Easy To Mock Hindoos And Their Holy Cows, Difficult To Truly Revere Nature

First published on Swarajya Magazine on 15 October 2015.

Jaitirth Rao in his article, this matter of beef starts with making a right statement that the present laws protect neither the cows nor the dairy farmers. This post of mine is not just a reply to his article but a call to all those who think of themselves as truly liberal (on both sides of political ideologies) to examine their arguments about beef and environmentalism and yes, ‘economic viability’.

Before I proceed, please read my ceremonial disclaimer (written for those friends who have some special intellectual capabilities to assume otherwise).

—What happened in Dadri was a crime and is punishable by law. No less, no more and I don’t support lynching, beating up or murdering on taking law into own hands in any form, given any reason.

—I respect Mr Jaitirth Rao very much. The article is a counter to his arguments and is not to be taken otherwise.  

The inability of dairy farmers in sustaining the old cows which are not economically ‘useful’ is real. My deeply hurt emotions aside, let us accept that it is a problem that a farmer faces. The death of animals in stray accidents and by consuming harmful plastic waste (our precious gift to nature and our callous denial to think about recycling processes, lest we forget) is regrettable.

Ranjit Sinhji’s culinary choices don’t define my sensibilities, nor does Bhavabhuti’s supposed liking for veal. Not even the supposed verses of Rig Veda or whatever part of scriptures that mention cow meat define my sensibilities. As a Hindu, it is a matter of pride for me that the Hindoos (Continuing Mr. Rao’s advised spelling) have gone ahead and defied their Vedic references to beef and have stood against slaughter(assuming such references exist). I call this evolution of thought. We all evolved from cannibalism too. Just that there were no religious texts in that period. In course of evolution, we moved away from it and equated cannibalism with Rakshasatva or demonic nature. Agriculture is considered a breakthrough in human civilization. Why? Logically because we stop being predators and become creators, limiting the harm done by us to the environment.

Any asset (and a domesticated animal, since Mesopotamian times has been viewed as an asset) automatically becomes a less attractive investment if it loses its residual value.

This is the kind of statement that could hurt the sensibilities of a Hindu who claims to have even an iota of care for the nature and to any lover of environment. Cattle are the one main reason behind our evolution from predators to creators. A Hindu mind considers them as a partner in the civilization and not mere assets that exist to provide economical value. One can argue that cattle was considered as ‘wealth’ in any civilization and hence the argument. A Hindu heart considers even ‘wealth’ as worship worthy. In fact it owes its reverence to every animate and inanimate object that contributed to universal sustenance and the ‘holy cow’ is a symbol of this universal reverence.

Humane slaughter does sound like a desirable alternative to the otherwise painful death. But it does so assuming that the animal’s right to life is a function of its economic viability to the human being. Mr. Rao also feels that keeping the animals whose meat is protein rich at the cost of humans remaining protein deficient being a tad stupid is regrettable. No, the civilization and evolution we pride about, if it has just turned us into sophisticated predators, there is too less to be proud of being a human and lecture about humanity.

“Keeping alive surplus cattle which contribute to the dreaded methane in the environment (Dear Reader: I shall spare you the scatological details) is clearly a very very bad thing as far as Eco friends are concerned”

I shall reserve my reaction on this statement and it might just be a worthy task for each of us to contemplate on the multitude ways in which we release dreaded stuff into environment. May be we can make a case for humane slaughter of humans too! (I am not serious, but the logic suggests it this way).

Science is a great way to look at development. But looking at it from just a curious statistical evidence might not make case for slaughter. Slaughter to win a couple of cricket matches then makes it look like it is fine to kill a being for our sportive delight. I would rather prefer to lose a few matches or to come up with any breakthrough that could enable a sportsperson to depend less on height. Alternatively, can we think supplements?

The questions about the effectiveness of the law remain. But we need to choose how we would proceed to make them effective. Of course it is easy and tempting to mock at the Hindoo’s tailored protection of the holy ‘cow’. It is also sane to challenge the Hindoos to arrange for alternative protection centres as opposed to abandoning them on the road to die. (We can alternatively watch the way we dispose plastic unless we are fine with the thought that we are the blessed species with sole rights to pollute environment with plastic while the animals can be humanely slaughtered for their dreaded methane).

I know that it hurts the high egos of intellectuals to recognize the simple minded environmental symbolism of Hindoos. As a Hindu, I would look up at anyone taking this love for the holy cow forward to a stage of saner implementation where being a human does not mean coming up with ridiculous arguments to justify slaughter. If supporting slaughter makes me a liberal, the word seems to lose its sheen. Would prefer to be called otherwise for siding with life.

