July 19th, 2018

Oh so wearied by the news…

I’m going through one of those “I can hardly bear to read the news, it’s all too awful” phases.

Naturally, this is not very useful to someone who fancies herself as a a blogger and, to boot, someone who is genuinely very curious about what makes India tick.

Quickly turning over the page of my morning paper because I feel sick to my stomach about yet another rape, or yet another lynching, is tantamount to being an ostrich.

I absolutely do not know what to make of the seeming increase in horrific rapes in this country.  Perhaps these horrors always happened, but are now being reported.

Perhaps little girls of 11 were always being gang-raped for 7 months by 17 men, but only now are the stories being reported.

Perhaps boys aged between 9 and 14 always watched porn and then gang-raped an 8 year old.

It’s at this stage of reading/thinking, that I hurriedly turn the page, feeling queasy.  And helpless.  And angry.

There are times when I think that the only sane voices in this country are those of our Supreme Court judges – well, other than my lovely, illiterate masseuse, Rajni, who despises politicians, despises religious bigots, is furious about the pollution, and as a mother of 4 daughters, would deal with rapists beyond harshly.

Rajni, who is firmly of the belief that everyone should be allowed to practice their religion freely and without any interference from anyone else (“what business is it of mine how another people pray and what they eat, yaar?”) would approve of the Supreme Court’s latest pronouncement.

This is what the Supreme Court judges had to say yesterday about the issue of girls and women between the ages of 10-50 being banned from Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple, because they are in the menstruating age group:

“When a woman is made in that way she is by God or by nature for those who don’t believe in God…why should her menstruating status be a factor for anything?”

Quite.

This is what the Supreme Court had to say the day before yesterday about Section 377, the section of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality, as they rejected the idea that Parliament should decide:

“We don’t wait for majoritarian governments to strike down the offending law.  They may enact, repeal, or do whatever they want, but the moment we find that a law violates fundamental rights, we strike it down.”

Quite.

You can see why I am, by and large, a fan of our Supreme Court?

Averting one’s eyes from the horrific news is not the answer.  I know it isn’t.  It’s just that there are some days when it is all too much to bear.

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