Not ‘Candles’ In My Name

“Junaid Khan publicly lynched but no eyewitnesses step up, CCTV footage allegedly tampered.” – Financial Express. (June, 2017)

“Why 200 people did not see a dead teenager on a railway platform in North India?” – Scroll.In (June, 2017)

By now we understand through cost-benefit analysis that any probable mode to bring down the rate of atrocities happening around us is costlier than a ₹ 2 candle. Nirbhaya died, we did candle march; Junaid died, we are lighting candles again. In between these two ruthless murders of humanity we burnt many candles resulting in giving good business to candle merchants. What happens before, during and after candle marches remain same and will never change.

We walk away because the bleeding accident victim is not our significant one…

We walk away because the screams coming from neighbourhood don’t sound familiar…

We walk away because the last child, barely 3 years old, left behind in the school bus with driver is not ours…

We walk away as far as our drowsy conscious allows us. The next day we are busy buying candles from a nearby store because our conscious is not letting us sleep on hearing the news on every TV channel that a 3 year old innocent child left behind in a school-bus was taken to a secluded place and gang raped. How can we not make ‘Kill the guilty’, ‘Hang the rapists’ and more placards after knowing that the child’s head was so mercilessly crushed with a cement slab after rape! How could this happen??!! Where is humanity?!! To justify our pain we buy candles in bulk to offer others who are callous enough not to join us in much needed candle march.

The collective conscious is wide awake NOW to buy candles. The dead child suddenly feels like our own, not because he dies a ruthless death but because we are afraid that this cruelty must not touch our children. The innocent eyes are closed now but piercing through our hearts. They are not questioning or asking anything. Now they never will. We have tuned our callous conscious’ threshold of sensitivity by many decibels. We do not respond to fading away screams for help and those alive innocent eyes asking for concern. Our cold-hearted conscious only reacts to the living dead (cruelly abused) or dead bodies (brutally murdered). And then our conscious takes time to choose if it can relate to the dead? Does the dead look like next door neighbour? After a careful filtration, we decide the intensity and duration to which we need to support the sufferer. After all, we are busy! And that’s why a five-year old knows who Nirbhaya was; but we don’t not know who is Bilkis Bano!

But we understand our Individual Social Responsibility (ISR). We have understood that it is our primary responsibility to bring in public knowledge how people are treated and that’s why we quickly take out our so handy mobile phones and record every piece of horror to post it timely on social media, to which our friends ‘react’. They are equally in for ISR. The big load is off our shoulders as finally our entire online friend circle has condemned the horror in unison. We get back to our daily routine. But what is happening to the victim’s family? Oh..let us justify our callousness. The victim needs to understand that everyone has his own karma and s/he should trust in Divine Angels. God is sitting out there to punish the abuser.

The wounded must learn to ‘move on’. As far as we are concerned we are responsible and we are not sitting quiet. We ensure that we post the horror photos/videos before anyone else does. And if we get an update on horror we also ensure to forward it to the masses to condemn the same promptly. And talking about that day when the child was looking at us from the bus window with his innocent eyes just before being raped, or the fading screams when a wife was molested behind doors by an elite IIT MBA husband ..….err we think our children were hungry and we had to serve them food….we think the school had done background check before hiring the rapists….we think it was matrimonial matter and we would have sounded rude by intervening….we think our car broke down and we had to take it to garage….we think we were flying for international holidays and could not afford to miss…we think…we think….and we think!!! OTHERWISE we would have helped.

Let’s all just take a deep breath and relive the moments where just because of our intervention things could have been so different. Just because one of us had the courage to ask that driver about the left behind child. Just because one of us had the courage to ring the door bell next to the name plate Mr. Husband, IIT MBA. Just because….

We are heavily impacted by gregarious instinct. We can not live alone. We need to be a part of a society to get a continuous feeling of belongingness. Since we understand our needs so very well we approach people when we need to ‘talk it out’ over coffee. We have n number of social platforms and physical groups to satisfy our need for belongingness. But at the same time we are so callous that we would never support that one member of the same group whose life can be changed from a tale of misery to a purposeful one. At times we think if abuse is happening behind closed doors, it is an indication for us to close our doors as well, as our help is not needed. Abusers close the doors, not the abused; and abused needs your help not the abuser!

We don’t stop at candle-marches. We have certain modules to help victims after they have undergone life shattering experiences in the hands of their significant ones or strangers. And they mostly now come in the form of forwarded WhattsApp messages. Quite crisp and handy. The devastated parents of murdered child do get those messages and they wonder how to react. The woman, hiding her scars beneath make-up, also receives motivational messages and reacts sometimes by replying in some emoticon.

Many times do we hear that we must manifest whatever we want in our lives. Law of attraction starts working the moment we send strong vibes in the universe. Are we trying to tell the universe that any piece of horror, till the time it happens to us, is not our problem. Universe understands and gives us exactly what we ask for, irrespective of whether it’s good or bad! Respond to fading eyes and screams because they are looking at you! No candle can bring Nirbhaya or Junaid back. If we are choosing not to react in the moment, we will just end up giving more business to candle merchants …maybe one day buying candles for our significant one!!

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