Almost every page of a mainstream newspaper, barring sports and finance, hosts at least one rape story every day. As if this was not reflective enough of our rotting mindset, deadly incidents of religious intolerance are making the atmosphere ever more inflammable. While this daily dose of degeneracy may not turn a morally-upright person into a rapist, it could embolden potential ones. The justice system is so full of loopholes that the criminals, and the potential ones, believe they will get away with it. Many have.
Sex-starved rats can be found dime-a-dozen, lurking across India’s landscape, thriving mostly in morally-bankrupt States like Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. The decadence is so complete that even toddlers are not spared. There is also a new element to it – Voyeurism. While the girl is being raped, friends of rapists stand and watch, then they take turns. There is no fear. Instant gratification is all that matters. How incorrigible we are can be worked out from the fact that even a horrific incident like ‘Nirbhaya’ failed to jolt us. In fact, post-Nirbhaya, the rape cases have only risen in number…
For all practical purposes, India is no longer a secular country, secularism is just a romantic idea today. Till not so long ago, in a more liberal India, we could eat whatever we wanted to, we could wear anything we liked. We were free to express our feelings without the fear of backlash. We were carefree….Try being carefree today after eating beef. Even if you are a Muslim, for whom eating beef is perfectly natural, you will cease to exist, if caught eating cow meat.
We have also strayed from virtues of compassion and forgiveness. ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ has only textbook relevance today. An Australian was recently made to regret his decision to visit India, which he rectified by vowing never to return after suffering humiliation at the hands of a few fundamentalists, who objected to his wearing a Goddess’ tattoo, that of Yellamma, on his legs. The poor Aussie did not mean to demean the Goddess, he simply didn’t foresee the religious fanaticism that it would evoke. He couldn’t have known that we would behave like a bunch of irrationals. He could have been quietly, peacefully asked to cover his legs, or leave. To harass the Aussie, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, told the world how hopelessly primeval we still are.
A country is considered developed only when its people are evolved, when citizens are tolerant to each other, especially outsiders who come bearing faith.
These are people who kill merely on the basis of suspicion, they don’t need evidence of sacrilege. Akhlaq and his family had mutton on menu, not beef, but that didn’t matter. A message had to be passed for the benefit of the erring Muslims, Hindus even. The Haryana CM, Manohar Lal Khattar, provided that communal message with official mandate when he thus warned the Muslims: “Muslims can stay in India so long as they don’t indulge in cow slaughter and beef eating.” The chief minister, one of RSS’ poster boys, did retract his statement later, but by then, the mission had been accomplished. How can Muslims living in Haryana, after hearing the CM, feel secure in a country which is as much theirs as it is Hindus’?
Then there are incidents of blackening of faces. Ink was thrown at Sudheendra Kulkarni by Shiv Sainiks because he was promoting the launch of a book by Khurshid Ahmed Kasuri, former Pakistan foreign minister, in Mumbai. An MLA in Kashmir had to suffer similar fate inside the assembly after it was discovered that he hosted a beef party. He was inked, mobbed, and heckled, all being done in front of the entire nation… they don’t even care if we are watching their disruptive version.
Such incident shows the kind of la la land the Shiv Sena lives in, and somehow underscores its own mislaid sense of significance in India. The ruffians who attacked Kulkarni will do it again. And again and again, till they are not taught a lesson, which is exemplary and deterring.
Then Shiv Sainiks stormed into the office of BCCI at the Wankhede Stadium without authority. The guards tried to stop them, but to no affect. They were simply brushed aside. They stormed into President Shashank Manohar’s office and threatened him with dire consequences if efforts to renew cricketing ties with Pakistan were not halted with immediate effect.. Visiting PCB chief, Shahryar khan, was scheduled to meet Shashank Manohar to discuss the prospects of a December bilateral series a little later. Had he been early, and present in the office when they barged in, who knows, the old peacemaker could have been hurt…
Are we really doomed, or will our immensely popular and powerful Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, sit up and take charge? Otherwise, what’s the point in calling ourselves world’s greatest democracy? It’s a hollow feeling…