Monday, December 24, 2012

Too Little, Too Late




Last week captured a true snapshot of the nations mind. 
Angry. Frustrated. 

Why is our leadership not in consonance with the national mood?
Why don't I believe them, when my leaders try to assure me?
Why do my fingers flip the channel each time I see them debating national issues on television?

When tragedy struck, Barack Obama addressed mourners after the shooting incident. Except that his countrymen did not have to sit on the streets for a week for him  to express solidarity. To show that the state cares.And he did not say, “I also have kids. What more can I do?”

What he said was, “I can only hope that it helps for you to know that you are not alone in your grief, that our world too has been torn apart. That all across this land, we have wept with you; we have pulled our children tight.  We are left with some hard questions. Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough, to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?” he asked. “I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and the answer is No.”

There was honesty and sincerity in his words. 

Why have we lost faith in our leaders? 
A brief look at what they said after the incident tells us why.

Our  Home minister said, “I have three daughters. What more can I do?”  After protests took an ugly turn, there were some forced remedial steps. 
Too little. Too late.
When asked why he refused to talk to the protesters, he equated Delhi-ites with Maoists. Seriously? Our leaders can address rallies called by their own party but cannot talk to aggrieved citizens? 

Our sensitive Chief Minister expressed helplessness. Isn’t her government ruling at the center? Surely the police was taking orders from somewhere. Who was controlling the situation which went out of hand? Why is that person not accountable?
 The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi was away and returned after the situation was diffused. Why? 

Meanwhile a day after the incident, the young CM of UP promised a job and money for the treatment of the brave girl. It was the regular sickening tossing of government jobs as largesse. In that moment what the girl needed was justice, not work. Plus, we are aware of his party's stand when it comes to issues related to women. So why the lip service?

While the outrage was brewing, the Dalit leader was busy canvassing for the Quota bill. While I understand  her agenda for the underprivileged, but on that unfortunate day, the most underprivileged girl was the one lying in the hospital. Since urban citizens are not her vote banks. So why bother?

Sushma Swaraj began doing what she does best. Rendering speeches. Soon politics took over and her supporters were seen shouting, ‘Shiela Dixit hai hai’. It was evident where her heart was. Why did she  allow her party's student wing to infiltrate a  non-political movement? 
Other  BJP leaders arrived on television wearing their  halos but did nothing to reach out to the protesters. If terror could not unite them, it is silly to expect them to come together on issues like rape.As expected they are happily playing politics with rape.

 In fact playing politics is the biggest game going around. And why not? It is the most profitable one.
So they are all queuing up to visit the distraught family.  For a photo opportunity, of course.Report
As the nation grappled with the insensitive comments, another MP added salt to the wounds by calling genuine protestors as 'dented painted' women. Do painted women have no right to protest?

After what happened in Delhi, perhaps what we need most are the judicial reforms and police reforms, hanging fire since Independence. It means insulation of police and judiciary from political interference in appointments, transfers, arrests and investigations.  But it is not easy to give away the reigns of control. Is it?  
More so if power comes without accountability.

This case was a tipping point. People are angry. They want action and not words. Next outrage could be for the lack of water or electricity supply. Who knows? 





Pic Courtesy: The economist.com (Google Pics)




44 comments:

  1. Rightly said alka!
    And really the diversion of sachin's news on tv and this news dying down surprised me
    And why are not big ppl coming and fighting for the cause ? Or atleast appealing the cm etc
    Where Is satyamev jayte host ?
    A country where actors or cricketers are treated equal to gods y can't they raise voice in real rather than tweeting

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  2. i am just depressed with the govt. i mean now they are justifying using water cannons at people. funny thing is, they are right because the people protesting dont vote and so dont matter

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    1. They just dont feel the pulse of the educated youth.Worst is that there is no alternative.

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  3. Yes, we have lost faith in our leaders! And these debates on TV are nothing but absurd drama. It is sad that despite the protests from the general public, nothing concrete came out...

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    1. The protests managed to create some gender sensitivity.

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  4. Precisely what I have been wondering.
    I think every single person who stood there that day would have gone back home and not return, if... if anyone from the government had come over and tried to assure that "we" will find a way out together. Instead, they gave orders of charge. It became us-and-them. The govt. and those standing there.

