Not governments or politicians, we should be blaming Indian society for the alleged rape, murder and burning alive of the 27-year-old Telangana veterinarian Thursday.
I am sure you will see people protesting and there will be a candle march. Some eminent personalities will condemn the horrific incident. Rahul Gandhi, Chandrababu Naidu and K.T. Rama Rao have spoken out in solidarity. But what after that? Will such incidents stop?
Where are we going as a society? No one likes to believe that these horrific crimes are real or takes them seriously until it happens to them or someone in their family.
Maybe the accused will be punished, maybe not. The outrage over the Hyderabad incident will eventually die. And we will hear of another rape and murder in the news in a few days.
Why does this cycle never end? Because we as a society never address the deep-rooted cause for such incidents. We blame the government, judiciary and the police. But I blame us.
We have failed to stand up for people who are underprivileged and people who don’t get things as easily as us. Why is basic education, including sex education, a privilege?
Lack of education and unemployment are the real reasons behind these gruesome incidents. I think that is where we need change.
Denmark is a very happy country, with jobs and education. When I went there for training in 2005, I took public transport. I was a little wary, Aarhus was a strange city to me. My coach told me, “Jwala, this is a zero-crime city.” I had never heard of that. Then I started reading up about what makes a country zero-crime.
I am talking about the overall education of society, not just literacy. We need better education and employment in India. Awareness is how we should be fighting India’s patriarchal mindset.
Hyderabad, a safe city
This incident has come as a big shock to me.
I was brought up in Hyderabad and have lived here for a long time. I have always felt very safe in the city. I love driving, and the only time when one can actually drive is late at night. I come back late at night very often. Even though I drive by myself, I never feel unsafe.
I’m not saying that the city is crime-free. However, it is really hard to believe that such a thing happened in Hyderabad.
In my days as a badminton player, I kept fighting against sexist biases. There was a lot of favouritism. When I spoke up for my rights, I was called a rebel.
Being a woman, I’m easily labelled. Seeing me and my situation, many women take a step back. And I hope the same thing doesn’t happen after this Telangana incident. Women should keep standing up for each other’s rights.
We are unable to protect our girls and women, and must share blame for it. If you are privileged, use it to help other women stand up.
The author is a Hyderabad-based badminton player. Views are personal.