Posts Tagged ‘Valentine's Day’

Our double standards are amazing. And by our, I don’t mean the human race, I mean we Indians. We rage about free speech and freedom of expression whenever someone talks about putting checks and balance on the Internet and specifically on the social networking sites, but want a film banned because it shows the mentality of the Indian male, and worse, file a FIR against the filmmaker and want her arrested.

Why has the Delhi Police filed a FIR against the filmmaker of the India’s Daughter? What’s wrong with making a film on the Delhi gang-rape? Didn’t it move the nation’s conscience enough to bring down a government in Delhi? A FIR is just the knee-jerk reaction one would expect from the people who run the administration. Do they realise that all they have done is tell the world that we are no different from the moral police living in our neighbourhood, and one who we love to lampoon day in and day out? Why was the film maker given permission to do the interview, in the first place, if it went against I&B rules?And if the people have a problem with the film, they shouldn’t watch it – just like it was the AIB Roast.

Do we want the film banned because it shows an Indian male generally painting a really crappy picture of the male? The rapist is not from Mars, is he? From what I read on the BBC about the film, if at all, it paints Mukesh Singh to be a total psychopath who deserves NO leniency. He should not be hanged by the neck but by his testicles till he dies screaming in pain, so he understands the pain his victims went through. Till a few years back he was Mukesh Singh, your friendly neighbourhood bus driver, until he turned into this sadistic psychopath who made us shake in our Kolhapuri chappals. And isn’t he the kind of man who politicians like Mulayam Singh Yadav wish to pardon? Don’t so many Indian men have the same views on women?

What about the comments from the defence lawyers who are supposed to be educated? One of them said he would take his daughter to his farmhouse (like a true Dilliwalla, he couldn’t help telling us that he owned a farmhouse!) and burn her if he found her with a boy. And the other lawyer who said girls shouldn’t be stepping out of the house without a member of a family! And these people, unlike Mukesh Singh, are educated, literate lawyers! That by and large is the Indian male for you!

Aren’t these double standards when we are okay with films made on Charles Sobhraj where he is shown to drug and murder the women, and boasts about it, and even ends up becoming a romantic hero to some? He was an even bigger psychopath, but then he was such a good-looking murderer, wasn’t he?

There was a survey among youth the other day where a majority said women should get used to being the victims and that they should not wear revealing clothes. Like this warped view of some that a girl who doesn’t tie her hair is a prostitute or worse that only people from the scheduled castes leave their hair loose?

What can you say about a country where people are more concerned about the cost of a suit worn by the prime minister or on whereabouts of Rahul Gandhi or warn couples that if they’re on the streets on Valentine’s Day, they’ll will be married off? And we encourage these nincompoops because this is our culture. What culture? Is it culture to whistle at girls on the street? To rape five-year-olds in a bus or in a classroom after school? To get 12 year-old girls married off? To ostracise widows to live a life of loneliness?

The politicians and men are strangely silent when some idiotic old men who make up a khan panchayat threaten women with rape if they don’t obey their orders, or when they ask a woman to accept Rs 31,000 from her rapists, or, even worse, ask the woman to marry her rapist. That’s part of our culture? Or for that matter, take honour killings. It is appalling that a section of the people actually support such a crime.

As for the MPs asking for a ban on the film because it damaged India’s image outside, they didn’t think so when they were blasting teenagers with water cannons on that cold December night in 2012, during the protest against the gang-rape? When the chief minister of the state refused to meet the protestors and put the blame on the Centre? Or when our elected representatives stage walkouts and throw papers in both houses of Parliament?

We are a nation of hypocrites who are terrified that the film will show Indians, not just men, and the country in poor light. Let the world see what we really are, hiding it won’t make it any better. This is what boys are taught in villages and even in cities from the time they are able to walk, that women are meant to stay in the kitchen, should produce babies, accept the thrashing they get from the males in the house, should acquiesce to marital rape or rape by other family members. The prime minister keeps saying that we should welcome the girl child not kill her in the womb, but why are sex test clinics still making a killing?

If we hang our heads in shame at the kind of man Mukesh Singh is shown to be, let’s hope it will bring about a change for the better in the mentality of Indians. Otherwise, all we’ll do is give candle makers more business every time we protest a rape. This is Indian society. We are like that only. Enough is never enough.

P.S. These are the same people who sat transfixed in front of their TV sets watching Dexter and posted updates calling it a great serial. And by the way, I didn’t watch a single episode, but I had heard enough about it from my son.


What’s wrong with the Punekars?

Posted: February 17, 2009 in Pune, Punekar

What’s wrong with the Punekars? I’ve lived in Pune since 1968 and have seen it change from a sleepy, small town to a bustling, truly cosmopolitan city. And unlike a lot of old timers who crib about the city losing its identity etc etc. I think Pune is a city which has a little of everything, which is a lot better than the metros, where everything is in excess! But I’ve seen a perceptible change in the behaviour and attitudes of present day Punekars these past few years — for the worse – be it an issue with traffic, an irritating neighbour or even Valentine’s Day! Don’t ask me why, because it even has me wondering. In today’s Pune, neighbours are at each other’s throats and come to blows either because the lift door is left open or someone accidentally drops some rubbish on the staircase. Anywhere you go, whether on the road, or in a restaurant, or even in a housing colony, people prefer to talk with their fists than with their mouths. I am not saying that this wasn’t there earlier, but nowadays you see it happening a lot more. And age is no bar.
Look at the way someone reacts just because his vehicle gets a scratch, even when it is his fault. The first thing someone does is to reach in through the front seat window and slap the driver. Talking isn’t the solution anymore. There’s an impatience bordering on rudeness which you see today, that wasn’t there earlier. Very often that rudeness spills over into aggression. Earlier, I, like a lot of others, thought, that ‘outsiders’ were the cause of the problems, but then I realized that it wasn’t them because they usually behaved themselves for fear of being targeted. It’s us. Take, for instance the completely juvenile idea of Valentine’s Day — I’ve seen it being celebrated for years in the city. It was never a big deal and done more for the fun of it. If no one else, it at least had the flower sellers smiling! But never have I seen so much hate on display, these the past few years, to stop such a meaningless event. By making so much noise, these so called moralists have given Valentine’s Day the importance it doesn’t deserve. But reasoning with some loonies might just give you a broken head, if not a broken heart!
An assistant RTO inspector once told me that one could get another 50,000 cops to police the streets, but nothing would change unless the people themselves wanted to change. He wondered how these same people (referring to the Citizens of Pune), follow every traffic rule when they drive in Mumbai! Soon after I returned to Pune a few years back from Lucknow, where I spent four years, I was on my way to work when an auto-rickshaw driver, in a hurry, cut across in front of my car in peak hour traffic. I angrily stuck my hand out of the window to demand where he was headed. When he saw my UP-32 registration, he said menacingly in Marathi “Tikde parat pathvu ka? (Should I send you back there?)” He was quite taken aback when I said to him, also in Marathi “Tula ani tujha baba na, doghana hee, mee tikade pathveen (I can send both, you and your father there).” He was shocked to find that someone from UP could speak Marathi! But think for one second if I had really been from outside Pune and there had been an altercation….
I am just wondering what’s got into the people of Pune! And for a city that prided itself for its culture and ethos, it’s time to introspect