What exactly is a rape? It is essentially an act of force and violence perpetrated against a weak being who has no choice but to submit. It causes great trauma and changes the victim’s behaviour, hopes, anxieties, responses, beliefs, suspicions, complexes, proclivities, and emotions forever.
The keyword above is ‘weak‘. The carnage and trauma caused by repeated rape of Indians, through acts of terrorism, doesn’t fill us with resolve to never to allow such acts to be perpetrated against our people again. In contrast, each act of terrorism makes us weaker and impotent.
I think the reasons and the solutions (intrinsic with each reason) are multi-fold:
1. To start with there is a complete failure of our type of democracy that elects governments that not only do not protect the lives of their people (their primary responsibility) but are increasingly out of sync with the hopes and aspirations of people. I brought out the cause of the malaise in an article in this blog: ‘How Proud Should We Be of Indian Republic at 62?’
2. Secondly, terrorist acts come under ‘law and order’, that is, a states subject. However, much of it is in the purview of the central government, especially when it is Pak sponsored. In case of Pakistan, as with most other things, we don’t appear to have a clear policy except for one point agenda (given to us by the US) of somehow to continue with talks.
3. Thirdly, from a politico-military point of view, Pakistan appears to be exercising Deterrence against us (through irrationality and Nuclear Weapons Enabled Terrorism) but we have willfully let go of our Deterrence despite our considerable superiority in conventional war means and potential. For a deterrence to work, we should be ready to demonstrate it sometimes (at least through signalling an intent); whereas, our national and military think-tanks routinely convey to Pakistan that we have lost the battle even before it begins. We are not averse to using our Army against our own people. But, against Pakistan, anyone who moots the idea is promptly labelled as a hawk (implying loony).
4. Fourthly, the primary security force here is Police. Over a period of time, Police has willy-nilly conveyed and demonstrated that they are there to discipline us through various ways (from bribes to lathi-charge). Protecting lives of citizens is not very high priority.
5. Fifthly, let us put the blame squarely on the media, which has not matured enough. The kind of coverage it gives of a terror incident is like playing into the hands of the terrorists. Did anyone see gruesome pics of terror victims in, say, London terror blasts? Our media’s main focus of coverage is that. The terrorist causes half the panic. The other half is caused by the media. The media also goes overboard in projecting the ineptness of the security agencies as if the enemy actually is the security agencies.
6. Lastly, lets not forget all of us. When peace prevails, we resist any measures by security agencies that would bring some order in our lives. For heavens sake, lets not forget that our people even oppose wearing of helmets on two-wheelers being “imposed” on them.
Therefore, when we get a statement from the PM, on visiting Mumbai, “I share Mumbaikars’ pain and anger”; we know that what he means is that he has shared this many times in the past, and will share many times in the future too.
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