These scenes of public awareness
Whatever happened with a girl student in the national capital in the night of December 16 is being condemned in the whole country, and rightly so. Right from the spread of the news of the incident the countrywide wave of public anger has not dampened till the time of writing these lines. The chain of protests, statements and demands is going on, showing public awareness about this kind of crimes. Demands of legislating stringent laws and subjecting the culprits to exemplary punishment are being made on a large scale. Political and social representatives are presenting their viewpoints strongly in discussion on TV channels. The gist and objective of this entire move is that the government should take immediate measures to contain the crimes of this type, and that the responsible persons of society should have their say in it. And the government and the Ministry for Home Affairs seem to be on the weak wicket. Their statements are weak and clarifications lifeless. The force and enthusiasm seen in government statements on terrorism is totally absent here. Such is the thrust of protestors.
The thing that is lacking
But what is lacking in this protest is farsightedness and realism, viz. totally ignoring the causes and motivations of the crime. Only sometimes some proper voice is heard otherwise all of them lay stress on the cleanliness of the surface; no one is talking of the root causes. For example, there is no sorrow and anger against the ever widening net of government shops of wine, the mother of evils, and this illegal lethal business. No one is demanding to close these shops while the biggest cause of December 16 incident was this. This attitude of many girls and young women participating in the protests is strange. Such slogans can be seen on banners and placards: meri marzi ke baghair tum mujhe choo nahin sakte “You cannot touch me without my consent” (i.e. everything can be done with consent; there is nothing wrong in it), nazar buri tumhari ho aur purdah main karoon “Your glance is at fault and I do purdah” (i.e. do not tell me anything on the way I live and the way I dress). Those participating in discussions are also not opposing these things.
The role of protectors of rights
And the most interesting role in this matter is that of the individuals and organisations of women’s lib that run in the forefront of such protests. They are of the view that girls and the women going out of their houses should not be advised; they are free for their lifestyle, behaviour and dress style. They make much hue and cry whenever someone speaks on sexual crimes and excesses against women. The other day a lady political leader in Delhi only said that women should not remain outside in the night unnecessarily. It provided a big cause for ruckus by champions of women’s lib who made such an attack on her that it was difficult for her save herself. And it happens every time. Those who make statements at last have to regret. As far as the government is concerned, it is working for promotion of moral delinquencies in the name of development. Granting legal sanction to homosexuality and “live in relationship” is a case in point. There is no hope that any group of citizens would dare to rise against this situation under these circumstances. However, if Muslim organisations do something in this regard, it would work; for they have solid arguments about it and a cure for the ill, too.