As We Finish 2012

Megalithic_grave_Harhoog_in_Keitum,_Sylt,_GermanyThe year 2012 will be remembered as another year that was turbulent. Since the last few years have been so, it does not make it very different. But 2012 is special because it created the largest amount of social uprising around the world. People across the globe, especially in societies such as Asia and Middle East, came out in large numbers to voice their dissent over governance misconducts and sluggishness. The last of these was right here at home. National outrage triggered by the shameful Delhi Gang Rape case wherein the victim suffered, battled all pains only to pass away. It has been a very sad ending to the year.

I was sitting at a coffee shop this afternoon and I realized that I was amongst a boisterous group of young adults having fun over coffee. Since I could not avoid listening to their conversations, I decided to eavesdrop and slip into my college days. However, these young boys were discussing vociferously the Delhi Gang Rape Case. They were very angry over what had happened. They were discussing punishment to be awarded – gunning the persons, stoning in public, hanging by the chin and other gruesome forms of capital punishment. I recollected that I had also come across resentment plastered over facebook today about the same. There were discussions even on boycotting the republic day celebrations.  All of a sudden the conversation in the next table turned to a totally different topic. Party plans for the evening! I was taken aback by the way the emotion of outrage got replaced with casual talk of fun in a matter of seconds.

How serious were these young men about what has happened?  How serious are we as adults?

While we are all making the right kind of noises about getting justice – are we actually spending enough time and effort on ensuring such incidents don’t happen? While we are blaming the lack of security, the slow pace of judiciary and police system – are we holding a mirror to our face and asking can these actually prevent a recurrence? Are we thinking respect for another human being can be got through stricter laws and better protection alone?

Don’t we need a more on ground set of action from each of us to repair the ugly tears in our social and moral fabric? Today are we as parents, teachers, elders teaching our next gen how every life on this earth is precious and demands respect. How many parents have sat their children down to talk on what it means to respect a girl and provide her the right to live her life as free as her male counterparts? How can we rest till we have a sensitized Gen-Y who know both their rights and responsibilities?

While we need a quick resolution to this case, we also need a way of ensuring that youngsters are trained to be more sensitive towards fellow human beings. While the governance structure moves towards making the right policy changes to keep a safe and secure nation, we also need to provide enough training and sensitization to all regarding the importance of treating everyone (irrespective of color, caste, gender, etc) equally. While on one hand we are looking forward to economic growth, we also need to re-look at ensuring our basic rights as human beings are respected and protected. This can come only if we collectively resolve to change ourselves at an individual level to respect ourselves first and then others. For no person with self respect and sensitivity – will knowingly fall from the mantle of being human.

Hope the New Year will start on a right note.  Along the way in our search for prosperity, let us  seek peace and happiness also!

Seasons Greetings and New Year Wishes to all!

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