Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Recent Incident in New Delhi

John, what do you think of the recent incident in Delhi? A friend of mine in the United States asked me in an email. If such an incident had happened in the US, it wouldn't have surprised me, continued my friend. But how could this happen in India, a land with such deep cultural roots?

This incident has shocked India-- no it has shocked the whole world. The cruelty and inhumanity exhibited by a group of men is beyond imagination. They find a girl they have never known before, rape her one after another, then they insert a metallic rod inside her and pull out her intestines, and finally attempt to murder her by driving their vehicle over her unconscious body. How could any human beings in their normal sense do such a thing? One might not have heard of such cruelty against a human being in history. Even in fiction one might not see such cruelty. All over the world people wondered if humans can become so devilish?

The safety of every female is at stake. If it happened to this young girl today, it could be to your sister or your daughter or to your wife or even to your mother tomorrow. How can any female get into a vehicle of public transportation in this land? How can she even get out of her home? How can she ever trust a man or a group of men she happens to come across? Won't she suspect a hidden devil within every male she meets? The very feeling of safety has gone for ever from her soul. She does not feel safe even within her own home. A man knocking at the door might be a predator. Extreme phobia has spread across the length and breadth of this land.

The women of India rose together in anger. The young women made demonstrations all over the nation demanding safety. India hasn't seen such a massive nationwide uprising in recent years. They called for immediate action against the ones who did this crime. The rulers heard the cry, and they promised immediate action. The criminals have been caught and they are facing merciless punishment. Fast-acting courts have been set up for the trial of the crimes against women.

The government has taken some immediate measures. Soon a lot of men will be jailed or hanged for crimes against women. This will surely scare a lot of people from such criminal activities. Although these measures have been immediate and timely, they are still short-term and emergency measures, not lasting solutions. Now it is time for all people of good will all over the world to engage in some serious thinking to find out some lasting solutions so that women can be safe and feel safe in India as well as in the rest of our world. Our rulers may not be able to help us much with a lasting solution. Our psychologists, social scientists, and philosophers need to conduct extensive researches to find out what causes such criminal behavior. Our educational institutions need to find out and implement ways to bring up a new generation of people who are free from such criminal mind. Our religions and ideologies need to exert their influence upon people to develop a healthy view of life.

It is time for us to ask the basic questions of human existence once again such as what we are, why we exist, and how we are supposed to exist. Usually we don't bother to ask such questions; we are too busy living our lives. But when the very foundations of our existence get shaken with such incidents, we need to rethink our understanding of our life. We need to ask how some of our fellow beings could become so inhuman. Why is such evil hiding within us? What can we do about it? What can we do as individuals and as communities to root out evil? If we don't care to think and seek a solution, then our very existence might be at stake.

May we have the will and the courage to create a safer world for our children!


Tony Daniel said...

To the best of my knowledge, the clergy and religious leaders were silent on this reprehensible matter. Correct me if I am wrong. I think the clergy is hiding behind the Government's apron. So much for being Christians. Why is the clergy afraid to call a spade a spade? It would be good to remember the Words of Martin Niemoller who was imprisoned by the Nazis. This was spoken by him in prison, at the apathy of the intelligentsia, of which he himself was a member.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

John Kunnathu said...

Tony, Thank you! The story of Martin Niemoller is my favorite. This story can easily be adapted to suit our situation.

Raji Johnson said...

Tony - not true, did u read Delhi bishop's message. But sure, the church can do more than that to root out the causes behind such behavior.

Tony Daniel said...

Hi RJ - I stand corrected. The intelligentsia (including the clergy, judiciary and police) must educate the common people as to what constitutes sexual abuse, harassment and other unnatural behaviour targeted towards women and defenseless people and animals. Most people talk about rape being condemnable as if to condone other violence against women as negligible or acceptable. Only time will tell whether the Bishop's message was not a knee jerk reaction aimed at appeasing people. "Destiny comes to those who listen (act), fate finds the rest". Only positive actions can save India now.

32 minutes ago ·

Joseph V. Thomas said...

Dear All,
I am echoing the comments made by Prof. John D. Kunnathu, concerning the most devastating criminal acts by a group of young men in New Delhi. My thoughts on the subject matter is, we can never predict "when a man turns into an animal like behavior". When it occurs, there will be absolutely no considerations being given to "human life", "dignity" or "respect" !!! It can very well be an "animal like" behavior.

It can happen anywhere where humans are present in 2 gender status. Not too long ago, in Boston, Massachusetts, there was a similar incident where a young woman was raped by a group of people "in a bar". All defendants were put in jail for rest of their lives. USA has in most states very severe punishments for "rape" and "sexual assault", particularly when it comes to "child molestation". After such encounters, in most cases they don't see the sun for rest of their lives. A complete isolation from the society is often carried out by the justice system. A nationwide alert through web-site and through the "criminal bureau of investigation" revealing it's status and final verdict, etc., are readily available to the public. Such convicted sex offenders are better off being in the jail until they die, because they will get nowhere in the society.