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Scion of Ikshvaku: An Engrossing And Moving Read

This was written for Swarajya Magazine and published in June 2015

There are few books that leave you sleepless when half-read. Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish Tripathi was one such a retelling of Ramayana. It goes without mentioning that the epic of Ramayana has undoubtedly captured the imagination of poets over millennia all across the Indian subcontinent, with versions travelling as far as Indonesia. Each retelling carried a fresh perspective with each poet trying to drive a contemporary message. Hailing from the southern part of the country, I can say Sri Ramachandra is one name taken by one and all in every instance of extreme emotion. His is the first cradle story an average child hears from his or her parents/grandparents or it would not be much of an exaggeration to say that celebrating Ramayana begins right from the womb.

Scion of Ikshvaku was surely one of the much-awaited books this year and, fortunately, the Kindle version was available overseas too. For those who know the structure of Ramayana, this book covers the Bala Kanda, Ayodhya Kanda and most of Aranya Kanda. The opening chapter ofSitaapaharan grips your attention and gets you hooked as the story flashes to the beginning of Ramayana. Amish has taken care to detail the prevalent socio-political dynamics of Sapta Sindhu in those days and the inevitable dangers of an apparently unwise belief of looking down on trade activity by the Kings.

For those who have read his Shiva Trilogy, Amish’s creative liberty does not come as something new. Creative liberty, of course, has been something that every poet and storyteller has indulged in the literary history of India and this book is a welcome continuation of the same tradition. We see Ramachandra having a troubled childhood taking the burden of an undeserved blame and moving us with his commitment (in contrast to who we know as someone being everyone’s apple of eye).

The second thing which would strike the reader is the amount of discussion and debate over philosophies and codes. The indulgent conversations between Guru Vashishta and the four princes of Ayodhya would make one wish that the kind of education system returns to us, where each student is encouraged to voice his/her opinion and build upon the same with differing perspectives. I really liked the part where Bharata boldly points out that Ravana was a better ruler of Lanka than Dasharatha was of Koshala. “Even honourable men sometimes prove to be terrible leaders. Conversely, men of questionable character can occasionally be exactly what a nation requires” is one pragmatic quote of Bharata where he separates the desired personalities of an individual and a ruler without superimposing.

The amount of care with which relationships between Rama and his brothers have been dealt with is another endearing aspect of the book. We would adore the young Rama for his steadfastness as much as we would adore Bharata for his frank views often disagreeing with Rama and yet take delight in the unaffected fraternal bonding.

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Intriguing conversations don’t really hamper the pace of the plot. One can see the amount of effort that has gone into balancing the philosophical content with the lively nature of characters while reconstructing every detail. In the second half of the book, we are introduced to Sita, who like Sati of the Shiva trilogy is a warrior princess with steadfast beliefs. The ensuing romance of the poised characters of Sita and Rama is something one would look forward to read. The couple who are probably the most celebrated couple in our culture (The only ones who come close are Parvati and Shiva). Sita Kalyanam, the eternally celebrated event though has been retold in a thrilling manner where the newly wed couple would face the battlefield together, almost immediately after their wedding. We also see Ravana, the antithesis reconstructed with great care.

The readers should be ready for Vanavasa episode to gather new reasons other than just Kaikeyi causing it in the last moment (as told in most of the narratives). The quick pace with which Vanavaas came to a close was surprising. I was expecting a discussion or two with Rishis like Atri, Gautama and the Charvaka Jabali, who Rama meets in the original Valmiki’s version. Surprisingly, Scion of Ikshvaku does not contain Rama’s interaction with either. But the nail-biting chapter where the book ends surely makes the reader await the next book.

The book in its first part also has, what I felt, the author’s tribute to Nirbhaya, an event that made our national conscience shake with shock and burn with anger. The character Roshni (the word is of Persian origin though, which I felt was slightly out of place), the daughter of Manthara and the childhood mentor of Rama and his brothers endears herself to the reader in the short duration of the narrative. As a woman, it satisfies me that in this book at least, justice was dispensed even at the cost of the law.

In summary, the book rekindled my love for Ramayana and reminded me about my own earlier love-hate journey with Sri Rama since my teens before I settled as a seeker. Caught between singing Thyagaraja Kritis like Jagadananda Kaaraka while seething with anger about how he (supposedly) treated Sita, my past predicament would have amused Lord Rama for sure. I remember a certain blog post of mine hailing Rama got me angry messages from my feminist friends (the reasonable ones too). After a lot of books that have given a glorified platform to those against Rama or angry with Rama, a counter view from Rama’s perspective was much needed rather than the usual defence of ‘He did what the society expected of him’. This Ram Chandra series by Amish Tripathi will hopefully go a long way in bringing the reader closer to what the spirit of Rama is.

Jagadananda karakaa Jaya Janaki Prananayaka
Gaganadhipa satkulaja Rajarajeshwara
Sugunakara sura sevya bhavya daayaka Sada Sakala
(Jagadananda Kaaraka)

Hail, the one who is cause of universal bliss, the soul mate of Janaki,
The scion of the blessed dynasty of the Lord of skies, the king of kings,
The Ocean of noble characteristics, the one worshipped by gods, the bestower of divinity,
The eternal cause of bliss to all the worlds

-Saint Thyagaraja

Here is the Amazon link to buy Scion of Ikshvaku. Hindi translation can be bought here

Sadaalambaa Saraswathi – Reclaiming The Field Of Arts And Humanities

This was written for Swarajya Magazine and published in June 2015.

For those whose history enthusiasts whose awareness is beyond what the erstwhile NCERT wanted us to learn, the name of the Paramara King Bhoja of Dhar strikes a chord. Best known as the King who organized a confederation of Hindu rulers against the armies of Muhammad Ghaznavi, he was also an acclaimed scholar. The patronage of arts and literature reached an all time high during his rule despite turbulent political conditions. In fact, Sri Krishna Devaraya in whose time the Vijayanagara empire reached its zenith was given the epithet ‘Andhra Bhoja’, the Bhoja of Andhras after the original Bhoja Raja. The following was said in support of his patronage of arts:

Adya dhaara Sadaadhaara Sadaalambaa Saraswathi
Panditah manditah sarve Bhoja Raaje bhuvangateH

The Dhara is supported for good. Saraswathi is well secured.
The scholars are prosperous as the Bhoja Raja descended on this earth

The lament around his death was

Adya dhaara niraadhaara niraalambaa Saraswati
Panditah Khanditah sarve Bhoja Raje Divangateh

The Dhara is unsupported. Saraswathi is without security.
The scholars are broken and scattered as the Bhoja Raja departed from this earth.

The disturbing fact however may be that Saraswathi continued to be a niraalamba save the periodic bright sparks in the Gajapati, Vijayanagara, Tanjavur empires and to an extent the Maratha and smaller regional empires. Southern India however had a brighter period with epics written in fresh perspectives and selected Puranic episodes being expanded into Prabandhas with sufficient intellectual inputs and literary expertise to drive a contemporary message . But when seen in in the last 1000 years or so, the Saraswati continued to be a niraalambaa for a large period. We can understand that the tumultuous foreign invasions, new empires hostile to the native roots followed by the impoverishing British rule took its toll over patronage of arts.

It is however lamentable that the situation only worsened post independence. The areas of arts, literature, history and economics continued to stay without the much needed prop. One might argue that the governments did do what was in their hands with Sahitya Akademi grants, Padma awards and so on. It can also be accepted that the performing arts got their share of recognition albeit the scepticism around who really deserved the awards. But when I searched for some answers to the following questions, it did not leave me with a sweet taste.

How many avadhaanis won a Padma award compared to say their luckier (or cronier) counterparts in English?

Forget awards, how many avadhaanis are even alive and how many would pursue the skill in future? (When I asked this to a friend, he replied with a laugh saying how many of us even know what an Avadhana is)

Are there contemporary poets who can match the literary versatility of the historical poets?

Forget contemporary poets, how much of the historical literature is even taught in the high school level to create enough awareness and hence, interest in the field?

Are the art forms of Harikatha, Yakshagana, Katha Shravana, etc staring into extinction (if not for some passionate artists who choose to sacrifice their careers to live those arts)

When was the last time the town halls in our small towns (not metros) witnessed a concert/recital/Kavi sammelan?

Plainly speaking, how many students choose the field of arts and literature with a passion and how many do so because they just could not manage to get into professional career streams?

For the mainstream population which in the last five decades has depended on a salaried career for their survival, the field of arts had little to attract. The situation spiralled into a vicious circle with lesser students opting for a career in arts and humanities. The departments in the universities turned into vehicles for narrow propaganda with negativity dominating an average arts student. If one was not a lucky child or relative of a well-placed bureaucrat or a politician, unemployment loomed large and generations of Humanties graduates fell prey to ideological battles rather than growing and contributing to the field.