    No single politician stood out while this was being played out. In fact, it still is.

    I personally want to believe in the system, the polity and other institutions, which have come after losing much. And take pride in everything about India. But they do not let me.

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    1. I can feel your angst and disappointment. There is too much politics in this country. Imagine, CM and the police are playing politics over the confession of the girl. The shame never ends.
      Police needs to come out of the political clutches.

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  5. Not a single person who had anything to do with any of this - from the Govt's side - said a single word that spelled solidarity, forget, owning up. To date an official statement has not even been released by the the top guns of the govt. Thats appalling to say the least.

    I am amazed when Shinde said, they would go only if somebody assured them that they wont get beaten up by the protesters. Madam Dixit said she didn't have the courage to go and face the victim or her parents. According to her, the police didn't do their part. And the police first want to know what a girl is wearing when she goes to file a complaint, if a brave one makes it as far as the police station that is.

    And doesnt Sachin announce his retirement at the perfect time?! I am torn between deciding whether this was premeditated as an ego boost that he can manage to rip the media off such a heavy duty incident and run after him or he really had no idea the timing of it was so damn stupid?!

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    1. Pallavi, they are playing politics over the unfortunate girls confession.When I feel that the worst is over, they show me that things can plumb to lower depths.

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  6. I hate to say or talk this way, but if one of the daughters of the so called minister was raped, he would think before talking then. Useless fellows.. who are voting for? it's not the leaders fault..it's our fault to elect them as our leaders..shame on the entire nation. This agitation should not stop here..it should catch like a wild fire in the entire nation like a freedom movement did.

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    1. True, there are too many privileges for the politicians. Once they travel in public transport, live in two BHK flats without water and electricity, they will know what a common man goes through.

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  7. You are so right, it took our premier this long to come out and finally address the nation, while so much was happening right under his nose. Why is everything in India so damn delayed??? Except for Sachin's retirement announcement of course, that couldn't afford to be delayed. I can't for the world of me understand why he had to do that right in the middle of this. Or is he immune to everything else the country is going through?

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    1. There is too much politics in this country.But when politics is the highest paying business, it comes as no surprise.

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  8. Politicians are very good at their jobs -- of playing politics and their being in power or having the power to do something concrete are just incidental. Our beloved CM's life is valuable. So it is very insensitive on our parts to expect her to go to the protest venue. Sensitivity? What is that? If the problem comes to my doorstep, I will raise hell and make the perpetrator pay. Till then, well, I will pretend to be a sympathiser for the women's cause, offer spoken and written sympathy and try not to show myself as a misogynist who unfortunately has daughters -- unfortunate for the daughters, that is.

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    1. Power without accountability, thats what it is.

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  9. When it comes to electing our leaders, why do we press the wrong button on the EVM? Or perhaps we don't have a choice? Why don't we do any research on the the kind of people we are voting for and blindly vote for the party? As long as we keep doing such things, we will keep getting lathi-charges and cannon-charges and what not...

    But there is one thing about democracy - People get the Govt. that the majority of them deserve.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. It is said that people deserve the the leaders that they get. I am not so sure.

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  10. I expect my comment to be highly unpopular after reading the thoughts of others here. But still I want to make the following points.

    Firstly, I can’t understand what we actually expect by protesting. If we expect people from the government to simply come forward and ‘show’ their solidarity by well chosen words, is it really sufficient ? Haven’t we already seen the goof-ups of the government on recent issues of public interest ?

    Secondly, what action do we expect from the government ? The culprits have been caught and their punishment is to be decided by the courts. All that the government can do is to change the existing laws into harsher ones (which it doesn’t seem to be doing as well). Also, the government has the power to shake and wake up the sleeping police. It has the power to galvanize the police force. But how can it be any effective when a girl is molested/groped in an over-crowded Delhi Metro ?

    And don’t we know the reality of the police ? Anyone who has had any interaction with a constable of Delhi police knows what to expect from them. They couldn’t hear the screams of a girl on the busiest of roads, but were efficient enough to forcefully suppress the voice of girls who wanted to protest without being violent. Can we protest for the government to import police personnel from the United States ? If not, we’ll have to do with the same guys with the same mindset and character. And unfortunately, they come from the society of our own country.

