has become in India, not just for the poor but even the middle class. People are always under stress, fighting for power, water, sanitation and space. They live in hovels and feel insecure and untrained and unprepared for the challenges of life. They are always being mocked, shouted at and generally disregarded. They are being bombarded with messages (movie, ads) that create desire and ambition but they are not given the tools (education, fair access) with which to pursue even a subsistence lifestyle. So there are growing but inchoate feelings of frustration, inadequacy and resentment.
The situation is the same with the underclass everywhere, but it is more marked in India and covers a much larger portion of the population here
The blog sent seems to make a virtue of the government’s reaction, when it was actually forced on them by the people. For all such gestures, the system is too broken to address the core issues eating away at the society contract here.
Perhaps this is part of the process of evolution. I just hope we wake up to the fact that human happiness and dignity is a better pursuit than GDP growth.
For example, we really need to stop treating land like a financial asset and start using it to provide better housing and distribute it to landless farmers. That alone will cure so much of the sickness in our body politic.