The fields of technology, management and medicine are self sustaining and a generation of techies who had to migrate out of the country in search of opportunities have actually contributed to the rise of ‘IT generation’ saving the country from a large scale unemployment (despite the jibes like ‘IT coolies’ and ‘those who voted with their feet’ from known corners). But arts and humanities needs patronage by the governments, by the affluent class and the common class alike. The result of lack of patronage has come out clear in the recent times. A humanities graduate embarrassed us by asking stupid questions to the Managing Director of International Monetary Fund. A so called study circle in the Humanities department put a premier technology institute on headlines for wrong reasons. At personal and anecdotal levels the examples could be endless. I remember encountering a humanities student from Karnataka who did not know who Sri Krishna Devaraya was! (He also had the audacity to ask if I was mispronouncing the name of Sri Krishna Raja Wodeyar of Mysore!)

With the return of a nationalistic government to power, I expect more action in reclaiming the lost field of arts and literature. Entrepreneurs and professionals have survived hostile governments and will definitely flourish in the present term. But artists and believers of native Indian arts need proactive measures from government and initiatives by voluntary organizations. It is not for the living support of these artists, but for the continuity of the legacy which makes us proud. Our ancestors made us proud with their exploits in the field. Are we adding to the pile so that our descendants have an increased pile to be proud of? Importantly, can we enable an average student of arts to dream and aspire like his/her peers in professional education without descending into political crony-ism? Or do we leave them to fret with envy at their peers and get manipulated by vested propagandists? Can we reclaim the field of arts and humanities to reflect and refine our identity as the oldest existing civilization? Or do we leave it to become a convenient tool in the hands of Indophobic entities? Will the Saraswathi get back the home she deserves? Or does she have to await another Bhoja Raja’s descent in the age of democracy? Let our actions determine what we want to answer.

Ab ki Baar QWERTY Sarkaar – A concerned citizen takes stock of Indian General elections 2029

I had written this inspired by a spur of witty conversation on Twitter. This was published by Swarajya in March 2015 http://swarajyamag.com/politics/ab-ki-baar-qwerty-sarkar/)

As the world’s largest democracy gears up for its general elections in 2029, the results of the race to power are fairly evident.  Much to the anguish of liberal India which is just a sad minority, QWERTY of Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be the favored leader according to the internet polls and the social media. I only weep in silence at the rash choice of young India for an industry fanatic like QWERTY over the pro-people contenders like Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party and Rahul Gandhi of the Congress party. The younger generation sadly seems to be in the delusion that QWERTY represents a younger version of Narendra Modi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the yesteryears’ BJP.

Keeping political inclinations aside for a moment, one would be greatly insulting the development man of India, Narendra Modi, by comparing fascist and dictatorial QWERTY to him. I was an active detractor of Narendra Modi in the historic 2014 elections when he swept the nation leading the BJP to an unprecedented majority. But I, and all my compatriots admit without hesitation that Narendra Modi carried an air of commitment towards the country which QWERTY can only badly mimic in his rhetorical campaign speeches.

Narendra Modi, despite having his political origins in the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, a fascist Hindu organization, set himself apart from their ideology. The country cannot forget the pro-people commitment in his memorable statement “Pehle Shouchalay phir Devalay”. The regrettable statement of “Vyapar karo Naukri nahi” to the rural youth by QWERTY is sadly being pepped up as the slogan of the decade. One shudders to think about the consequences when a whole generation thinks of a salaried job as a burden and favours Vyapar!

Acknowledged as amongst the most powerful leaders in the world, Narendra Modi received a pittance for his pay, only higher than that of his Chinese counterpart. His assets would hover around a meager figure of Rs. 1 Crore, which is less than a decade’s earning for today’s corporate executives. QWERTY, on the other hand, flaunts his fashionable wardrobe as a ‘testimony’ to his entrepreneurial past. How can one equate him with Narendra Modi, who devotedly stuck to his simple kurta?

QWERTY’s anti-minority stance bared its horns when he roared in his Patna rally that gods should be restricted to homes and hearts. His unabashed hatred for religious minorities stares into our eyes as he said, “you are India’s sons first and devotees of your gods next”. Can’t the star-struck youth see the brazen patriarchal tyranny in the statement?

