Its been 7 years since the time I came to study in India. These 7 years have been full of interesting incidents, meeting interesting people and seeing interesting places. There have been a number of people on the way who have questioned my decision of studying in India whether it was graduation or postgrad. Suggestions on going to the West flew in thick and fast every time the time to make a decision came about.
Then when I started working in this country, people were shocked. They expected me to head for the Gulf. After having born and stayed for a better part of my life down there, why would I want to start my career here? Why would I try to work my life out in a place full of hardships? But then I convinced everyone that this is the best place to start. One gets to learn about life here. And the usual “blah blah”.
But then August 20th happened –
A biker rammed into my friend and me at a pretty high speed throwing both of us unconscious on the road. A night that changed my thinking forever. A night that made me realise for the first time that this country has ZILCH value for human life. A night which made me wonder that no one cares in this country even if you DIE! Sounds pretty stupid? Sounds lame? Sounds like a movie? Sounds like a stupid story? MAYBE!
To drive my point home, let me point out a few instances –
When a girl gets raped, everything from her attire to her style of walking to her time of roaming around in the night is blamed. Does anyone say anything to the rapist?
When a a person is murdered, there are comments about how he / she must have shown off his wealth or attracted attention or walked in dark areas. There are others who may blame him for being in the bad books of someone else. What about the murderer?
What is common between the two instances? Yes you guessed it right. It’s all about blaming the victim rather than understanding the pain and anguish he / she has gone through. The victim attracted attention from all the wrong people. The victim needs to be punished for behaving the way he / she did. The victim needs to be victimised till the point he / she feels he / she is the culprit and kills himself / herself!!
So now that you got the point of the entire article, let’s come to the story about my accident. Being unconscious we really weren’t too sure what exactly happened in the minutes leading up to the accident. But look at the comments and “advice” we got from the self appointed masters of justice –
1. Walk in lighted areas – This is possible only if one can avoid the dark areas. In areas like where the accident happened (frequented by 100s everyday), you really can’t really do anything.
2. Walk in the parking areas – Oh really?? Thank’s so much. Yeah maan. We were walking in the center of the road and asking everyone “Please hit us!”
3. So late at night? – 8:30pm on Saturday is so late at night? Oh really! Yeah maan. Then I guess I will stay at home all the time and never come out. And for god sake. We were in a residential society at that time not on the main road!!
4. Why blame the security guards? – Oh really? If a security guard sees us lying on the road, the least he could do was help us. But all he did was run away from the scene. And then you don’t blame him? Hahaha! Could someone tell me why he has a job then?
5. Rivalry between bikers and people who are hit? – I should leave you with the funniest and most atrocious statement of all. A guard comes up and tells that there was a rivalry between the bikers and the people who were hit!! Whoa!! This could surely make way for the next episode of CID. Anyways they need some new ideas, don’t they?
6. Dont worry it won’t happen with you next time! – This should rank as one of the most mind numbing statements I have ever heard in my life.“Dont worry it won’t happen with you again. The same people aren’t targeted twice.”
These are just some of the many comments we got after the incident. After all the ruckus of raising the issue, what could we do? Just keep quiet. Take precautions. And then just hope it doesn’t happen with anyone else!!
Today as a victim we realise how it feels to be blamed for all the misery. I realise how it feels to be a culprit for everything. Only we know how we survived. Only we know how we feel as if its a second life. Only we know that we were lucky to escape with minor injuries!
The bruises are small. But the mental scars are long lasting. Am sure it happens with millions and crores. Am sure it happens day in and day out.
But for the first time in my life I have got a reason not to stay in this country. Money, fame, happiness everything is no big deal. I am sure my country is providing me everything.
But if the victim is blamed for his misery, what’s the point? If not one life has value what’s the point?
This is what you call TIPPING POINT! A point which comes only when you see it in the face!!!!