The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012



It is now 10 days to the gangrape in a moving bus in the national capital. All the accused are in custody. The victim is in hospital and continues to be critical.

The outrage and protests are still an ongoing development though more contained now after the death of the Delhi Police constable Subhash Tomar who had got injured when the protests turned violent on December 23, 2012.

Also, the protests are now more or less localized and the government’s tone is purely political with elements of arrogance, ignorance and sometimes, sensitivity.

To sum-up all the action, till now, has been more in the domain of rhetoric. Also, whatever that has been proposed by the supposedly national leaders (not on acceptance barometer but on their tag of being the union ministers), is just an eyewash aimed at immediate measures to quell the growing voice of demonstrators.

Mr. Shinde, your government talks about forming task force to monitor security of women in Delhi; it brags about implementing measures like increasing frequency of buses in night, installation of GPS, mandatory ID cards for public transport personnel, enhanced patrolling on busy routes, to name a few. On December 26, 2012, Mr. P Chidambaram announced formation of a commission of enquiry ‘to identify lapses and fix responsibility’ in the case (See! it took brilliant minds of the government 10 day to reach at something, that should ideally have been the first step.)

Other stakeholders, too, have put efforts to look doing their bit. Five special courts are coming up after the winter vacation to deal with rape cases. Sheila Dikshit had tears on almost every channel denouncing the irresponsible and insensitive policing though no one can say what is preventing her to send the victim abroad for treatment after making a flash about it in the media though, at the time of writing this article, reports say victim’s condition is giving anxious moments to doctors. (Some reports late night December 26, 2012 said the victim was being flown to Singapore - why so late?) 

Also, this horrible crime, for Sheila, has become more an opportunity for settling scores on her demand for control over the Delhi Police.

The Delhi Police, at the centre of criticism (justified one), is busy doing silly cover-ups for its inefficient ways and is busy playing the political blame game with Delhi Government.

The protesters have continued their run (now in a peaceful way). Media was always ready to act socially responsible once the Gujarat election was over. And so, after December 20, the day of the counting of votes for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly polls, it has been on the full throttle to promote and permeate the issue.

Delhi and Delhi gangrape is all across. And it ensures this case is going to see some swift action taken.

But the irony is, Delhi is not India and India is just not about Delhi. Rape cases and gender crimes are a pan-India catastrophe that no one is talking about.

The real problem is the tendency to treat this case or any other similar case as standalone exigencies.

And in this case, too, the developments are increasingly indicating this only. 


Delhi is being called rape capital of India. It is true when we see it in the context of urban metro India where media exposure is accessible and cases see escalated reporting. 

But what about the small town, rural and hinterland India?

Now, all the politicians and the administration people - aren’t you aware that the condition is critical in almost every part of India and not just in Delhi?

Till October this year, 580 rape cases were reported in Delhi while the figures for 2011 and 2010 were 568 and 507 cases respectively. Conviction rate in rape cases in Delhi is 41.5, that is better than the India average of 26.4. In the last three years, the reported rape cases in India have seen consistent rise with 21, 397 (2009), 22,172 (2010), and 24,206 (2011) cases annually.

The dissected data shows the women of almost every age-group are victims. These multiple thousands are the reported cases. We need to keep in mind that much higher numbers than these figures are not reported. This is the dark underbelly that stretches across the length and breadth of the country.

Just do a simple googling with the search phrase ‘girl raped + India’ and you would see a number of recent cases, not only from Delhi. Rape itself is a heinous crime but many of the cases involve unimaginably shocking details.

Then why do we never hear the clamour about rape cases happening in this bigger part of India, even if it crosses all the limits of insanity?

The politicians and the administrative machinery - they are aware of it, for sure. But they won’t go for the overall kill because it is not their priority; because some of their brethren are facing similar charges (reports do confirm that India has politicians in legislatures facing rape charges); because they believe police is for them and not for Manmohan’s ‘aam aadmi’ (reports say each Delhi VIP consumes 20 cops while over 360 Delhiites are left on the whims and fancies of a single cop who has already become a pariah no one wants to approach).

This misuse of the resources meant for the public - the all-India figures would certainly be undeniably sorry, it can be said without any doubt. The law and order problem in small town and rural India in almost of the Indian states is a matter of big concern. Politicians, criminals and police lord over the pockets and rule as if they have no one to answer. The fine line between criminals and politicians was compromised a long ago.


