A panel discussion was being aired on End-ETV – 24x7. The anchor was the fiery Barkha Butt.
Barkha: “You all know about the gruesome incident of December 16 in New Delhi which has outraged the entire nation. I have a distinguished panel with me to discuss the issue of rape threadbare. The panel includes: Nirasharam Bapu, the God man with a difference, Raj Thokoray, the self-styled yuvaraj of the Marathas, Sohan Bhag Vat, the head honcho of Radical Svayam Sangh, Arya Putra, the representative of a right wing Hindu Organization and Tees Maar Khan or TMK, the spokesperson of a right wing Muslim party.
My first question is to Nirasharamji: “Could the victim have done anything to prevent the rape?”
Nirasharamji : “Of course. She could have sung the song: “Bhaiyya mere, raakhi ke bandhan ko nibhana…..The would-be rapists would have responded with: “Phoolon ka taaron ka sabka kahna hai, ek hazaaron mein meri behna hai…… and escorted her out of the bus and even warned her boy friend to treat her with respect and dignity.”
Butt: “Brilliant. How come no one thought of this solution? Now Thokoray, can you tell me why is the incident of rape increasing in India?”
Thokoray: “Simple. The reason is bhaiyyas from Bihar. Most of the rapes are being committed by them. So if you want to tackle this situation get them all together in one place - say the ravines of Chambal - and create a separate state called Dahi Khand or Doodh Khand for them.”
Butt: “Great. Bhag Vat ji, do you have a permanent solution to the problem of rape?”
Bhag Vat: “I feel rape happens only in India not in Bharat. Now today nobody calls our motherland Bharat, everyone calls it India or Hindustan. If we all start calling our country Bharat, like Manoj Kumar the actor used to, we can solve this problem forever.”
Butt: “Wonderful. This is truly inspirational, Bhag Vatji. Now coming to you, Arya Putra. What is your take on Rape.”
Arya Putra: “My organization feels that there is a Lakhman Rekha for all women which should not be crossed. If a woman crosses this line the Ravana waiting outside will surely take advantage.”
Butt: “Why should there be a Lakshman Rekha only for a woman, why not for a man? Isn’t that unfair?”
Arya Putra: “No, it is not, because only a woman can be raped, not a man. So, it is the woman who has to take all the precautions.”
Butt: TMK, do you agree with the other panelists?”
TMK: “I never, ever agree with anyone. I believe that woman should be fully covered, they should not incite the passion of men with their dress or behavior, they should move out only with those men who are either their husbands or relatives and finally coeducation should be banned forever.”
Butt: “Wow! Today is a great day for the nation. We used to always think that only cricket unites most men of India, oops Bharat. Now we know that it is their views about women that unite all men. Whatever their faith, ideology, values or ethos, they are one when it comes to women. They belong to one single era – the era of the Neanderthals.”
I switched off the T.V. and sat in thought. Hollywood and now even Bollywood has been producing films showcasing the exploits of super heroes. We have had Batman, Super Man, Spider Man. Now we can have a series of films called Cave Man. The first one can showcase Nirasharam Bapu and the sequels can highlight the views and exploits of Thokoray, Bag Vat et al.
Later, I penned a few lines which I would like to share with you (With apologies to John Lennon)
Imagine there's no woman
Unsafe in the whole country;
Not a single dowry death
Nor female foeticide;
Imagine all the women
Living life with joy.
Imagine there's no rape
In the streets or at home;
No woman pleading for mercy
No one begging for life;
Imagine all the women
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday every male will join me
And treat with respect every woman.