Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Be the change you want to see

‘Be the change you want to see in this world’ are the famous words of Mahatma Gandhi and very applicable today. The anger and resentment over the Delhi gangrape case has been seen and heard. Marches carried out, protests and strong comments made. Now what? Unfortunately the required change in mindset has still not happened. Outraged and angry like every other woman of this country, I have also made provisions to keep myself safe by carrying pocket knife and being aware of my surroundings while walking on the road. I was also under the impression that if I cried for help, the now aware citizens of my city will rush to help, however that was my misconception. Walking down the crowded station one evening, a young boy barely out of his teens passed a lewd comment on me. I turned and screamed at him. He tried to walk away as if it was not him I was screaming at. I did not stop and chased after him asking him to stop and say loudly what he just said. He turned, shook his head at me and walked on. And not one person came to help me. To ask me what was wrong? Not one lady who had probably marched next to me in these protests tried to stop the boy. What’s more when I came back and narrated this incident at home, I was rebuked for having incensed the boy? “What if he comes back and attacks you tomorrow?” I was asked. It is true, if this boy does decide to attack me tomorrow will anyone in the crowded station come forward to help me? If they did not help me stop the boy, will they stop him if he is armed? But the fear of what may happen is not going to stop me. For when I walked in the marches held for Nirbhaya, I pledged to honour her memory, I pledged to stop suffering in silence, I pledged to fight back no matter how small the infraction seemed, I pledged to not see injustice done to another woman in front of my eyes. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. I wonder how many took that pledge with me.

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