“Question Hour”

This is one of the articles I had cut out from the newspaper and saved in my file.
It was published on December 30, 2012 in a leading newspaper, The Times Of India, following the barbaric gang-rape of December 16, 2013 that shook the whole country.

It is penned by Reema Kagti in a feature titled ‘REEL ISSUES’.

While typing out this article, I felt as if it was published just yesterday because so many of its questions are still so relevant, so in-tune with the latest developments. Made me ask if India has taken a step forward at all.

***

QUESTION HOUR

Is it really difficult to see the injustice meted out to women in the name of religion and morality?

  • Why are Indians more offended to see two people kissing as opposed to a girl being groped in public?
  • Why is molestation regarded as something ‘that happens’ and an open display of affection as ‘obscene’?
  • Why does a girl’s clothing become a bigger discussion than the fact that she was raped?
  • Why does the law call molestation ‘eve teasing’?
  • Why did they coin the term ‘outraging the modesty of a woman’ to whitewash sexual harassment?
  • Why do actors agree to stalk woman on screen and pass it off as romance?
  • Why do actresses play roles that portray them as objects?
  • Why do some men feel the need to avenge rejection?
  • Why can we buy acid anywhere but need a permit for alcohol?
  • Why is the word ‘love’ considered more derogatory than the word ‘rape’?
  • Why has the land of the Kamasutra started pretending it does not have sex?
  • Why is consensual sex more shameful than forced sex?
  • Why don’t parents teach their children to know better?
  • Why do we pretend everything is so black and white?
  • Why don’t we understand people who are gay?
  • Why do we still pretend they don’t exist in our country?
  • Why does our constitution have so many archaic, irrelevant laws?
  • Why are sisters not treated with the same respect as brothers?
  • Why don’t some people have the right to choose whom to marry?
  • Why is murdering a girl necessary to preserve ‘family honour’?
  • Why don’t people act when they see a person in distress?
  • Why is a husband beating a wife considered a ‘domestic problem’ and not ‘assault’?
  • Why does our morality have nothing to do with values?
  • Why doesn’t the moral police disband and re-group as a ‘civic sense’ police?
  • Why does our culture breed men whose idea of a night out is a gang rape?
  • Why don’t we see what a terrible place this country is for women?
  • Why is the media not following up on stories that need focus and sensationalise the ones that grab eyeballs?
  • Why do politicians say stupid things about sensitive issues?
  • Why do we have so many ineffective men and women in the Indian Parliament?
  • Why do we, as people, put up with all this?
  • Why are we, as individuals, so irresponsible?
  • Why are we, as thinking, feeling human beings, so desensitised to the injustice all around us?

*

Kagti is a director & screenwriter.
The opinions expressed in this column are personal views of the writer.

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