How Indo-Pak Row hijacked our attention from Delhi Gangrape

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So, what is the latest news? Thaw in Indo-Pak ties! Indeed, the relationship shared between the two nuclear armed neighbours is very volatile. The change in dynamics of the liaison between the two estranged nations is difficult to predict.

Even experts will voice the same concern. It is a well-known story of "love-hate relationship" between India and Pakistan, which is played again and again since last six decades, since partition took place. After almost 10-days of high drama along the Line of Control (LoC), which led to sharing of strong words between the politicians of two countries, some amount of calmness can be seen now. Our borders are back to normalcy? Or is it asking for too much?

Before the Indo-Pak brawl, which started after the brutal killing and mutilation of two Indian jawans, as a nation, all our attention was focused on another episode of brutality--the gruesome Delhi gangrape of a 23-year-old paramedical student. The entire episode forced us to wake up from our perennial slumber.


The entire nation said in unison "enough is enough". They came out on the streets and voiced their anger at the corridors of power centres in the national capital. Women of India, in spite of their abysmal conditions and everyday barbarity perpetrated against them, developed a sense of assurance (although for a short time of one month) that things are going to change for better.

But, as we stand today, almost one-month after the Delhi horror episode, nothing in the ground has actually changed. It is same old fear of being attacked that haunts every woman. Outside world still looks scarier and dark for women as it was a month back. And for many of them, even their "homes" are not safe.

So, why did we devoted so much of our time in screaming and demanding an end of violence against women? Was the concern momentary? Did we lack long term vision? Perhaps, that is why the entire Congress-led UPA government ignored the movement which reclaimed the streets of Delhi for around 10 days? May be, our rulers know that movement led by Aam Aadmi (with no political backing) would fizzle out soon.

But do we deserve to be ignored, disrespected and forgotten by our political establishment? Absolutely not. Our rulers have always ignored us. They hold no respect for our demands and rights. Under such a circumstance, only two plausible solutions come to mind--vote out such politicians and political parties from power or restart the movement.

Can common man participate in public movements forever?  Do we have so much of time to devote in participating in mass movements and rallies? Of course, we don't have such a luxury. We have our own lives, where everyday we dedicate ourselves to our professional and personal duties and responsibilities.

But we can easily vote out such arrogant political parties and politicians from power, who share such apathy towards our demands. For that, we have to wait for five-long years. And we have very few choices to replace inefficient and corrupt leaders. All we have is a bunch of political parties of different hues busy in accusing and bashing each other. That is Indian politics in a nutshell.

And when India was demanding the death penalty for rapists and better security system for women, suddenly our border with Pakistan became tensed. Stories of escalation of hostilities hogged the limelight. All our focus changed from security of women to security of country's border. Once again, the spirit of nationalism grew in us. We all started engaging ourselves in "warmongering" as already said by Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which almost maintained a "silenced" stand on Delhi gangrape was suddenly seen taking an aggressive position on killings of jawans along the Line of Control (LoC). Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj demanded 10 Pakistani heads to compensate the family members of Lance Naik Hemraj, who was decapitated by Pakistani troops.

Moreover, media houses, mostly electronic, concentrated all their attention on LoC. They reported and misreported on the entire fiasco between India and Pakistan with a view to bring back the lost "patriotic" pride amongst Aam Aadmi.

The spirit of "jingoism" once again started running in our veins and issue of women's safety was once again swept under the carpet of our public memory. Can we afford to suffer from short term memory?

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