It was absolutely a "cruel" and "inhuman behavior" what has occurred in New Delhi, involving with a 23 year old young woman. The world has been watching with great caution the outcome of it. Having such criminals "hanging" and ending their lives painfully is the only remedy to the situation, while the audience stand by and watch, would the ramification of such criminal act. People must know that in today's most civilized society such criminals cannot escape! It is a fact that 99.9% of the rapes as being occurring daily, are going "unreported", because the victims are afraid to do so.

No matter what we do to prevent such atrocities, the bad part is it will continue as long as the both gender status is in existence !!! That is the unfortunate part of it. We cannot do much about it, other than ensuring that our beloved ones are out there with great caution when exposing to the other gender status. We can also continue to fight for stricter penalties for sex offenders, such as the ones carried out in "middle eastern Muslim countries", where they are "cutting off hands" or "cutting off legs", thus living in pain rest of their lives. That may work also.


Joseph V. Thomas
Bergenfield, N.J, USA


The whole nation is shocked at what happened at Delhi on 16th December. Since then, we hear and read lots of responses as to what should be and should have been done, which highlight our expertise in carrying out post mortems.

The entire nation is working out modalities as to what should be the punishment for the culprits, in what ways our legal systems are to be modified, what all systematic reformation should be introduced for the police force and so on.

Now the pertinent question one fails to address seriously is how to prevent such incidents for all. We need not worry much about the nature of punishment those culprits should get. The law would take care of those things. We must understand that law can punish the guilty, but law cannot protect a prospective victim. The law steps in only when the prospective victim becomes a true victim. And in spite of such a law, I believe, it is our duty to prevent a prospective victim becoming a true victim.

The public reaction has favored a return to the Old Testament system of law enforcement practices. Whatever is narrated in the Book of Deuteronomy as the then law is being appreciated in this 21st century to be implemented in letter and spirit. We are going back to a few millennia to find justice, but conveniently forgetting what happened in between and the task for which we were commissioned. God came down from heaven to earth as man and taught us a few things and He redefined the law enforcement pattern, working out an action plan that would have no need of punishment because people would be living in a harmony of brotherhood in true spirits. We are those who are commissioned to implement this, but have we done justice to this task entrusted to us?

After the Delhi incident, not less than a hundred similar heinous incidents have been reported till date. This indicates that our people are not worried at all at what is happening to others; we just want to enjoy all sorts of comforts whether we deserve them or not; whether we have such rights for such comforts legally, morally or otherwise. The deeply rooted selfishness and consumerism have driven us to such a state of mind that we are just not bothered about others or we do not view our brethren as human beings.

What are the reasons for this? We have umpteen social scientists working on various social projects. We have umpteen numbers of Psychologists working with human problems. We have umpteen numbers of evangelists including priests working on the spiritual upliftment of their flock. Can’t they work together with a singular target and focus all their energy to see a solution to this attitude of our men? We must concentrate all our energy to ensure that each man sees each woman as his own self and that the other woman is not a consumerist object.

I think it amounts to a total failure of the Church. We spend lots of time to prove and other denominations are wrong and we alone are right. As our energies are wasted in proving others wrong, we open our doors wide open to enable Satan to establish HIS kingdom so easily that a father doesn’t distinguish his daughter and a woman does not see another woman as a woman like she herself. All Christian denominations should forget about minority rights and such other petty issues and take lead in transforming our society. I am sure, once we commence this exercise, others would happily join us because right thinking individuals and communities can never stand blind to such incidents as we had in Delhi, repeating day in day out.

So what I see in these incidents is a warning from the Almighty that we get back to the basics of what we are commissioned for. Let us not forget we have a task to carry out and the task at this stage is nothing but transform people to a God centered community by liberating them from the present self centered and consumerist web. IT SURELY IS WHAT IS EXPECTED OF US.

Estrella De Maria Peissel said...

My husband told me about that. It is just unimaginable. Cannot happen again!!!

Raji Johnson said...

It was not lust alone but a demonic act. Have no idea why humans do such stuff. Few years ago I read a book 'demonic males, seems such behavior is ingrained in the genes of some men due to genetic inheritance from primates. Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence
‎"You will be killed!" the man at the Burundian embassy in Kampala said, in a bizarrely cheerful voice, as he stamped our visas.

No offence to my brothers, just trying to find some scientific answers.

Susan Eapen said...

This incident has caught the eye of the world. There are many others. What about Soumya? What about Arya a school kid who tried to help an auto driver?The young widow returning from her job dragged into the paddy field, stripped, raped and killed? What about a mother and daughter raped and killed? What about the 7 year old who was raped and killed? There seems to be a sickness of mind here and such sickness has only one solution, finding inner peace.

