Monday, 31 August 2015

Keep our trust, Jasleen Kaur.

A rather hastily written out outburst. But I needed to...

With this case of Jasleen Kaur, social media has got its new high. Every morning, the timeline floods with half a dozen articles on either side of the motion. The ones supporting Jasleen Kaur uproar with how women have always been taking it lying down and how now the time has come that we speak up. The other stream cries out on how easy it has got to pose as a victim and gather public sentiment. Many a kangaroo courts hop around us, which, to my mind, aren’t any different than khaap panchayats we read about in daily news. We all seem to know what’s right, we all seem to know the answer, and we all seem to be quite ready to execute what we think is the justice. I wish!

Amidst this confusion that has always been, I thought I’d not be touched. I knew what side I was to take. As much as I pride to call myself a feminist, I had made it amply clear to myself that feminism doesn’t mean females and patriarchy doesn’t mean the men. Just as much there are men who believe in equal rights and opportunities for females, there are women who have age-long been agents of patriarchy thanks to our very own “tradition” of familial or societal structures which makes them interest groups towards the exercise. But here, I am digressing!

My point is, despite I am a feminist and because I am a feminist, I would not blindly advocate Jasleen or the other guy. I’d but wait to hear the truth. It is not because I want to “appear” fair, but because, I care for us more. It is because, even if I think of women empowerment and women empowerment alone, it is but for our very own interest that we need to act “responsible”. So that, when we use our power and voice, we use them well. Nothing would be worse than giving them away on pretext of misuse – that would be equal to losing the game before it is fought for.

But then, I was happy to be aloof from the story, having had neither shared it as a cause nor a spoof, content that we’ll see when the investigation is carried out and justice is meted out eventually. But then, it happened. And I came across this video!

It got me!

Seriously, guys! What would you do if you were one of the girls?

Would you trust, would you call the guys for help? Would you board the car, or would you not, brimming but with inhibition or with distrust? Would you keep the nozzle of the pepper-spray ready in one hand, as you hold your sick friend with the other? Would you but not jump at the slightest doubt, baseless or otherwise, lest something appears suspicious?

And then, guys, what would you do if you were one of the boys?

Would you stop, would you help? Would you empathise, or would you first save your own back? Would you, really, just drive away? Would you think of yourself, first, always?

And then I cannot but wonder…

What shall we do, where shall we go? When shall we know not to hurt, for once? When shall we learn to trust, again? Are these, really, all so difficult? Can we just not co-habit, extend our help, live and let live?

I do not know what the solution is. But what I know is, this – this today - this is not the solution! 

And, I feel desperate and directionless…

Dear Jasleen Kaur,

I do not know you. I do not know if you are saying the truth. I do not know if or not to believe you. I do not know what, in this case, is right or wrong. But here, I write to you, as I need to write to you. I wish you power – the power to speak the truth. I wish you strength – the strength to stand by it. And I wish you responsibility – the responsibility to keep our trust.

Keep our trust, Jasleen Kaur. Please!