The Time Has Come


What do these recent heart-wrenching incidents reflect?

First it was corruption, then it was the brutal Delhi gang rape case and now it is the beheading of two Indian Army soldiers by the Pakistani Army.

Some of the common things these heart-wrenching and unfortunate incidents bring forth are the callousness and stoicism of the government; and the opposition’s despicable manipulation of these incidents for political gain, and the frequent but completely preposterous and sick comments by so called “leaders” from various walks of life.

There occurred many a disastrous event the last year- each one more disastrous than the other. Instead of taking firm steps to prevent its recurrence, the government tried to console the anger of protesters by their platitudes. What’s more, these events brought forth the sick, chauvinistic and despicable mentality of the people who represent the masses on a political, cultural and religious level.

No doubt, their comments were regressive and despicable but in reality, they are only a reflection of a larger mind-set of the people in our country. It might sound pessimistic but the deep rooted chauvinism against gender and religion cannot be obliterated in a few years. It needs a constant effort. Deterrence by harsh punishment is one way to prevent it but it is not the solution to a larger problem. The bigger problem lies in the mind so simply chaining the limbs would not stop such a problem. And at present, the differentiated gain of change in societal structure, which further gets amplified by the rigid and orthodox nature of society, has become so apparent to the people who feel insecurity and resentment that it forces them to commit all kinds of violence that we see in society.

So, what is the solution?

I read somewhere that this moment is more or less like an inflection point, and I believe it really is. There are two opposing forces at play here; one pushing back by alleging that all the changes in society are the root cause of the problem, while the other is protesting, condemning and advocating  for a change in the system itself.

I personally think that we need to continue on this arduous journey of changing the system, but with caution. When I say, caution- it is very important to understand the value of time. In today’s scenario, moderate efforts for a long period of time are far more effective than strong efforts for small period of time; the moderation will not let these former forces carry the wind of protest to their regressive side.

Today, in the presence of a pervasive information system— one that seems to be becoming more and more pervasive in the coming future— it has become difficult to subside or trivialize any information. The power of information has never been felt so strongly. However, it’s true that power comes with responsibility and therefore, the dissemination of information needs to be accountable and responsible.

A country like India where politics is more or less a tool for bigotry and sectionalism, it is critically important to have a pervasive information system. A system that would not only monitor, but would also deter people from committing such despicable and pernicious acts is what this country needs.

Amit Singh

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