For a change I am in a country where you don’t have to convert every cost into $, everything is in $! I am in a country where things are done in brazenly different manner than rest of the world. Switches work the other way, weight is measured in pounds, distance measured in miles, petrol is called gasoline and measured in gallon and so on and so forth. As a friend once painstakingly pointed out, everything done, in order to do away from colonial past and create a completely new Identity. Thank fully they couldn’t do much with time; it is still 60 seconds a minute and 60 minutes an hour. Nonetheless It’s a very ‘politically aware’ nation and as I write this blog – TV is all about Obama’s swearing in for his second innings at the White house.
|This is what I am driving|
There is one more thing that one would obviously notice, something that I have started to hate, driving! Yes as everything else, they drive on the other side, which they call the right side! The steering wheel is on the other side as well! After a day that, it takes for ‘getting used’ it is quite a dumbing down experience to drive here. I have been driving for the last three days here – weigh what sort of stress I have been put through:
I fear if I continue driving in this country a few more days not only will I find it tough once I am back where I belong, but also my IQ would have fallen a good 50 points. Changing from survival of the fittest to ‘live and let live’ is stressful and comes with its own pitfalls of lower intelligence! Choose- intelligence or Driving Comfort? Don’t blame me if I look dumb in the picture! A dear friend asked me – ‘which one is dumb’ and ‘which one is dumber’? Be your own judge!
This could appear to be a blasphemous thought to many and ofcourse what I present is only a hypothesis. Though selling country as a brand is not a new idea. Countries have been doing this for ages to attract tourists or top brains and talent from across the world, however selling it as a brand to its own citizen might be a proposition that hasn’t been explored much. On a serious note, by building brand equity for itself, a country could help improve unity among people, boost morale, boost self-image and this could have positive effect on the economy. I thought this was a radical idea, however a quick search on the internet proved me wrong. The concept of Nation-Branding for domestic consumption has been doing the rounds for the past decade or so and the Government in conjunction with the elite have been entrusted with the onus of building the brand equity to drive loyalty of its citizen.
Myths about Rape and Sexual Violence:
- Rape or Sexual violence against women is an universal phenomenon
- Developed Economies have significant cases of sexual violence against women as Developing economies
- Sex ratio of a country has nothing to do with increase or decrease in incidents of rape
- Conviction rates in all countries continues to be low if not lower than India
- All incidents of such nature do not get reported to the police in other countries as well
- All countries have their own degree of issues with respect to Women’s liberty or freedom
- Research done on Chemical Castration shows it is not proven to be effective always
- Rape is not a modern society problem
- Rape is as much common in rural areas as it is in urban areas so women’s dress definitely is not an instigator
- The marital status or age of the criminal is not a factor, married or old men too rape
Role of Literature and Media:
Protesters and the Mindset:
I often find it interesting to note protests in situation where we are in a way protesting against ourselves. A rapist, as I mentioned in a blog earlier, are not aliens. They are part of the same society and are one among us. Government can’t be held responsible and should not be held responsible for anything and everything. For example female foeticide is a societal phenomenon and our parents and family members who feel burdened by a girl child or ask for dowry during marriages are to be blamed for such situations and no amount of policing can ever stop such tacit acts. Infact sometimes such acts are perpetrated by women themselves. Many among those who protest would cringe at the idea of their daughter’s or sisters having the freedom to choose a career or a life partner entirely on her own or even decide on the hours allowed outside home. Societal changes are not easy to come about especially where the problem is chronic in nature. Yet that’s exactly what the current problem demands. Question that one has to ask is what aides such societal changes, what aides in change of age old mindsets? What incentivizes people to move out of their comfort zone and ask questions? I think there is a strong need for social scientists or sociologists with strong relevance to India to develop innovative solutions after studying various co-related or unrelated data. I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody among the protestor is inspiring their kids to be social scientists or sociologists and assist in transforming society through innovative methods. Unless people start doing things that they haven’t done before, they won’t get results that haven’t been seen before.
Part of a Solution or Part of a Problem:
– Reduce female foeticide/ infanticide
– Prevention of Sexual violence
– Strict laws that are appropriately implemented to deal with any incidents of sexual violence
– Rehabilitation of the victim
Let us explore some possible solutions that I could think of, and I don’t indicate this to be a exhaustive list by any stretch of imagination or arrogance.
Reduce female foeticide/ infanticide:
– Incentivize families with girl child – addition quote under PDS or free education till a particular age
– Incentivize states with better sex ratio with greater fund allocation
– Incentivize colleges or schools with greater girl representation
Prevention of Sexual violence:
Strict laws that are appropriately implemented to deal with any incidents of sexual violence and Rehabilitation of the victim: