Opinion: My Dear Women, I As A Man, Am Sorry

By Devjyoti Patnaik

A young self-dependent woman starts from office towards her home, is found brutally murdered after being raped the next day… A middle aged married woman, mother to 2 teenagers doesn’t return home from grocery shopping in the evening… A class 11 girl is gang-raped by her own friends… A 10 yr old school student molested by her own teacher… This is how our culturally great nation has headlines in most of its newspapers every day. We take pride in such culture and our heritage puts us among the greatest civilizations of the world. REALLY!!! Imagine being a father waiting for your daughter to return from work but the next day you mourn over her mortal remains of a burnt body… Imagine you are staying away from your parents in a hostel and you receive a call at night that your mother or sister has been raped!!! Imagine yourself as a young working professional and your girlfriend, with whom you have planned to spend the rest of your life, is found by the police raped and dead in a deserted area…

FEAR!!! Each time when some female that you care about steps outside of her safe zone… FEAR!!! That she may not be safe even when inside her home… FEAR!!! That she may be the next victim of monsters in the guise of human… What a term “HUMANS”!!! Supposedly the best creation of God, with the ability to think, apply conscience and cooperate and live as a society. It is rightly said that good and bad are the two sides of the same coin. The best creation has turned out to be monsters the worst kind that could ever set foot on the planet.

Recently one of my friends said, she doesn’t trust anyone and would have to think twice to hail a cab or to return home from work alone. And it struck me hard. I have read in the newspapers about men raping women be it someone as young to be classified as an infant or as old to be a grandmother. Worst of all, society blames women for being raped, and it includes women blaming women too for that. Is it? Does someone wearing a salwar who has probably acknowledged you smiling at her, invited you to get on the bed with her? Does a small kid who doesn’t even know what a monster looks like, thinking you are an uncle who may love her innocence and hold her in your arms and give her chocolates, ask you to devastate her? And how would any woman trust any man now? Even if she gathers the courage to fight, what does the society do? It blames her. What do the police do? They harass her. Some cases have come to light recently when the police are the criminals. So what is next? The so called protector is the real culprit. How do you tackle this? And the judiciary… Who can forget our lawyers who fight for justice? They even take up cases of proven criminals, molesters, rapists, murderers, terrorists… All for money? Are they not equally responsible? Is this what a human society looks like? Is this the great and rich culture and heritage that we take so much pride in?

These events have shaken me to the core. Unable to sleep, disturbed mind… Rage filled within. And of course FEAR!!! I ask the society today. Is it really what you want to happen? Are candle marches enough? Is it not the responsibility of society as a whole that such incidents happen? Is it not the duty of every parent to teach their children to grow up to be better men and women? What does the government do to ensure safety for each individual? Is it not one of the basic duties of any government? Is it not why people elect them and pay for the luxurious life that every politician leads? Are they not responsible for stricter laws and punishment for such heinous crimes? And instead, many times they are found shielding these sorts of criminals. Does it not make them as bad as these criminals and does it not make us, the voters, fools? Lastly, our Police… I sometimes think of whether they are present to catch criminals or just to scare the common man. The way the victims get harassed in most cases is just horrendous. When asked about their actions to bring the criminals to justice, all they do is either give those routine answers or get angry that they are questioned so.

And we say, “Mera Bharat Mahaan” but the movie 16 December aptly has an extension to this, “100 mein se 99 beimaan”. Neither is it just the government nor the police. We collectively as a society have failed time and again. All we have done is fight among ourselves over petty issues and history has time and again shown us that we are an absolutely failed society, never truly owning our original cultural values or heritage. We, THE SOCIETY, have failed our women. We, THE SOCIETY, have failed ourselves. Because without each other, our society will cease to exist. So my dear MEN, let’s take a pledge to treat our women wih respect. And my dear women, I as a man, am sorry.

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same)