Last month,on the 16th, a most horrible thing happened-a young girl along with her companion was brutalized and , despite the best efforts of the doctors in India and abroad, she passed away.Her male companion of the unfortunate night survives and he should be thanking his angels every day .
This incident and the subsequent ones indicate that there might be shifts in our sensibilities towards not just the victims of rape but the way we perceive this issue as well.
I am not a trained sociologist but being a voracious consumer of media-offline as well as digital-have my own take on the aforementioned shifts.
#1.Post Dec 16, the protests saw the urban/non urban women come together and put their point to the rulers.Nothing new, one would say but, very importantly,even the Mumbai women folk, supported by their male relatives/friends came out in droves.In the Anna protests last year, the Mumbai janata largely kept away .
This probably tells us one thing-it makes a case for recognizing women as a stand alone political constituency ,shorn of the liabilities of the political views of the other 50 percent of the Indian voter class(males).Time for the politically astute leaders to stand up and take notice?
#2.The Identity conundrum-The traditional knee jerk reaction of the Indian middle class regarding privacy of the victim also faced questions from a significant section of the same class.After all, it asked, if one can ask for an anti rape law in the name of the victim(Nirbhaya/Damini etc.), why not raise the veil of secrecy of the victim?Implicit in tne question was an acceptance of the fact that the question of the identity of the victim(s) can be subsumed to the larger issue of implementation/formulation of harsher anti rape laws.
Can one also infer that it is time that women began to look at their sexuality in a more realistic manner?
#3.The Honey Singh Affair-Is the Indian upper middle class going conservative?An year ago, demands regarding censoring of lewd/vulgar entertainment content would have been met with an angry riposte about choice/freedom of consumption of content.Not any more.This class is as angry and hence conservative/mainstream as the middle class.By forcing the cancellation of the Honey Singh gig,it has shown its impatience with all things derogatory to women.
These are the three main shifts I have been able to discover.Maybe there are even more that would require the eagle eyes of a professional sociologist.
I would request my friends to give their feedback on this post.