Guest post: It will not be a teachable moment

Originally a comment by Kausik Datta on “In our culture, there is no place for a woman.”

People in India are wondering why this criminal is being given a spotlight, and what good would come out of it. I echo that sentiment in this case, despite generally being known to favor the stance of “all knowledge is worth having”. The documentary in question would be an instrument for pointing out ad infinitum how bad the situation of women is in India, but it will not be a teachable moment.

Why? Because this despicable criminal is a product of his society, culture, tradition – a triumvirate that considers women to be chattel, property to be owned, toyed with and disposed of at will. The disgusting statements put out by this man’s defence lawyers stand a testament to that.

As long as these three conditions don’t undergo a radical reform, this horrendous and shameful situation will not change – even if Mukesh Singh is eventually given the death penalty, which many people are clamoring for.

Here is a link to a relatively recent study carried out amongst school- and college-age kids, and the results of the survey have been quite eye-opening about highly regressive attitudes extant in the Indian society. Just as an example:

* 65% of college students disapprove of boys and girls from different religions meeting in public places.
* 44% of college students “agree” that women have no choice but to accept a certain degree of violence.
* 51% college students believe women must mainly take care of the household and bring up children.

This highlights the need for a great deal of introspection as a society. But I am not hopeful that that is ever going to happen.


  1. says

    I apologize for my cynicism, but in this context, I find nothing to be hopeful about the country of my birth. The few and far-between glimpses of good news are not enough to cut through my despondency. It has already been close to 68 years since we shook off the British yoke and came into being as a Republic on our own. But when it comes to egalitarianism, social conscience and human values, we seem to be steadily hearkening back to the Dark Ages.

    And I don’t see, nor have, a resolution. 🙁

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