The “Guarding” Demons

Kurosava, the legendary filmmaker,  made a film in the 1950s called Rashamon. In that ninety minute film, he portrayed a world where there was no such thing as truth. He showed a world going to the dogs. A world with no proper civic authority, where there things like honour, pride were just mere words and which was covered with dark clouds of greed, vanity and lies.

Six years ago, a small girl was gang raped in a local train. Witnessing this felony were people travelling in that compartment, but no one came to her rescue. Four years ago, in our commercial capital Mumbai, a girl was raped in daylight in front of thousand of houses at Marine Drive by a drunken cop. No one came forward to help her. Two days ago, a 12-year-old was raped by two policemen who were “not drunk”. They pulled her into their car and raped her, one after the other . The windows were tinted, which according to the law, is banned.

What do you do when a civic authority, who is out there to protect your rights, turns out to be your criminal? What do you call such acts? Are they just rapes or something much graver than that?

According to our religious books, this is kalyug, the dark period of human civilization when demons unleash themselves and no such thing as humanity remains alive. Everyone is selfish and ready to kill one another for existence.

But, are the civic authorities the only ones who are nor performing their duties? Are we, as citizens, active enough?

The citizens have turned a deaf ear to the loud screams around them. They shut their eyes tight and stay in complete darkness when evil triumphs over good. They sew their lips only to save themselves from the pain of standing up for their rights.

April 29, 1999. A young woman called Jessica Lal was shot in front of 600 people. Eye witnesses tell police they could identify the murderer. Six days later, the suspect surrenders in Chandigarh. A series of arrests are made but all are bailed out. Eight years later, her case is dismissed and the court releases that the two suspected convicts from all the charges. And then comes an outburst. The media shows its power and so do the people. After eight long years, a dead girl gets justice. But it is not her victory alone; it is the whole humanity that wins.

Like Kurosava’s Rashamon, we see a silver lining between the dark clouds. There is still hope. When we are one step away from losing our faith in humanity, there comes hope – a hope when there will be a revival of ethics and the world will be a better place to live in.

Aakanksha Ahluwalia

[Image courtesy:]