Our generation remembers mutely the Narendra Modi who graced Christian congregations and spoke about Swami Vivekananda, showing the diversity of thought in the India we remember. Crimes against minorities were pursued with increased agility in Modi’s regime. QWERTY’s assertion of equality in crime can only pale in front of Modi’s true secular credentials.

Gone are the days where the political leaders of BJP gave space to opposing views. The “candle holder”, as those on twitter call me, can only sigh in sympathy for the simple-minded, bespectacled, kurta clad man whose pro-women, pro-people, pro-country legacy is going to be usurped by a brazen businessman-turned-tyrant who will force a country of 1.4 billion into a dark, risky uncertain regime which he packages as ‘entrepreneurial’.

‘India’s Daughter’: The Problems I See With It

This was published in Swarajya in March 2015 (http://swarajyamag.com/culture/indias-daughter-the-problems-i-see-with-it/) and before that the first part was first published in Mirror to India (https://mirrortoindia.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/indias-daughter-the-problems-around-it-as-i-see/)

After a day of outrage (against the video), I started to ponder on the points that led me to oppose the much discussed video. My ponderings brought me a welcome relief by realizing that the end outcome wished by both the stances is the same – a safer world for women. The ones supporting the video (the saner ones) argue that we as a society need to stop living in denial about the atrocities happening amidst us and need to face the devil within. The other side including me has multiple points from different angles. Most of the saner arguments boil down to aspects below.

– Providing an undeserved platform to a perpetrator of a heinous crime that has shocked the country, a shock that nearly destroyed the faith in the society and system.

– Loose usage of terms like “Rape Culture”, “Majority of Indian men think like this”, “Showing the mirror” are thoughts of as more damaging to the cause than strengthening it.

– A criminal commits a crime only after convincing his own perverted conscience with some perverted sense of entitlement and legitimacy. There is no rocket science to it. A thief reiterates the one having more money does not deserve it, a murderer decides that the one he is going to kill has no right to live and rapist is sure to justify that the victim/survivor asked for it. All the criminals blatantly disrespect and belittle the law, constitution and the system. Many opine that this is exactly how a criminal thinks which is well known and is not an issue which needs a documentary to understand and analyze.

I agree with all the above reasons. My greatest pain has been in realizing the stereotypes the self proclaimed feminists have taken to the town in supporting the video. I hail from a middle class family settled in a town (now a city) in Andhra Pradesh. In my childhood, I have seen my parents struggle to provide me a take-off point in life which would give me more than what they got from their parents. As I finished my schooling, I could gauge an increasing social pressure to provide equal education to girls from same middle class peers. Apart from the academic pressures and career stereo types, I sense the developments as welcome changes.

Today when I visit back my native place, I see girls coming from the remote villages to work or study, braving the twilight travel twice a day through unlit roads. Though their struggle moves me, it gives me the satisfaction of the society going on a right track albeit barriers and obstacles. Fathers, brothers, colleagues, husbands do send their women to claim their rightful public places and that is the Indian male contributing to gender equity which makes me proud and secure.

So the brigade wanting to ‘show the mirror’ needs to contemplate who they want to show the mirror to.

To the Indian father who sends his daughter to far off places so that she studies/works to claim her rightful social share?

To the Indian male colleague who do their bit in making the work place even a tiny bit more friendly and secure to women employees?

To the Indian friend who supports his female friends in variety of free choices and growth?

To the Indian husband who participates in household chores and strives to see his wife succeeding in her career?

To those cab drivers who ferry women to the safety of their homes during late nights? (The bad ones make news and the hundreds of good ones don’t. Of course doing your duty is not something to make news)

To tea-stall vendors, Security boys and countless people on the roads who do their bit in making the world a safer place?

No, I am not glorifying the above men. Neither am I doing an emotional pitch for them. Each of the men mentioned above is contributing to gender equality doing his duty. I dare ask the feminist achievers if they came up in their lives with no male contributing to their success at all? I don’t mean to belittle the stereotypes that they fight, but are they creating new ones in order to fight the old ones thus defeating the very cause of equality?

What we strive for, the world safer for women is an evolutionary goal. Evolution needs each of us to build strong steps to climb upon and build the next steps. And this flight to evolution can be built upon strengths and not by blowing up weaknesses. If the documentary makers are indeed interested to contribute to the cause truly, they would be making inspiring videos of those day labourers whose daughters have made good headlines instead of promoting negative stereotyping about cultures that they hardly tapped into. They would be showing the resilient women and supportive men instead of claiming to show mirrors that are not. They would be appealing to reason and evolution of minds instead of publicizing terrorizing statements by sick minds.

