Jalsa, Mumbai Dec 24/25, 2012 Mon/Tue 12:52 AM
Christmas greetings to all … peace and happiness for this festival of prayer and well being, for goodness and friendship to prevail, and for the greater good of humanity to find a warm home in each one of us …
The children are around, the house is lit up in little bulbs and Christmas cheer. A small tree with stars and tiny Santa shoes, adorns a corner of the patio, and Jaya has most beautifully set up a dinner with Bar BQ outside and placed little gifts for each. Aaradhya has wonder in her eyes, the little shoes taking most of her attention, followed by a gentle smile of approval from her, and we are feeling blessed …
It is does not matter whether one follows a particular faith.
What matters is the faith in the others’ following.
Peace can only prevail if we are considerate to the other. To be able to understand and feel what the other does and goes through. To honor and respect belief, for it has taken centuries for it to be born and developed and put to practice. Generations and centuries of it have paid homage to it in a trust of sincerity and devotion. That is something that cannot be replaced, and it never should.
The dining table and the moments of a family gathering in congenial surroundings as we in a family sit about, the talk and debate and argument on the gang rape and its consequences, continues. Each family member has an opinion and a strong voice on it. It is wonderful to be seated as head of the family and listen to the young bring out facets of the happening, that many may have not considered.
There has been a slight lull in the proceedings. The head of state and some that rule have come out and addressed the nation. Perhaps a little too late, but there all the same. The young girl has slipped back in her condition and it seems is back on the ventilator. Our prayers remain with her and her recovery.
But look what it took. It took an entire youth and the student of the city and neighboring regions to protest in large numbers for days, bearing the consequences of police heavy handedness, before any calming assurances could be given. The entire region that had been occupied by the young, has been cleared off. Certain sections of the law have been promulgated, and those that revolt have been pushed back to a special space where most protests are permitted to be held - Jantar Mantar.
Reason … ??
Putin, from Russia is in town on a state visit. Russia, a country that has been the most trusted and lasting friend of India, has had ties since the Independence of the country. Our socialist republic India pattern, was, inspired by the Russians, what our designers of the Constitution felt was necessary for a country as complex as ours. That writing on our most sacred book for democracy, has remained unchanged as far as Russia has been concerned. Peaceful protest has legitimacy in our Constitution. The students expressed that during their rallies on the gang rape. But soon other elements entered and converted it into one of violent disposition. I had written in my Twitter my apprehension that this could happen next and that, could it be that this may be a deliberate ploy to diffuse the real cause ! Today those fears of mine had some kind of a confirmation. A leading newspaper confirmed that there had been an infiltration of elements from a students union of the ruling party, with the exact brief to cause a disruption through violent means, so that the real issue would be sidelined !! And they succeeded ! It is a most common ploy in political machinations and has been used in several other situations to great effect.
Politics can only be fought through politics and when that happens, the genuineness of a cause gets washed away through the tears of the tear gassed bombs, or cold water canons !
However I do feel that both these so called deterrents were unable to douse the spirit of the protesters, and the fact that the system has moved, in setting up fast track courts for speedy justice, and the assurance given by those in power towards policing and securing any further incidents, is something that the younger generation and the students of Delhi that took to the streets, have found victory in. They deserve salutations !!
I did write and record on Bubble my angered opinion. They are now on Face Book. At least on one point I seemed to have consonance. That hanging the culprits is not a solution. I said that in doing so they, the culprits, would get ‘uddhaar’, a kind of divine deliverance. They, the culprits, needed to live, to see, to bear the utter heinousness of their act, and nothing better than to subject them to similar fate as what they did to that young girl. A chemical castration or whatever, that would become a life long reminder of their act, but in a condition that resembled the condition of the girl that they subjected her to !!
A law being passed on their hanging, would be dangerous. A judgement on ‘hang until dead’, would need strong evidence in the court of law, one of which would be the identification of the perpetrator, by the victim. In such legal conditions the rapist would deliberately after the rape, kill the victim, so that evidence is killed !! A very senior lawyer brought this up, which is why I did not mention it.
The end result of all this has undoubtedly been a most concerted awakening to this age old ailment in society, and in that, the youth needs to be respected and praised.
The problem does not have definite solutions. Even as I write, there are reports coming in of rape in other parts of the country, but at least stern action is being taken. The phenomena is not merely restricted to India. It is there in every corner of the globe. Society needs to mature itself in its learning of morals, of respect towards fellow citizens and a hand of friendship and help towards the visitor in your land.
We have great words of wisdom in our learnings and teachings - ‘atithi devo bhava' ! the guest, the visitor to your home to your country, is akin to divinity visiting us. They need to be looked upon and treated thus !
We pray and do sincerely hope that these most basic elements of social norm be not just taught but practiced too, in which ever country you may belong to. When you hold a hand of support for another, you build the very first link of that beautiful flower laden garland, with which we in this country give welcome.
We would never want that the flowers wither and dry, nor that the links of the garland ever break or snap !!
There is no space for gender discrimination. There is no space for female infanticide. Women are the most integral part of our existence. We have been brought into this world to exist. We must chose dignity and happiness in our existence. If not … LEAVE and GET OUT !!
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