“Oh, so you think rape is okay …”

Pics from DNA

Incredibly lucid views by Ranjeev Dubey, summing up the goings-on in Delhi in response to the horrific gang-rape of a 23-year old physiotherapist on 16th December, 2012.

“Sunil, I think I said this on Twitter.

ONE, The violence against women on the street is only an extension of the violence in our homes. You can’t fix one without fixing the other.

TWO, in the specific case, these were criminals. To call them rapists is to mislead those responsible for dealing with the law and order challenge of an understaffed overworked police force permanantly subject to political pressures to say nothing of their obligation to provide security to these same politicians.

THREE, between the bizarre nature of popular reaction, our lumpen polity and our perverse political classes, existent or aspiring Kejriwal and Ramdev, every genuine protest will get hijacked unless we manage it very well which requires urban elites to be leaders, not those reeling under anger management issues.

FOUR, popular anger does start revolutions but careful analysis and the moulding of solutions creates new societies. It’s absurd that our urban elites should lead street protests. Who will now mould the solutions and drive change: the illitrates?

FIVE, the extreme inequities in our society encourges disempowered men one of them to do terrible things to women sometimes, it is one of us which is when we react, otherwise we let it go with the usual sympathetic noises and platitudes. Of course when one of us does terrible things to one of them, then it’s only some women trying to make money from one of us. We cannot create a new society without introspection and a fundamental change in our own attitude.

SIX, all this said and done, what has happened to this girl is terrible and unforgivable. Indians being a bit emotionally fragile as we are, the general reaction to anyone asking for a more nuanced and intellectually refined approach to public issues is then accused of promoting the opposite. In this case, it would be: “oh so you think it was okay for her to be raped, etc etc”.”

A reminder for us to exercise restraint and keep our animal instincts in check, whether in perpetrating crime or protesting against it. Moderation is what we need as we step into the New Year.

Ranjeev is an old friend and a good one at that. He’s also the guy that recently rocked the boat with his second (maybe third) book, Bullshit Quotient. A must read!

I cannot emphasize enough that “popular anger does start revolutions but careful analysis and the moulding of solutions creates new societies.”

It’s such a shame to see the age of unreason gripping the educated intelligentsia. Your helplessness is manifesting in your call for instant justice. The anger is justified but the means are not. Restraint doesn’t mean we’re giving up … by all means keep the intensity of emotion alive. An eye for an eye is not the Indian way.

Reminder that is the land where Buddha attained enlightenment and Gandhi won freedom. Ahimsa in thought, word and action. Happy 2013!

1. Stop Rape NOW – sign this petition by Namita Bhandare


3 Replies to ““Oh, so you think rape is okay …””

  1. Sir, well written post. I think it is important that we (together with everyone who wants to work to shape our society) should start the process of careful scrutiny and identify ways and means for us to start the change in perceptions as well as actions ..

    Writing petitions to the president and getting laws passed is just one part (a smaller and easier part) of the solution. What is tough is to seed the need for change in the society, which cant be done by any one person.

    This requires that everyone who wants to put in their bit needs to come together as a team and work together as a team.

    I am going to try and start the process by creating a team and work towards identifying ways and means to start the change and do our bit..

    Will send you the invite as soon as we are ready and hope to have your support as well.


    1. Absolutely Mukesh. And we have to be very careful of hate mongers who thrive on creating mistrust between communities and sections of society based on economic divides, religion, caste and other such power tools. Do keep sharing.


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