If we are to broadly categorize the Indian men, there are many advancing towards the much awaited gender equal world. They hold dreams for their women and might have fears for them as well. Keep in mind, that rural father or elder brother who sends his daughter/sister to work and study but has a problem with her going to a cinema. Appeal to his vision to broaden even more and call him over to the side of your ideal world . Don’t threaten his roots and push him to the other side, for that would make the world tougher to women and defeat the very cause!

On a side note about those racist perverts who are trying to demonize “majority of Indian men” as rapists, I would dare to say they are unprofessional dishonest and unethical individuals who are capitalizing on the tragedy of a dead girl to sell their narrow minded self serving agendas which would harm the larger interests of not only this country but the world too. And I, a daughter of India along with my sisters, the increasing number of aspiring women workforce stand as a testimony disproving the crap they want to paint my country with!

“India’s Daughter” – How it failed the daughters of India

The British Broadcasting Corporation had to indeed choose the day of Holi to broadcast the documentary “India’s daughter”, despite the concerns expressed by the Govt of India.  Upon viewing the video, I could not help wondering if this was not at all a coincidence. Following the advice of some friends I struggled to keep my mind open to view the video. I am definitely going to fall short of words in describing what I actually felt after watching it. It was a feeling akin of being stabbed in the soul again. It was like getting all my wounds opened up again and being given no medication. I swallowed the details of painful ordeal, Jyoti Singh’s parents had to undergo. I took in the monstrous way in which she was assaulted and murdered from a totally remorseless criminal. Worst of all I had to listen to the self  sanctimonious sermon of those lawyers about some ‘best culture’ knowing that they knew and respected zilch about Indian culture.

The ending of the grueling video felt like a slap, like a mockery with an invisible voice taunting that they can come in and shoot and present the details to their selective satisfaction, open up our wounds and still take a moral high ground. The next day, I hear from news speculating about payments given to the criminal by the film makers for telling us about how his ‘courage’ deserved sexual submission by a free spirited girl! I still do not know how much dirtier the issue can get if an appropriate legal investigation is conducted.

Regardless of the procedures, as a woman, I severely felt let down by another woman. I realized it was not about India’s image outside. That is more determined by the behavior of Indian Diaspora out of India as my western friends assured me. It is not even about alleging all Indian men as someone needing this horrendous ‘mirror’ as I had feared before watching the video. I am prepared to even overlook the needless focus of the camera on the statue of Shiva-Parvati. (Someone is obviously desperate to challenge faith rather than raise relevant questions and someone needs to be charitable about it, fine!)  But it is the sheer casual attitude with which the discourse on rape was derailed which came as a shock. The video severely failed India’s daughters while flaunting the title by thrusting the accountability of a heinous crime on to something loosely (and wrongly) labeled as ‘culture and society’.

I strongly believe we live in the times where people make a system that protects them and abide by the code of the system. We call it constitution. Events like crimes of any nature reflect a failure of the system and as a breach of the code by some people. The video does NOT critique the speed of corrective action by judiciary. It does not even touch the periphery of law making regarding the issue. It raises no awareness about the civil initiatives against the crimes such as rape. There are scores of NGOs that fight against atrocities against women despite all odds and they don’t get a mention! Worst of all, it gives the perpetrators, a full platform to seek legitimacy of their action from their perverted understanding of culture and society.

The narrative in the video elaborates on poverty and troubled childhood of the perpetrators as if circumstances can take the blame. Do the film makers want us to believe that the crime does not exist among the rich, educated and socially suave?  If the fault lies in the ‘Indian Society’ as the film maker wants us to believe, then there have to be societies around the world that have overcome the crime. But a preliminary online research shows that rape is a global shame and no society has been really successful in eradicating it. So who is to take the responsibility for the atrocity according to Leslee Udwin?

A litmus test about the intent of the video would be to examine individual feelings just after viewing it. Is it a resolve to continue in the path to an atrocity-free world or a broken faith on the law and the people? I felt the latter. Yes, the makers of “India’s daughter” grossly failed the daughters of India.

PS : To the daughters/sisters of those monstrous lawyers who said women had no place in our culture. I, a daughter of India care for you, a daughter of India too. Please immediately do what another daughter of India did in our scriptures when she was stuck among atrocious kin. Her name is Devi Rukmini. She has a revered place in Bhagavatam (I am sure that lawyer knows nothing about it)