On Woman’s Day

To think of celebrating international women’s day after some unspeakable violence ensued, ironically, out of protest against a crime committed against women, actually feels odd. Rape, as many of us would agree, has destroyed the very fabric of our society. And as frustrating as it is that we are yet to find a solution to this social ill, we also know that no amount of punishment can ever compensate for the damage caused by rape, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
And yet, what good does it do to a society, if a crime is paid with another crime? At the end of the day, I believe many of us, if not the majority, sat thinking and rethinking of the Dimapur incident that stole headlines all over the world. Not really because Nagaland was, in that instant, placed in a bad, dark, negative light but because, the brutality with which the entire episode was carried out, is totally unthinkable! I cannot begin to comprehend how many of them jubilantly continued to take photographs in such a situation, with no touch of humanity whatsoever.
The comments pouring in from all over the world, intriguingly suggest that we will always have divided opinions on issues such as this. Some of them were appalled, shocked, and disturbed by the barbaric act while some bluntly said a rapist deserves such punishment, just as our people are also divided on the issue.
But after everything, this one incident does more harm than good. One may also ask, if women are now happy that somebody, accused of rape, was put to death in such a horrifying manner. It was, after all, supposedly on our account, our safety and our wellbeing. Well, the answer for me is NO. It did not, in any way, bring me comfort. It did not make me feel any safer. It did not make me believe that violence against women will now be on its way of becoming a thing of the past. And let’s face it, it wasn’t only a rage against rape but more so, the issue of the Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrant (IBI).
Why, things would have been different otherwise, and both you and I know it!
Sadly, afterwards, many people didn’t even have the heart for it, and including some of those who did not participate in the ordeal, still thought that it was the right thing to do. But just how is that the right thing to do? How is it right that civilians take the law into their hands? How is right that students in school uniform are part of such a nightmare? How is it right for a mob to break into a central jail? How is it right to be even happy in such a circumstance?
It is understood that the mob was angry and reasonably so given the circumstances. Understood that the society condemns rape, that the issue of IBI is a problem that needs to be dealt with sooner than later, and in such a situation, one can imagine what must go through a protestor’s mind. But to allow oneself to be part of such barbarism and such cruelty in the end, makes us no better than animals.
And to think that it was for the cause of women. Or at least that was what was portrayed. And coincidentally, it’s women’s day…should we be happy?

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