Prisoner of Hindustan

Here I sit before this indispensable box that has come to dominate all our activities, wondering how to write what I wish to write. My mind, most of the times, is bamboozled by the fact that I wonder if my writing can help what has already taken place.


Events like time are irrevocable. I read an article in the newspaper today, which has managed to spoil an entire day. In an age where every tiny toddler is aware of the use of the internet, of technology, of education; my heart palpitates when I come to write of this disgusting incident that took place in Noida. It is about a girl who is traumatized after being gang raped. Now it is such a common place event, that the reader might find nothing worthy of paying attention to it. It happens almost everyday. But for how long are we letting the victims lose? When will the realization don, that these kinds of crimes deserve rhadamanthine punishments?


To a newspaper, this just means another piece of news. To an everyday reader, it’s just another article that one might choose to skip and go ahead to the politics section. Rape is not just physical and emotional injury. It is rape of a soul. It is destruction of a life that will never manage to blossom. To my relief, the matter was taken to Girija Vyas, Chairman of National Commission for Women. She also mentioned that this case should not be let to decay like the myriad such cases in the history. She alluded to the Aarushi murder case. This was another relief, as I thought that the previous case has already been buried. With this, my mind also took flight to the yet unresolved case of the rape of the Swiss diplomat. Now that the enormity of the crime has created ripples abroad, we here did nothing except for a few articles about the development of these cases.


What kind of national image are we striving to portray to our international counterparts?


Just above this article was issued an article about another gang rape by ten villagers. The village Panchayat is doing its maximum to save “its boys”, as if they were the men of war who have brought laurels to their village by this act of courage. This was not courage, but cowardice, and the village and the families that are trying to save these obnoxious humans are even worse. If they let these men, “undeserving of life”, to be free, they are giving them their approbation that such a crime is not worthy of penalty. To my surprise, one woman, in order to save her son, witnessed that on the day of the incident, her son was with his wife. For evidence, she offered a medical report of her daughter-in-law. How more unsympathetic can a woman to another woman be?


In an age of globalization, our minds are still shackled by these concerns. Tomorrow, this incident might not even be remembered, but who consoles the lives of those that have been devastated? This is what our 52 years of independence, progress and achievements amounts to. On another page of the same newspaper is a briefing of our Prime Minister, who stated that the terrorism attacks cannot destabilize out politics or our economy. One may be curious to inquire, after the loss of lives in the Mumbai terrorist attack, after gang rapes one after another, after murders over trivial issues, after heart rending misfortunes of the victimized women; what more is there to be destabilized?


What national ideals of freedom, democracy and “unity in diversity” are we hankering after, when our daily lives are still riveted in the unforgivable acts of everyday existence? The urban elite in multi national companies do not represent India. India is represented by the majority of its population residing in miserable conditions, which are yet not free in mind, after over half a century of independence.


We are victims of a country where there is no punishment for gang rapes and murders, where the wrong doers are acquitted by the glitter of money, where terrorism has already taken its toll in a manner that festivals will always be celebrated with insecurity lurking.


My heart palpitates when I pen down my grievances that have corroded the “SONE KI CHIDIYA”. After having been conferred the freedom of speech and expression, that is what we have been reduced to- speeches and expression of views.


We are prisoners of HINDUSTAN, and today, the place implies rapes and rampages, rule of the rich, powerless poor, victimized women and arbitrary authorities. A messiah is neither awaited nor expected, because the devil is not outside. The devil is inside the human mind, exploring and exploiting it ruthlessly. It is not the humans that need killing; it is the killing of devil that resides inside the human. And for this, there is no need to accuse and abuse the establishments and the authorities; change had to be brought by changing the mindset. We need to break free from the “mind imposed manacles”.


Poornima Gulati



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