The world celebrated new year and so did India. While we all were looking forward to a bright new year, an unfortunate event shocked the nation and embarrassed us all. A group of uncultured, uncivilized animals went around molesting women on the streets of Bangalore.
The news was widely reported and so were the comments by politicians and celebs. Some blamed the women, some their clothes, while others the men. Fingers were pointed even at the cops and the western culture.
While we heard many tv debates and columns discussing the event, each one gave their opinion and criticized the other for theirs.We have discussed the incident on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and many other social media platforms.
But who is really to blamed, the mentality of men, alcohol, the women being there, the skirts or culture?
The question is complicated and so is the answer…There is no one straight answer to these questions. However rude it may sound, we need to accept our faults. We may deny it, fight it and complain about it, but the truth remains that we live in an era where men and women are not treated equally.
Men have the freedom to do whatever they want and the blame is almost always on the woman. I was happy that our filmstars criticized the shameful incident, but I also wondered what makes them blind to the same culture being promoted in the film industry..
A famous actor called these men animals, which they truly are. But what are Bollywood movies making the male species today? Gentlemen, who respect women or sexual beasts who consider women as objects? Movies like Mastizaade, Kya Kool Hain Hum 3, Great Grand Masti…What are they teaching the upcoming generation and the parents of a generation….Do such movies teach men to respect women and know that women are not objects of sexual pleasure?
Our movies, reality shows and numerous talents hunts overtly and covertly, brainwash us to judge people by their looks and their dressing. The tightest and the shortest clothes (both for men and women) are considered signs of affluence and modernity. On one hand, while such clothing is promoted, on the other hand an attitude is created that people dressing up in a certain way are “free” and “available.”
How can we close our eyes to such things and yet claim to respect women and care for her safety and cry crocodile tears on Twitter?
Whether we accept the bitter fact or not, the whole gathering was an imitation of the western culture. We have been well trained to accept the western culture with all its glitter and glamour. When we are accepting the positives of the western culture, why do we start complaining about the negatives that come along with it?
We are only informed about the affluence and the so-called freedom of the west, but we hardly speak about the destruction of family values, commodification of women and her subjugation in the name of equality. In the name of freedom, women are made to pole-dance and dance as cheerleaders to entertain sports audience, she is used to sell a razor, a car and what not, is this freedom or commodification?
Does our mainstream media ever discuss the fact that “683,000 adult American women are forcibly raped each year. This equals 56,916 per month; 1,871 per day; 78 per hour; and 1.3 per minute. Only 16% of rapes are ever reported to the police.”
The point here is, either we realise that the culture we are adopting is leading us to destruction or we simply accept it as it comes and stop blaming others.
Also, alcohol ads have already their way into our mainstream television culture. Whether it is scenes from latest movies or famous celebs selling packaged water and music CDs. When we accept these things as a part of our culture why be hypocritical when its effects are seen in reality? Let me get it straight, what can I expect from a drunkard, respect for women?
As members of our society, we need to take the onus of this shameful incident. We have failed in our responsibilities, not just in Bangalore, but on our television screens, silver screens, newspapers, social media and our social interactions.