O Murder Most Foul

Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 December 2019 (12:35 IST)
- Inderesh Kumar Jain

1. “I do not have words to express myself”, I quote Rajnath Singh, speaking in the Lok Sabha, while participating in the debate held yesterday, on the murder in
Hyderabad of a young lady. I am afraid I am in the same predicament. The angst and the anguish that I feel are so pronounced and deep seated that it is painful to even breathe.
2. I wonder, if my father would even have begun to imagine that is would be the state of the country, when I was brought into this world? How have we so conveniently forgotten our ‘sanskriti’, our value system that we learnt at the knees of our grandparents and our parents? How have we forgotten that ladies were respected and even venerated in the Vedic times when India was not the India of the present, but a medley of kingdoms within the geographical expanse of the sub-continent? The Veds and the Upanishads are replete with examples of women philosophers, brahmavdinis, teachers and saints. They also clearly indicate the elevated status of women in the hierarchical societal fabric.
 
3. How therefore, have we abrogated the past in the race to the India of today, and as we aspire to take our place at the high table in the comity of nations, do we think that we have the right credentials? As per the data released by the NCRB in Oct 2019, (the Home Secretary signed the report on 10 Oct 19), a total of 3.59849 lac cases were reported against women in 2017, 3.38 lac cases in 2016 and 3.2 lac cases in 2015 ( of these 32,559 cases were of rape in 2017) ie 90 women/ girls were being raped in the India of today, in each hour of the day in 2017?!!
 
4. Where are we going as a country? When Nirbhaya happened, it chilled us to the bone; yet seven years after the gruesome act, the perpetrators still have the temerity to appeal for mercy. Can we as a country countenance such pernicious and nocuous delays? Where is Justice? It is said that ‘justice must not only be carried out, but it must be seen to have been delivered ‘.
 
5. It is so excruciatingly hurtful; this torturous wait. Let me reiterate, is this the India our forefathers dreamt for us? Can we look ourselves in the eye and be proud of our country and what it stands for? Evil in all its forms must be rooted out; the process of societal change will chart its own course, but must not give us an excuse to not stamp out the evil which permeates the human mind.
 
6. The thought that we are surely but steadily spiraling downwards, spinning out of control, is frightening. The earlier we disabuse ourselves and electrify into action, the sooner we will learn to live with ourselves.
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