Here’s a rough translation for my non Hindi-speaking friends:
Rapes can be prevented through a careful development of character.
1. 20 years ago, entire families would sit gathered round the television set watching the Ramayana. A scene with Ram, Sita, or Hanuman would result in exultations, folded hands, and heads bowed in respect. We would wait all week for Sundays to arrive, for that is when we got to experience this out-of-the-world experience of watching our favorite gods come alive on T.V. We could think of nothing else, talk of nothing else all week.
2. Now, however, all we watch is pornography. You can pay the local shopkeeper Rs. 10 and he will load 500 porn video clips on your mobile. These clips are available to anyone and everyone, be it a 10 year old boy or an old man. This, in my opinion is the main reason rapes are happening. These porn videos are affecting the mindsets of hundreds of people.
3. We should have a system in place where the Senior Superintendent of Police in each district should give instructions to each police station to strictly punish those who download pornography on their computers or mobile phones by humiliating them in front of the public for five days and then putting them behind bars for six months.
4. Every single city has a Residents Welfare Association (RWA). These RWAs should keep close checks on drivers, gardeners, domestic helps, etc. They should randomly raid groups of said people sitting together to check their phones, because this is the strata of society that sits together and makes crude remarks on women passing by. Keeping them in check will help the cause a lot.
5. I will respect every woman as though she were my mother/sister/daughter. Over their lifespan, people sign a lot of documents in banks, hospitals, and for employment purposes. Wherever signatures are required on a form, they should also be asked to sign against the statement – I will respect every woman as though she were my mother/sister/daughter. This will act as a reminder of the pledge every man should take. It will reinforce the good values almost like a small dose of a much-needed medicine.
Guess where that came from. An auto-rickshaw driver. Raghuveer has a stack of photocopies of this essay and he hands them to his sawaaris (passengers), hoping that one day the world will become safer for the women in his family.
Now I don’t think that things are as black and white as he thinks, but who would’ve thought that a barely-educated middle-aged Indian man in a blue collar job would have such well-defined views about sexual abuse. I’m impressed and thankful.
What do you think? Tell him at +91-995-835-8540.
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