Friday, October 3, 2008

Justice for Sowmya Viswanathan

The callousness and insensitivity of the law makers and law enforcers in the country (India) drive me insane.

A young girl on her way back from home late night/early morning is shot dead. Instead of focusing all effort towards nailing down the culprit, we are discussing whether women should go out in the night or not, whether they should get options to work from home or not. All these useless deliberations are disgusting to say the least. Dear CM, your city is not safe anytime of the day for person of any gender. It doesn't matter if it's 3 AM or 3 PM. Doesn't matter a man or a woman.

When a woman goes out to work and stays late to meet deadlines, she is not being "adventurous", she's being competitive in a world which is not lenient to her because of her gender and the threats it exposes her to. Sheila Dikshit's remarks simply expose the hypocrisy of the social mindset.

We want to so desperately prove ourselves to the rest of the world, we shout slogans on equality of men and women, we raise our daughters to take on the world like our sons do and then when the perverted miscreants strike, our disintegrated social thread slaps us on our faces and we are quick to recoil back into our narrow mindsets and try looking for easy answers. "We all know Delhi is unsafe - why work till late".

Yes, we also know a woman can be raped in broad daylight, we know a CEO can be lynched in front of a 100 people, we know a bomb can explode at 6:00 PM on Saturday evening before Diwali, we know we can be murdered sitting in the comfort of our house, we know we can be run over by a speeding bus or a drunk son of a business tycoon/politician. So what do we do with this knowledge repository? Just accept that we live in times of total anarchy and not work, not shop, not relax, not live life?
What makes the whole situation more hurtful is that this does not come from an ordinary not-so-educated house wife who is worried to death about the safety of her working daughter, but the Chief Minister of the capital of the country who has been elected and entrusted with the responsibility of keeping the citizens safe and punishing the criminals.

I pray to god that this time the government and the law surprise us by taking speedy action to provide justice to Sowmya because this is not about Sowmya alone, it is about Neha, Priyanka, Pooja, Yuvika, you, me and all citizens, man or woman alike.

When I step out of home I should not be worried about the uncle who is waiting to feel me up in the crowded DTC bus, I should not be tensed about eve-teasers and robbers on the 2 minute walk I might have to take alone from the bus stop to college, I should not panic when my classes or even movies get extended wondering what awaits me in the darkness of the night, I should not worry my self sick when my parents go out for diwali shopping, I should not be anxious if my daughter is held up at work in the wee hours. Is that too much to ask for Ms. Dikshit?

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