    What started as an honest spill out of anger of the females of Delhi, was hijacked by nuisance mongers. And the political outfits didn’t miss the opportunity to cash on it. The Congress ministers apart from mouthing moronic statements, quickly deployed the Delhi police in the security of their homes. The BJP, as usual came out to attack the government. The Aam Aadmi Party, with their paper caps on, couldn’t miss out too. Baba Ramdev took the opportunity to forward his ‘black-money’ demands. So did many other organizations whose names were conspicuous on posters and banners and flags.

    I ask, why would you want to advertise your organization in a movement that is about the safety and security of women ?

    The only thing that can be expected next is individuals who consider themselves as budding celebrities to jump in the protests. The cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who thought it amusing to portray rape as a cartoon was seen protesting against rape. But no one seems to realize the real seriousness of the issue. If all the ‘demands’ of the protesters are accepted and implemented, would that ensure the safety of women ? How can the government change the warped mindset of sexual offenders (something that is so deeply rooted in the society). The insensitive gender-biased mindset of many ministers/politicians itself has been seen in their public statements time and again.

    I don’t see the logic in expecting the government to change the discriminatory mindset of the society. Something which is itself ingrained in all the political parties as well. We may have the strictest of laws and the harshest of punishments but as long as such warped mindset against women exists in the minds of such men, it wouldn’t be of any use. And honestly, I’m helplessly flabbergasted to think of a solution to change such a mindset.

    I’m sure the culprits would be punished with the harshest of sentence in the recent case, but just demanding for a harsh punishment for them and being satisfied if the government accepts this demand would be only equal to asking a quack to apply band-aid for a fracture.

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    1. Shobhit,
      1.The protesters were demanding some concrete steps, some action, some accountability. Not just words.
      2.About the police, we need police reforms. To fill in the vacant posts and to free them from political clutches.It wont happen. Our leaders dont like giving control.
      3.There is too much politics in this country. And why not? When politics is the biggest business going around. The stakes are high. there is big money to be made.So all parties jump in to fish in troubles waters.
      4.At a societal level, the mindsets will take time to change. We know what our rustic leaders with archaic mindsets think about women.Mindsets will take time to change. Perhaps generations.
      5.True, we need a multi-pronged approach. more than harsh punishment. What we need is swift, speedy trials. Sad truth is that most rapists are repeat offenders.

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  11. Alka,

    What you have said is what every right thinking person will agree to. The need of hour was for our respected leaders to show their solidarity with persons seeking justice but that is too much to expect from political mileage seeking persons. Also the protests had been hijacked at later stage by some unruly lot which could be at behest of some interested parties to discredit the agitation.

    Take care

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    1. It gets worse with every passing day. Sad.

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  12. so angry.. ppl ask why so much anger ? is it the heinousness of the act alone.. perhaps not. but it is the final straw in a year filled with incidents where the govt has openly made a mockery of the system, while simultaneously lesving us exposed to defend for ourselves...

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    1. There is so much potential in our country Dr Roshan and it pains me to see that the young energy is not channelized in the right direction. All due to a vacuum in leadership.

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  13. All actions of govt are politically motivated they do it when they think opportunity is right..that's probably the reason why common masses have lost the believe in them... and result is visible to all of us.

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    1. There is too much politics going around.

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  14. They are just mocking us and buying time.
    Even as we discuss, they are playing their dirty politics of mud slinging.
    Last 4 days have been horrible because they have been adding insults after insults.

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    1. How painful is that. With every passing day the situation plumbs to lower depths. Just when I think the worst is over.
      Vacuum in leadership.

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  15. If you ask me,we have no leaders .We have parliamentarians who have become businessmen.Then we have businessmen who have become parliamentarians via Rajya Sabha .
    To give you an example...Vijay Mallya is a member of parliament committee on civil aviation.You also know the condition of KFA.
    Mr Owaisi is heading parliamentary committee on defence.
    Need I say more!
    We are heading towards a disaster

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    1. Bang on. Mallaya and Bajaj are politicians because politics is the biggest business going around.