I believe that when we add to the viewership of the cheap local TV serials and movies depicting senseless violence and abuse in homes, immorality etc. we are sending subliminal messages to our children and to others. All of us are responsible. It is easy to stand aside and comment and lament and say that SUsan is a puritan, but one ought to look inside and try to find out how much we can contribute to change this attitude to women in general. We have item girls and send our young kids to compete for the Flat in Junior Idol. We dress them up and make them do suggestive moves which they do not understand even as we know that sick minds and sick eyes are around, watching your daughter with lust.

There is also a cultural gap- there are people who are comfortable with the opposite sex and think nothing about going out together for a movie. (I do think that this is the correct attitude) But there are a vast majority who think that these girls are fast and easy . They also envy them because these people have moved up while the others are still stuck in the rut of low incomes and low education and standards of living. It is said that it was the minor who inflicted the worst injuries on the girl. But worst of all, it is alcohol combined with drugs that drive men to the level of beasts. No wonder that alcohol is called 'Spirit'.

I like the Lily Allen Song "The Fear". is what it is exactly. We put Sanjay Dutt and Manyata as the made for each other couple in ads. WE idolize Katrina Priyanka and Rakhi Sawant according to our individual preferences.

Perhaps I am old, and out of sync with the times but I do wish that we use some discretion.

This is not just sex. A dog or any other beast tries to mate with any available female of its species. But they do not try to torture and kill. Let us not shame beasts by calling this bestial, it is a product of darkness and chaos in man. It shows the level to which we can fall just as Jesus or Gandhi or Ramana Maharshi are the levels to which we can rise.

I can say that this is because the male still views the female as the temptress and sinner Eve and has not evolved to the level he can see the Holy Virgin Mother in her. But I do not do that because I think this is a symptom of the spiritual darkness in us all.

Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya |
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya |
Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih :

Lord, Lead us from Unreality (of Transitory Existence) to the Reality (of Thou in me),
Lead us from the Darkness (of Ignorance) to the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge),
Lead us from the Fear of Death to the Knowledge of Immortality.
Shalom ! Peace, Peace, Peace.
Loka Samasta Skhino Bhavantu!

I wish Lord Krishna's promise

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge

In order to deliver the good and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of dharma, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.
Annihilation of miscreants does not mean sending them to hell, but giving them Moksha.

Lord! Help us !

Tony Daniel said...

I read that such violence comes from not being able to cope with the emancipation of women, in a society that was traditionally male dominant (for all the wrong reasons). Even women who were at the top of the "food chain", behaved and still behave like primitive men. ‘The future of India lies on your knees for you will nurture the future generation'. (Gandhiji)

Most people think that Hollywood and Bollywood etc. are in the business of entertainment. Think again! They are in the business of behaviour modification. Recently there was a study which stated that violent computer games have no effect on the players. Who are they trying to fool? There is much to be said and even more to be done.

Jaise's said...

I second Susan Eapens view... This is a clear picture of loosing morality from humanity... I just read the interview of victim's friend. He said that no one lean down to help them in 45minute they spent on road after they have been thrown out from bus... No extream punishment can stop this no lighting candles can help much, it is our society infact ourself who need to be changed.. we dumbed our cultural valus and brought commoditization instead...

Raji Johnson said...

I do believe that positively educated women (especially mothers) can bring about drastic change in the society within a single generation, but women should share the ‘power of decision making’ in all spheres alongside men. At the same time strong laws must be implemented which will deflect some of these violence due to fear of the law. We do not have details about the background or upbringing about the perpetrators in this case - a lot of it may be nurture at home or no nurture at all. I believe ‘rough’ nature especially violent sexual urges can be deflected or channeled positively if home nurturing/religious institutions and educational institutions work together.

I also want to mention that pornography is a big business nowadays along with violent video games and crass music.

C. Alex Alexander said...

Currently, m wife and I are traveling in India. For the first time, we see real hope for the future of India. The massive uprising of the youth of India for justice, fairness and equity to women is indeed refreshing to behold! The most shocking narrative we heard on the TV was the complaint of a lawyer about the demand of a bribe by the police for registering a case of alleged rape!

India's lack of determination to implement its laws, and an extremely corrupt system of government combined with the enfeebled minds of an aging leadership of all parties are contributing to this terrible violence against women. The geriatrically "inane" leaders of all parties still cannot see the need to give equal rights to women in the Indian society. Such men exist in all parties. The worst statements I read was by the RSS leader Mohan Bhagat: viz., rape is a problem of India and not Bharat's, implying that rape occurs only in urban India and that rural Bharat is a safe haven for women. What an asinine statement that is when all statistics indicate just the opposite. Mr. Bhagat also opined that a woman's duty is to just take care of the husband and family and if she fails to do so exclusively, the husband should be free to divorce/abandon her etc. That is, to put it mildly stupid.
Mr. Bhagat does not seem to realize that any nation that does not give equal rights to all citizens including women will remain on the rag heaps of under-development of its economy, and culture.

Our church's less than equal treatment meted out to its female members should come in for equal condemnation.