Why we express shock at the incident of stripping a Tanzanian woman?
Has this occurred for the first time in India? Way back in Mahabharata, Draupadi was stripped in open house, before her husbands, elders and other kings and commoners.
Or am I being insensitive? Or the media and public are over reacting – like the mob that stripped the Tanzanian Woman?
Our love of fair complexion could be noticed by the tons of fairness creams sold every year. And it is complemented by abhorring whatever is associated with dark. We abhor black to such an extent – popular mythological stories Ramayana and Mahabharata, in which both Ram and Krishna were described as black in colour – had casted fair men portraying both protagonists. We go to the temple and pray to statues made of black granite, of Ram and Krishna.
In recent times, movies made in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil cast many a blondes dancing in skimpy clothes around – not so fair skinned hero and heroine. Though, it may be a sweet way to revenge the imperialism by these blonde extras, the sublime, yet significant message is – As a nation, Indians love fair skin and hate black people, including themselves. And it reflects in the way we behave.
As such, even while we pray to female deities, gender discrimination is practiced with equal, if not more fervour, in all classes of society, irrespective of region, religion and caste and so many other things we use to classify people.
When the law is not implemented in letter and spirit, lawlessness prevails. Whether it is political Delhi, commercial Mumbai, artistic Kolkata, traditional Chennai or cosmopolitan Bangalore – we are equal in practising lawlessness. It is not the first time, a mob stripped a woman. It happened earlier with almost regular frequency, the incident involving the Tanzanian woman being the latest addition, for these incidents will happen again, and again – till we don’t change, as a society.
The funny thing here is no one from the mob that attacked the Tanzanian Woman would have the audacity to attack – individually! And, from the way it happened, it appears there were none in the vicinity with courage to stop the act – including the policemen witnessing the depraved act.
What should have been the course of action? Punish the culprits – at the earliest.
What has happened?
First, Rahul Gandhi was blamed for not visiting the victim the way he toured Dadri and Hyderabad – for the state government was of his party! On his part, he choose to react in a mild manner. But, what was expected of him? Was there already a precedence when he choose to ignore the Malda incident? Politician to the core – will he do fasting in Bangalore to restore the ‘honour’ of the Tanzanian woman, who in all probability return to her native country – stigmatised. I noted this time he had not demanded a statement from Modi.
Then Arvind Kejriwal was blamed for tweeting only in four words – because for him character limitation of Twitter was never a constraint, if it suits his ambitions. But, do people realise that there is something called ‘character limitation’ of a person also? And AK’s character limitation was in full display when he continued his speech, watching the Gajendra Singh hanging himself. The Tanzanian Woman case doesn’t get registered in his court of morality.
As the state government was of Congress, BJP criticised the incident and alleged the government was hushing the episode. Of course, the government was trying to put a lid on the entire affair. And loyal public servants of government or the ruling party though thoroughly failed initially to prevent the attack, have woken up and were working extra time – and using ‘brains’ – to contain the damage to the ‘image’ of the government. And poor Tanzanian students were threatened in the course of ‘providing justice’.
So, the police identified one member of the frenzied mob as a BJP supporter. And the media got its fodder! Initially it was reported that the prime accused (I wonder how the police identified the ‘prime accused’ in a mob) was a BJP member. It appears still there are some people with a little bit of common sense working in the media. So, the report was changed to – ‘BJP member among accused’.
Now, what the political affiliation of an accused or a culprit got to do with the process of enquiry and punishment? If one of the mob was from BJP, does it mean that all others are from Congress?
I really would like to know the answer from the editor, for some of the mob might have voted to Congress and some to BJP and some to JD, and a few might have enrolled in one or the other party. Why don’t they report it that five of the mob are software engineers, of which two are from Chennai and one was from Bihar? How many of the mob molesting the Tanzanian Woman were Hindus and how many were Muslims? How many Brahmins were there and how many were Dalits and OBCs? How many Kannada speaking people were there in the mob and how many could speak Oxford English? Were there any foreigners in the mob, for some tourists might have got induced to the Indian way of revenge?
In the race to the TRPs, we – as a society have forgot what the Tanzanian Woman was going through.
Despite the pride we show of our ancient roots and the culture that respects women, we remained slaves to the foreign ideas and are still living the mental chains that restrict us to think beyond the obvious. Let me tell you sir, I am not here to compare what Islam does to their women or how Tanzanians treat their women, back in their country. The moment one compares with substandard examples of others – we accept our lowered value of values.
Yet, we shall accept the fact that our values were lowered.
“Only those who respect their mother, can respect others’ mothers”!