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I was going through the social media the day when BBC released its documentary, "India’s Daughter" about the horrific incident of Nirbhaya tragedy. The case itself was heartbreaking. I was further moved by the comments I saw from general public. Many expressed their disgust & some said that they were ashamed to be Indians. Now, being an Indian I am acquainted with Nirbhaya episode as it is presented in Indian media to some extent however I had to acquaint myself with the documentary which forced the Indian government to put in the vain efforts to keep it away from India & brought out this sort of emotions from people who watched it.
At first look it seemed like any other documentary about any other random topic. It looked as though the documentary is made from an objective point of view & is thoroughly rounded in handling the topic in question. However if you take a closer look you can see its impact in the larger context. If this documentary was about an incident from an insider to the country called India, the context in which documentary is made might be flawless. But it is not. This is the representation of India, through one incident to the whole world and the way it is done is no way close to objective or rounded point of view..!!
To a viewer who watches this documentary, India might seem like a country with rapists without any values (backed by statistics from one state), extremely pitiful state of the victim, rigid & biased police system, attorneys who live in another barbaric world, despicable culture, struggling & questioning youth, a convicts exaggerated view of his world which goes across as Indian situation, crooked bureaucrats & indecisive legal system. Now I ask you one question..?? Does anything here seem familiar wherever you live..?? Is it India’s daughter or is it a world’s daughter..??
Let’s take the cultural aspects to begin with. In any given society there are different sectors of people who interpret the culture in different ways. India is a country, which saw numerous invasions & has been in the state of constant flux. Right now it is not a place with a single religion, language or demographics. Even within any of these entities such as religion, there are multiple interpretations of the culture each one embraces. If India is a country with billion people, it also is a country with millions of interpretations of the way of Life. India represents the human spirit. The unity in diversity. Unification of multiple characteristics, thoughts, actions & emotions to a whole, the human. If there is a sector of society which finds fault in women even raising their voice, there is another which is ruled by women. If there is an instinctual sector which can be triggered by slightest of provocations, there is another intentional sector which could be epitome of conscience & consciousness just like any other society.
Yes, the police had taken actions against the crowd when there were protests against this heinous act. If it seems like an uncalled for action, imagine a situation where negative forces would have taken advantage of the crowd and converted the gathering to a uncalled for mob..!! What would have been our reaction then..?? Would it be something close to “what were Delhi police doing all this while..??” We would have blamed their inefficiency & lack of vision. About the criminal bureaucrats, Yes, there are crooked politicians. When we have a system called democracy and educated people shying away even from voting we will have many power hungry & superficially educated people taking the lead. However if there weren't bureaucrats around us who could go beyond self-interest & power hunger we wouldn't have seen this very own documentary in any way..!! We really run a democracy here, In India.
We might gather a lot of information about Indian picture from the interview of Mukesh Singh and make a judgement about India. Now, think about his situation. Being a convict in the case, self-preservation would be his primary goal and in his mindset he wouldn't think twice exaggerating or blaming the victim or the society in his defense.
Rape, gender insensitivity, stereotyping, abuse & self-centeredness are not an Indian specialty. They are everywhere at our own doorsteps, in one way or the other. To a smaller, or a greater extent. If you do not believe it, check the statistics. If that’s not convincing ask yourself..?? Are you entirely free from all this..?? Is any country free..?? Is an objective documentary supposed to create the sort of perception as witnessed in that of a highly educated Professor about the whole country..??
Gandhi, who is named the father of Indian nation believed in the inner strength. For him the Dharma was about the strength to stand for what you believe in irrespective of the situation. He commanded this courage from Indians when he took lead in the fight for the freedom of the country. For him, the freedom was more about the inner rather than outer. If you have studied the Greek history, characters which stands out are that of Achilles & Hector. They both were true heroes not because they fought or won the battles but because of their courage. Their inner strength to place what they believed in, ahead of their own life. That is the reason they created history & changed history which lives beyond them. So was Nirbhaya (a symbolic name representing her courage). She was a person with inner strength & conviction. She was a hero..!!
When she boarded into the bus, she was facing 6 men who carried a perception about woman entirely different from her own. Anyone else in her place would have not stood up to that count of physically stronger aliens, who did not understand your world or what you stood for. The practical behavior was to keep quite or play along with their thinking line but need not be a right one..!! What she did was an act of courage, a satyagraha, which brought out the most heinous and animalistic behavior from the perpetrator. There would be several abuses around us however this one infuriated a sector of society & brought out the passive crowd on streets because an act of sheer strength never goes in vain. It forced people to think & act. Her death is not the end but the beginning. Her suffering was great however her spirits didn't falter. Seems like, this woman wasn't unconscious when found even after undergoing the amount of pain she had faced & that marked a new rise in the consciousness of many..!!
If we have to learn anything from Nirbhaya’s case, let’s learn to embrace her conviction, her courage, her morality & kindness. If a part of our house is broken, what do we do..?? Do we prefer to despise the house or rather repair it..?? If we discard our self, because of our faults who else will take responsibility to correct it..?? If we are ashamed of our self, our home, our society, our country, our world or our universe; where else do we go..?? Who will take the responsibility..?? Who will respect us or love us if we cannot love oneself..?? The attitude of despising ourselves is more self-defeating than pointing at the problems of another’s house, blaming them & putting in efforts to civilize everyone else except the state of our own house..!!! Isn't it easier to point fingers rather than reflecting on one’s own flaws, through any medium..!!
Civilization is not about what we show to the world but about what we are. It starts with an Individual..what he or she truly is..!! Let’s learn to be inquisitive, to embrace the culture after questioning its relevance in the context rather than blindly following what was learned ages ago. Let’s repair our house if it’s broken rather than throwing stones on it. Let’s embrace our broken house & rebuild it in the way we are proud of..!! Let's listen to our own inner voice before letting other voices in..!!
Photo Credit : http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/torn-tones-elisabete-pontes-de-oliveira.jpg
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