Shared here are the thoughts of my daughter Smita Hegde:
We bow, we kneel, we circumambulate, we prostrate. We plead, we beg, we surrender, we bribe, we negotiate. We pray- a chant, a whisper, a hymn- with folded hands, and a heart full of faith. 365 days a year, every waking minute sometimes. We build, we demolish, we persecute, we kill, we go on wars. And we do it all in the name of God.
The latest victim of male wantonness breathed her last yesterday, she was only 23. The public outcry is justified. To quote: In India women are neither safe inside the womb nor outside it. Hurt, horrified, scarred and certainly unsafe, they demand the rapists be castrated and tortured as brutally as their victim was, and then hanged to death. And even the offenders seem to agree, albeit they only want to be hanged. For the countless protestors, campaigners and mourners this seems like the ultimate and the only logical solution. An eye for an eye. A life for a life.
Countless profiles on Facebook are sporting a black dot as their profile pic. They are protesting – against the barbaric rape of the 23-year-old in the national capital. They’re mourning – the decadence of the human morality, the government’s helplessness. They have begun yet another chapter in the time-honored, and certainly universal, concept of the “Campaign”.
Hypocrites, that is what this makes us, doesn’t it? Our reaction to the whole “Indian bashing”, sorry, “Curry Bashing” (that was the “afflicted” community’s choice of words, and not mine) episode. Who are we kidding? Even we can’t stand ourselves. Remember the charade that Mr. “I-borrowed-my-last-name-from-an-English-author” set up- sending back people to where they belonged for the love of his dear city and state- back home, here in India. When he “feared” people from another state in his own country were disrupting life on his home turf, how then can we blame the Australians for being paranoid? The intruders in this case are not even fellow countrymen.