It’s been almost a month since the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old that shook the country. It has been a time of grief and introspection for the entire nation. In its aftermath, a volley of other equally gruesome rapes began surfacing and flooding the news. This one incident has revealed so much about us as a society — the laughable idiocy of modern day Bapus (who inexplicably have a large following) and the pathetic intellect of our public figures (who we voted into power). On the bright side, it’s revealed that young India understands this is not how things should be in the 21st century. The youth wants change and were willing to brave wind chill and sub-zero temperatures to protest at India Gate.
Things seem to have changed, at least temporarily. I counted five checkpoints on a drive post midnight in South Delhi recently. Schools in Delhi, which rely heavily on contract buses have been forced to re-evaluate their choices, because of pressure from parents after this incident. As if this barbaric act wasn’t enough to shame us as a society, it’s the reactions to the rape that have been truly shameful. To begin with, the squabbling over jurisdiction among police officers while the victim was slowly deteriorating, which we learned only when her friend gave his horrific account of the sequence of events of that night. Tear gassing of harmless protesters. The shutting down of Metro stations, and the entirely futile and hopeless face-saving move of the girl to a Singapore hospital. It continues to play out like an Orwellian drama, with the latest twist being the clampdown by the I&B ministry on Sony TV, on airing a reconstruction of the gang rape on their show, Crime Patrol-Dastak.
The show had dedicated two episodes to this incident, to be played yesterday and the day before, but have been asked to reconsider and be “sensitive to ground realities”. Ground realities in this case being, even more outrage among citizens at the brazenness of the attack, and the exposure of the monumental goof ups that followed.
While there is a point that the wound this case has caused is still raw and we’re all a little high strung because of it, an episode about it on a crime show is hardly going to influence the lawmakers involved in it. That damage has already been done, by the sheer audacity of this crime.