iconimg Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Hindustan Times
Mumbai, December 30, 2012
In India, we are not rebellious by nature. We have almost taken it for granted that politicians are criminals and murderers. I was sure a day will come when India will stand up and tell them that we are not going to take it any more.

Last week, I saw people protesting at India Gate and the police lathi-charging them, but they were undeterred. That's when I understood our time had arrived. This anger and emotion will not be restricted to one particular rapist. People are angry because they are consistently seeing that women are not safe in this country. The government is inefficient and politicians are corrupt and time and again people suffer. This has acted as a trigger for their anger.

We actively feel that they (the system and people in power) are working against India. They are creating a society which is not safe for women. Till this changes, India won't change. Arresting the culprits and prosecuting them is a short-term solution. It is like a tank leaking, and you stopping it with a bubble gum. And the people have realised it.

There is no government. So people have to put their foot down. Democracy is defined as government of the people, by the people and for the people. Ours is only of the people, not by the people or for the people. The people have realised it. That's why they have taken to the streets to fight for their rights.

But I don't think violence is going to solve anything. When the protests started in Delhi, my gut reaction was to buy a ticket, fly down and join them. Honestly.

But I realised that if I do that, I would be tagged as publicity hungry and the actual message I mean to convey will not be out.
But honestly, there is no solution. We are in such deep trouble. It's not a problem exclusive to the malfunctioning of police and politician, it's with us. People in India do not value women. A man should stand and defend a woman, come what may. I cannot overstate this. No one can help us, except ourselves. We have to dig ourselves out. We have to take interest in education, sensitisation and politics.

Why do we have rapists and murderers in office? Because we don't vote. Those of us who are affected do not care enough to choose the right candidate. We have led ourselves into this mess. We have brought these goons to our house, now we should chase them away.

- As told to Dibyojyoti Baksi