A week or two ago, I was talking to a friend of mine and she said
“Do you know what happened with me ?”
” Somebody tried to snatch my phone and then threw a broken beer bottle at me”
“It missed us so we’re alive”
“I told a police vale uncle, he was like batao ab dilli ka ye haal (l told a policeman about this and he said ‘look what Delhi has come too’)”
A screenshot is attached below
The policeman then proceeded to do absolutely nothing, just gave her useless succor to create an illusion that they were actually doing something.
And this didn’t happen in some random, shady, dark corner of Delhi at 2 in the night. This was in the heart of Delhi, while my friend was going to college in the middle of the day. And which college is this, you might ask. It’s Zakir Husein College, smack in the middle of the city, near CP. Gonna let that sink in.
Has it sunk in? Sure? Good. Now let me ask you a question. Are our campuses safe anymore? Thousands of people flooded the streets after the Nirbhaya incident. Rallies were held. Weeks of endless news coverage brought the issue to a blaring forefront.
Laws were enacted. People were arrested and punished. It was a huge moment of self-reflection. But these events make me second guess all this. She could have been killed or seriously injured at the very least.
Ignoring the fact that this took place in the middle of the day, in the heart of the city, near her college, what is most appalling is the behavior of the policemen with their blank and tasteless statements. This makes me think that they are now so used to these incidents that they are now desensitized to action. And it makes me wonder again, are our campuses safe anymore?
Another friend of mine told me that there are regular drills to prevent incidents such as these. There are also self-defense classes for girls. But then, we should need self-defense in the first place. We should not need drills and protective cordons and girl only coaches to guarantee safety.
To think that this would happen near someone’s college is appalling. Just think of how deep a scar it would leave on that girl’s psyche. To pass that place each day on the way to college and back and relive the horror.
But then, you might ask why this is important?
Now, I mentioned the Nirbhaya incident earlier and my second guess of its effect on the minds of the people. You might think it’s a stretch comparing the two. After all my friend’s phone was the main attraction, the guy tried to steal the phone and when he couldn’t, threw the bottle. An open and shut case of robbery. SIMPLE!
Well, no. It’s not as simple as this. People often try to separate these two types of incidents from each other so that they don’t have to address the elephant in the room. What they don’t realize is that the ideology behind both these attacks is the same.
This is the psychology of an entitled male still struggling to adapt to the changes in an increasingly egalitarian society. He is not able to let go of the comforts of patriarchy and lashes out in destructive ways with no remorse as in his mind, he is the aggrieved party.
And here I believe lies the problem. None of us are able to totally move from the shackles of patriarchy. It has embedded into the society so deep that removing it requires a lot of effort and no one wants to do that as it would require too much change.
We are comfortable with it, it is a part of life now. We are so opposed to change that we would rather see our society devolve into a lawless dystopia than embrace or even accept change. We would rather blame and accost other people than to look inward and accept our shortcomings and work on them.
There will be another Nirbahaya incident, no doubt about that. There will be another overhaul of laws and that will be all. No proper change shall come unless there is a shift in the psyche of the entire society.
There will be a change when people will no longer laugh of cases of assault as mere everyday occurrences and pursue them with such force that even a single case will become a deterrent to all others.
There will be a change when there will be no need to carry out drills and have self-defense classes.
There will be a change when I or anyone else won’t feel the need to write an article to tell all of you all of you to protect our women.
Image Credits: Google Images
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