Tuesday, April 25, 2006

what is a lesser evil?

The other day I found myself going through a blog about a campaign against eve-teasing - 'BLANK NOISE'. This forum, currently functional in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, provides women a platform and helps them garner support against, and fight, eve-teasing. The subject interested me and I went on to read the comments which readers had posted. One such comment caught my attention. It was about the fact that eve-teasing is a lesser evil when compared to other more serious atrocities on women in a society as patriarchial as India. The implication: we should work to tackle bigger problems before concerning ourselves with such lesser evils.

Well, who decides what is a lesser or greater evil? For any woman who has been a victim of any vile act in public such harassment is the greatest malady. As observers, far removed from reality, nuclear disarmament or AIDS may be a bigger issue for many. People stand up for causes they can relate to , or whose consequences they directly feel. There are so many ways our dignity can be shattered or our freedom snatched away that to categorise all acts/issues in an order belittles the very purpose of standing up against them.

The biggest casualties in any such society are the weak. And the proportion of the weak is constantly growing because of public apathy. There is an indifference, shameful yet undeniable, which makes people turn their faces away when people around them are being humiliated/attacked/murdered and drown out their shouting consciences until all that is left of it is a squeak. With such being the pulse of the society, who are the weak? Are they only the economically backward, or the socially neglected ones? It is dark outside if we dare to step out of our artificially illuminated lives. Unless we take responsibility for our action or inaction we'll, at some point end up on the newspapers as victims of something despicable. We always hope that somehow we will not have to face any situation, ever, where something more than playing safe and walking away is required. But the law of averages has to catch up, sooner or later.


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kaushik said...

interesting thoughts!
i do agree...we all live in our bubbles and dont want to come out of them.....but then, it is not hard to break bubbles!!!