Monday, July 16, 2012

The gory and the ignorance

The molestation and harassment incident that happened in Guwahati is a matter of shame. And in my personal opinion, the list of who need to be punished does not end with just those hooligans. Quite a few deserve to be punished in varying degrees.

1)    The hooligans, so that this does not every happen anywhere or to anybody.

2)    The reporter who taped the entire incident never seemed to try to prevent it. Whatever might be his reason, it looked as if he was more interested in the “breaking news” than on the plight of the girl.

3)    The pub which allowed a minor girl to enter their premises clearly violating the law. (*read next para for conditions)

4)    The girl (aka the victim) and her accompanies if any, for going to a pub clearly violating the law against minors going to pubs.

* Going by the latest news on this episode I think even the writers or reporters or whoever it is from the news media, also deserved to be punished. Reason - for inconsistent (read it as irresponsible) reporting. The age of the girl was reported as 16 years when the news first came out, a few days back. Then it was reported as 17 years and today it is reported as 20 years.

A friend and I were talking about this incident. He started telling me of how China might use this incident in the international community to further their cause. He spoke at length how this is all bad to India. Initially I thought my friend was worried that this incident might be used in the international community to highlight human right violation and will negatively affect tourism. But after sometime I felt he might be confusing Guwahati/Assam with Arunachal Pradesh. I asked him and he indeed had confused Assam with Arunachal Pradesh. I corrected him and explained a bit about the different states which form the North eastern part of India and where Gawahati is, to the best of my limited knowledge of the north eastern states.

I am not surprised with the conversation I had with my friend. I had read an article about a college in Mumbai (or Delhi maybe; can't remember) which conducts interaction programs to increase the awareness of North eastern states among the college students. The program quoted a survey which said more than 85% of working professionals in India can’t name all the states of North east India. Not just the professionals, I think even our movie makers are not aware of the different states in north east India. I have rarely come across any mention of any north eastern state in any of our Bollywood movie. I will not be very surprised if some of our ministers and law makers ignore the incident thinking it’s a problem of China and nothing to do with us.

Going by all the gory and the ignorance, I am hoping this incident ends with something more than just punishing the culprits.

1)    Swift judgment awarding the gravest of the punishment to the hooligans.

2)    Changes to our judiciary laws to invoke capital punishment for such incidents so that it serves as a warning for all the hooligans who will ever even think of committing such a horrible crime.
3) I also hope that this incident opens the eyes of rest of the Indian citizens towards the different states of North east India, removing the ignorance and paving a way for a much united and stronger India.  

~Narendra V Joshi

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