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  16. I feel so depressed with this entire incident and all the mud-raking the top brass of our country are indulging in. I feel there should be speedy trials so that a strong message is sent out that any kind of criminal offense will be met with a harsh punishment.

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  17. The truth is they are scared to face us, knowing that they have failed us again and again and again.

    There's no sincerity in their words, their actions. All they are interested in, is holding on to their seat of power.

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    1. Sandeep Dikshit did try to talk to the youngsters but he was shooed away.

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  18. But what can people do? All political parties are full of opportunists. All BJP leaders are focusing on pulling down Modi. Anna Hazare and gang have fought among themselves already before achieving anything. I saw on TV - Kiran Bedi was more intent on taking pot shots at Arvind Kejriwal 's party more than the rape issue or the constable's death. And if normal people protest, political goons will mix with crowd and create trouble and government can deploy police and suppress with iron hand.

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    1. People are hanging between a rock and a hard place. Vacuum in leadership.
      Electoral reforms, police reforms and judicial reforms can bring some measure of accountability.

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  19. They cannot understand why people are reacting this way. They have always shown inertia. They are worried about protocols and high command clearances before they can utter a word. How can they make independent decisions? Someone else has to do it.All they wait for is the furore to die down. They did the same with the anti-corruption movement. They are biding their time and waiting for the storm to blow over.

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  20. Thank you for quoting Barack Obama -he is an honest man. Sadly, his counterpart in India is neither honest nor man.

    We are a race that believes in redefining 'normal'. Much as I hate the phrase, we seem to be hell-bent on setting "new normal" heights. In a similar vein, the "tipping point" has obviously been redefined. I am sorry to say and God blast my tongue but brutal rapes will keep happening in Delhi and elsewhere in India. As for the Home Minister's assurance of his having "three daughters", I would like him to assert the same with the same equanimity when something similar happens to his daughters too. I am sorry, again, to have said this on your website but I promise not to retract from my assertions if the police arrests me.

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  21. its very sad,, all said n done but the person suffering has been paralyzed thoroughly by these demons..
    I jus cant imagine anyone can be so cruel!

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  22. Alka, this incident is shameful and repulsive. Adding insult to the injury are the insensitive remarks by high and mighty who suffer from perennial foot in the mouth disease! Hope things change for better sooner!! Best wishes to you and your family for a Happy New Year and more power to your pen:)

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  23. Alka mam, its ok to make the law but how will we make them police the law..

    Here I will like to make a note I wont take names, but someone on your post comments about women being subjected to bad etc etc .. YET the same person was doing the same ..

    Sorry i brought this up.. BUT this is exactly why things wont change because we are a people who will say something, Do the entire different thing , WHILE in our mind will be a third way too..

    Our leaders are from amongst us , WE made them leaders, Come elections the same people will again stand up and we will again be QUEING to vote for them and come out smiling showing the black mark on our finger that we have voted.

    Will things change - I doubt it.

    it goes for everyone , there was a uproar at Guwahati case, but does anyone rememeber it , did anyone try to find what happened to the girl .. NO .. now this has happened ..

    WE , each one of us is at fault irrespective of MALE-FEMALE , its not jsut the rapists who did this its also all those people who stood and watched the tamasha or saw the boy and the girl hurt laying on the road and did nothing .. everyone is equally responsible..

    Same way the countless people who are protesting how many are genuine I dont know , had they all been genuine this protest could not have been hijacked by the worng people, as someone mentioned ..

    anyway I better SHUTUP

    Bikram's

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  24. And the worse thing is, other parties are making it a a political issue instead of making firm laws and talking to the protesters.

    The entire world is raising their fingers on Indian administration they're still failing to taking the hint.

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  25. I so wish that the blame game stops and the leaders of our country out their act together bcoz thats the need of the hour.

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  26. I don't drop many comments, however i did some searching and wound up here "Too Little, Too Late". And I do have 2 questions for you if you tend not to mind. Is it simply me or does it look like some of these remarks look as if they are coming from brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are writing on additional places, I'd like to keep up with
    everything new you have to post. Could you make a list of all of all
    your community sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or
    linkedin profile?

    my web site; http://conteudo.marista.edu.br/

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