India saw its 65th Republic day but there is little to celebrate.
We definitely have our government to blame and our ineffective law enforcers. But how far will playing the blame game take us? I am a cynic and extremely disillusioned with the country. And sadly, I am not the only one. I have been part of candle light marches, petitions and protests but frankly it makes no difference.
The whole country raised her voice for Nirbhaya. Not just India but the world was shocked by the inhuman violence. But then what? Did the rapes stop? Did the police become more vigilant? Did the government pass any laws that would deter rapists? Did any political parties undertake any widespread campaign to put the fear of God and Law into the the minds of those who think they can get away with abusing women? No.
What happened instead? The police still remained complacent as in the extremely recent case of Esther Anuhya ( and many others), there were more marches and sundry political leaders made sickening statements about the various causes for increase in the number of rapes ( The chowmein was my personal favourite) to obviously the most popular one of “blame the victim”
Leaving women issues aside, whatever happened to the money that was
during the all the various scams? What were the thieves politicians sentenced to. And most
importantly what actions were taken to make sure such scams never happened
I will not get into the multitude of the issues concerning India today. For, surprisingly that is not the point of this article. The point is, I don’t have any solutions or answers to the questions above. I don’t know what can be done instead of candlelit marches or how we can get answers from the government and not empty promises. I am scared that the situation will ever change. But, I am terrified that we as citizens one day will become apathetic to this situation. That rapes and violence and scams and injustice will not faze us anymore and we will accept it to be a way of life. Just the way, very sad but true, poverty doesn’t disturb us much. We have become desensitized to it in a disturbing way. This is what I fear most- being desensitized.
I refuse to lose my ability to feel, to empathize and to be sensitive to others needs. And, there are ways we can all hold on to our capacity to feel and to make a difference (no matter how small) to our society. The answer to this is not just simply charity but to volunteer.
We need to move out of our comfortable shells and be exposed to the harsh realities around us. We need to go beyond debates and candle light marches and actually do something on a regular basis. Regardless of our age, gender, lifestyles and situations there are ways we can contribute. There are plenty of NGOs dedicated to a variety of causes. Choose one that you can relate to- whether it be Child Rights, Women Rights, Sanitation, Health, Environment, Wild life etc and dedicate some time and effort. I understand how busy our lives an get but can we really not take out a minimum of 10 hours in a month? And if that is too much, can we not drop down for few hours to an old age home, or an orphanage or women’s shelter for 2 hours in a month? To spend some time with the less fortunate and maybe do something for them? Are we really that busy that we don’t even have 2 hours in a month to “sacrifice”?
I might not have much faith on the government but I still have some left on our citizens. Take some time out and stop by any government hospital. Think about the state our basic healthcare is at. Join an organization to find out why mid day meals don’t really work in educating our young minds. Interact with volunteers to find out the harassment they face in trying to do something good. Open yourself up and at least be aware. You never know how many lives you can touch or in how many ways you can change.Don’t let yourself become an emotional zombie. Don’t let the hapless situation take away our ability to feel too.