Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Soumya is Gone... What Next?

“I am very impressed by your expression of feelings over this issue. Yes I totally agree to your point. But how can we change? who will make a move.. From where should it start..Aren't we hypocrites.... we talk too much of morality and what is the use.. Can women use public transport and travel safely after state. I guess the change should come from families .. schools. the society... boys and girls should be allowed to grow up together..should be taught to respect women/ girls. Instead Look at the media influence.. watch the serials.. the role of women.. are there any positive thinking inculcated in our society. Does democracy means destruction of public property.. Is that a solution? I was furious watching the news and felt good reading ur response.”

This was a comment that I received in response to my post named “Who Should Take Blame for Soumya’s Death”. Thank you, Paravathi, for the kind words. But I am disappointed when you said you felt good reading my response.

My intention was not to make readers feel good but to feel more enraged about the way we are being cheated/treated by the organisations that claim to represent us. I have only stated what is obvious. If anyone has not seen that, it is only because he/she is trying to find targets for shifting the blame or run down those on the opposite side to gain cheap political mileage.

Yes I saw the news too.

I saw retired Justice Sreedevi, Chairperson of Kerala Women’s Commission, seeking death to the accused. Looks like she does not even want to wait till a court try him and establish his guilt. How convenient! You kill one Govindaswamy and everything is going to be fine again. Shortcuts indeed!

I saw Kerala Home Minister informing us that he will seek more Central forces to protect Soumyas during travel. Should we ask for a bodyguard each for all the girls who travel alone in Kerala? Why do we need a Home Minister if he can only seek more ‘assistance’ from Central Government in protecting us?

I saw Railway Divisional Manager saying that it is none of his business to protect passengers! He says it is the duty of State Government. According to him, RPF is only to protect railway assets. I thought passengers are the most valuable assets for any transport organisation, including railways.

I saw one after the other organisations rushing in to provide monitory assistance to Soumya’s family. For what purpose, I do not know. Are we trying to compensate for the loss of life? Or are we trying to wash away our guilt in the money that is being bestowed on the family?

Almost no one spoke of our own culpability. We are not willing to admit our mistakes. What is the result? Yesterday itself a young man was arrested for trying to molest a girl who was sleeping on the top birth of a train. So much for the lessons learnt!! Only time I saw someone willing to take up responsibility was when a young girl in her late teens answered the TV crew that she will now not hesitate to step in whenever she find someone being harassed or attacked. Great going.. Young Lady.. Hope there are many more like you who are not shifting the blame but taking up responsibility.

To come back to your question, Paravathi, how can we change and who will make a move, answer is in the words of that brave girl I mentioned above.

You and I have to do it.

I am taking a pledge in the name of Soumya, that wherever I see a girl being harassed I will do my best to prevent that. I also take a pledge that I will never try to take advantage of a girl travelling alone. It will be my solemn duty to provide security to each girl who is travelling with me. I will never shy away from that duty, even it causes little inconveniences to me.

As for you, I request you to take a pledge you will not go back to ladies compartment. You will travel in general compartments with other people rather than travelling in an empty ladies coach. You will not tolerate any misbehaviour or harassment. You will react; even if entire crowd jeers at you. It is their shame not yours.

Politicians and organisations are too busy to be caring for Soumyas.

Let us take it upon ourselves to make a beginning.

1 comment:

  1. Strong sentiments! I agree completely.

    We need to look after ourselves as much as we also need to protect those who are with us. By that I dont simply mean immediate family and friends...but also the society within which we live

    I used to see the selfless 'stepping in to save someone from an accident/ or eve teasing etc' more frequently in Bombay....but seems like this city too is moving the Dilli way...

    If we live lifes as scary poos what hope is there for the next generation?

    Time to stand up for the right, time to be strong, time to voice disapproval if u think so, rather than cower n hide and not help!!

    Time to aide change. Please lets all> Take this vow.