A Thomson Reuters report of July 2012 describes condition of women in India in these words: Canada best G20 country to be a woman, India worst - Policies that promote gender equality, safeguards against violence and exploitation and access to healthcare make Canada the best place to be a woman among the world’s biggest economies, a global poll of experts showed on Wednesday. Infanticide, child marriage and slavery make India the worst, the same poll concluded.

Sometimes, it almost looks like a hopeless situation. Urbanizing India is certainly a development to talk about but there is no denial that the gender crime is present there, too. Casting-couch and glass-ceiling have only added to the oldies like dowry murders, molestation, eve-teasing and rape cases.

Forced sex and prostitution is one big ring that operates in almost every city. Don’t the police and the public know the red-light areas of the city they are residents of? Yes, they know. Some from the public make the customers. Police see it as the consistent source of income. And women are traded. The blood is sucked out and the flesh is cut dried to the extent that it becomes insensitive to every sensation.

The system is working to maintain and promote the status-quo if not to worsen. We can say worsening is not a feasible option anymore as changing times have brought to the surface the voices seeking end to this status-quo. But the rhythm, the flow is still not there.

At the same time, the policymakers have been successful in making the voices demanding the change one-shot events ultimately labeling and treating them as standalone exigencies where a minimalistic approach to the remedy is used to kill the larger scope of an issue.

The changing urban scenario in India, mixed with the increasing media consumerism, makes metro and big cities places where voices-for-change can be raised, heard and promoted.

The policymakers in the system realize this. But, they also realize that there is a much larger, voiceless and suppressed India that forms the major chunk of their vote-bank and not this metro India. They also realize that the information consumerism has made it possible for the voices of this metro India to reach the non-metro and rural India.

They realize that this outreach has the potential to affect the mindset of this larger India once a movement gets an upper hand in dealing with the politicians and policymakers as had happened in the initial days of the anti-corruption movement launched by Anna Hazare. If it happens so, they are bound to lose their vote-bank and their unlimited access to rule and lord over us.

The Delhi gangrape case is being handled in the similar mode with similar intent reducing it to the impact level of a localized issue. Every measure being talked about is Delhi-specific. There have been many gangrape cases after the Delhi gangrape on December 16. They have been reported from cities from across the India - Guwahati, Muzaffarnagar, Jaipur, Shamli, Bharuch, Mahasamund, Tuticorin, Siliguri, Saharsha, Rampur, Sitapur – (add to them some more cases from metros like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata).

But have we heard growing voices on implementing the similar measures like Delhi in these cities?  


Cases that stir the whole nation or a large segment of it are the potential flickers that can set a remedy process in action. The beginning is already there, the standalone cases tell us. But the need to bring a positive change on the larger scale of mindset and hence in governance needs a chain reaction where one such standalone case simultaneously prompts demand for action and reform in different other cases.

Why can’t the policymakers implement security measures like increased frequency of public transportation, public display of the identification proof of the personnel manning them, active women helpline in every city, special courts and day-to-day hearing in every rape case throughout the country as they are promising for Delhi now?

Whenever a rape case like the Delhi gangrape gets wider coverage, we see some action on ground by the protesters and a hyperactive media but an insolvent and lip-servicing political class reduces the scope of the issue rendering it a localized one and the protests either die in some days or no one cares about the follow-up of what was promised.

The way politicians are dealing with the Delhi gangrape protests tells us the same aspect. They had almost four days in the winter session of the Parliament to enact a law with tougher penal action but they didn’t do it. The government has refused to hold a special session of the Parliament to amend the law. Rather it chose to forcefully suppress the young protesters resorting to the silly sounding means like lathicharging, using water cannons, shutting Delhi Metro stations or imposing Section 144 in certain parts of Delhi.

Mr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. P Chidambaram, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit and Mr. Shushil Kumar Shinde, they are your very own people who have voted you in power, twice at Centre and thrice in Delhi.

On a wider canvas, it is not about the death sentence. It is about rationalizing the legal course in cases of rape and introducing intimidating penal action keeping in mind the victim and not the accused. Anything that intimidates must be introduced now and the greater emphasis should be put on the implementation factor.

And, it is not just about Delhi. It has not to be. Localizing an issue of national significance, this shortcut approach has always dented any possibility of change that any of the public movement had created.

This time, too, we seemed to have missed the bus. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -