Tuesday, May 14, 2013

An Open Letter to Delhi Commission for Women

Dear Smt. Barkha Singh,
Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women

I write this letter not to complain, or express my views of disagreement. I write this letter solely to educate you, so that you don't make ill-informed comments on national channels. I wouldn't care if you made such or worse comments, were you not holding a position that you're presently.

Let us start our lesson -

You need to understand that the Police is the front line of the Criminal Justice System. By this virtue they are not by any stretch of the imagination, as per the constitution, legally capable to decide about any punishment to be meted out to the accused let alone punish anyone with what they feel fit.

The act of hitting children to make them conform to desirable norms is unacceptable in a civil society. Corporal Punishment has been thrown to trash by psychologists long ago - perhaps you are unaware about this. I think you should know this - as you claim to be a writer. May be you are just an amateur writer and thus I don't think you should be well-informed about sciences like psychology or sociology for that matter.

Please allow me to ask you a straight question. Which world do you live in? Are you really heading a commission for the women in Delhi that I know? I think your Delhi is a fictitious place somewhere a hundred years ago. I see that you're a Poet - so you will be able to create such imaginary worlds quite easily. Anyway one is allowed  to have mental and imaginative freedom.

What shocks me is that you're a social activist too. It is really surprising that your comments are more for the benefit of the Police personnel who have mocked the law than for the benefit of the society.

Okay. I'll now stop to beat around the bush. A few important points about this lesson that you should take away.

It's important to have a decent behavior in a public place. One can question the fundamental of what is decent and what is indecent. In many places in our country if a boy holds a girl's hand - it's indecent. And several places where a couple can't dare to kiss. Please don't even think about culture - I may need to write another letter to you about the dynamism of culture. However, a society evolves and along with it, its culture too.

Having said that, we need to understand that we can't live alone. So we live together. To let everyone live in harmony we create laws. Now, when you see something that is bothering you, one has to inform the police. The police need to book them under suitable offences if there is any. And the law takes its own course. However, people who take the law in their own hand and hit people are themselves offenders. Plus, the moral policing is beyond my understanding. You should thank the police that they are trying to bring a change, you should applaud them that they are trying to curb violence against women by creating an atmosphere of ridiculing, hitting and insulting women who openly drink, or make love in public.

I can't control my laughter at your ridiculously low intelligence. When such an atmosphere is created, it will give open opportunity to sexual predators to molest women. And the police would do away with lame explanation that the woman was drunk. I ask you to question the male police as to why they even touched a woman. I ask you to question the police as to why they took her to police station after dark.

Your comments showed how disinterested you were and how easily you brushed this incident away. If the steps that the police take are fit to make someone understand, I'm worried what would happen if such steps are legitimized. I'm worried what would happen if what the group of people did to the girl is legitimized. I'm really worried because you don't share the worry of the people about the women of our society. And you are a certain chairperson of a commission that aims to protect women. God save the country!

I hope this lesson was informative. I'm taking your leave with the hope that you'll keep educating yourself. 

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Faraz Salat

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Admirer of all things that make up a global human society.