It’s time to go Pink!

20 04 2013

The premise of any healthy society is based on its capacity to satiate the needs of hunger, thirst, livelihood and JUSTICE of the community at large. Now this society is no one else but all of US – together. And so it is our responsibility to take care of these needs of ours and our fellow beings. But what is occurring is that – we are more focused on satisfying the first three needs viz – hunger, thirst and livelihood, that we have ended up lowering the importance of our need for JUSTICE. We have come to believe that an entity called GOVERNMENT will supply us Justice. And we have started to ignore the fact that we cannot survive without Justice.

The fact remains that society over time has only become more unjust, in more ways than one. Be it dilapidated remains of age old caste system, systematic unequal distribution of political power and a high degree of gender intolerance – all of these have resulted in a creation of ungrateful and delusion seeking society that breeds Injustice.

When I am hungry I seek food, when thirsty I seek water, when unemployed I find an employment – but what do I do when I experience injustice. In our upbringing the society does teach us how to fetch food and water and it does equip us with skills to make us employable. But we never really instill in ourselves the ability to be Just and the desire to find Justice, when denied. Experiencing injustice and not fighting for it is OK in our country.

But then, once in a while some individuals who go through unfathomable injustice, find this latent need for justice activated in them. Once activated, I believe, it must be so strong that all the other basic needs become insignificant in comparison to their need for Justice. We call them revolutionaries, mahatma, messiah etc. What binds them all is their absolute intolerance towards injustice.

The point I am leading too, is the realization that Justice will not come to us, if we do not seek it. Today when we hear/read about the atrocities being subjected to the women folk of this nation, deep inside we all wish to have justice. But we are so blinded in the rush of our other needs that we do nothing but feel despair. We remain helpless. We wait for times to change. We wait for a messiah to come and save us.

While we wait in despair in our comfortable chairs, somewhere in a village in Uttarpradesh a group of middle aged women have taken up lathis in their hands to fight for justice. They wear Pink, they beat up abusive husbands and corrupt menfolk of the society and they call themselves the Gulabi Gang*. They exist since a decade and now their area of concern has widened form women issues to other societal evils like child marriage, corruption etc. Many legal cases are pending against the founder Sampat Pal Devi, but her need for justice remains unsatiated and she works every day of her life to satisfy this need of hers. Today there are more than 20,000 women who are part of Gulabi Gang.

I have been brought up to be a non-violent individual. My own perceptions of universe have further developed my belief in the virtue of non-violence. And as much as I believe in Justice I believe in the value of non-violence. Simply put ‘hurt’ cannot be ‘just’. Today as I read through the atrocity** carried upon a little girl child of our community for the first time ever I feel the urge to be violent. Not just the ones who committed the crime but all the perpetrators identified needs to be punished, in the most severe fashion. If law of the land is found incapable, let’s find our ways to provide Justice.

Am I being selfish and fearful under the veil of being ‘non-violent’? Is it time to weld the lathi?  I know the roots of any evil have many dimensions and they all need to be addressed if one has to eradicate them. But lathi for sure would address a few of those many unknown dimensions.

Having said that, I am not advocating rioting and killing. By ‘welding a lathi’ I mean taking strong, affirmative action for the cause of Justice.

If we do not find food, we die of hunger, if we do not search for water we would die of thirst, if we do not find livelihood, we would not have means to survive; similarly if we do not fight for Justice, we would become extinct. History has recorded this, it took a while to build Rome, but it did not take as much time for Rome to disintegrate.

It’s time to join the Gulabi Gang, its time to go Pink!


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