By Soumya Priyadarshini
Edited by Liz Maria Kurkiakose, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist
I live in India, whose greatness lies in the freedom enjoyed by its citizens, or more specifically freedom of speech and expression as mentioned in the Article 19 of the longest written and the least understood Constitution in the world. To introduce myself, I think just one word would suffice, and that is, Criminal.
I’d like to thank this online forum for giving me the courage to express myself. I want to make some confessions but I won’t go to a church, solely because, a Church, or in fact a Temple or a Mosque or a Gurudwara are the sites where “forgiveness” is sought after. All I want to make is an apology to the victims and an advice to the other criminals like me. I don’t want forgiveness, I want to set my mistakes right.
I hereby confess that my crime is “Inactiveness”, the slumber of my conscience. My mortal sin, which in fact proved that I’m less than a mortal, that I never did anything in my entire life. My fault is that I just live my life peacefully and I don’t harm anyone except a few insects and mosquitoes. I breached the God within me by wasting the immense potential within me, following the herd, making money and fun. Well, I could have made money and enjoyed my life and yet not wasted my potential but still I chose to make more of it, make more money like a maniac, think of just money, love, fun, entertainment, my beauty, skin, movies, this girl, that boy, gossip, career plans etc.
My crime is that I could have been much happier and made others happy but I chose depression, laziness and distractions for myself. I ruthlessly killed the kind angel within me because of the fear of being mocked at, of being out of the league, of being too different, impractical, empathetic, and philanthropic, I didn’t even let that final scream of my inner self be heard. I suppressed it, for days, months and years. I got tired of doing the little good I was doing because I saw others utilising that time in making money or doing the above mentioned things. I wronged myself by never speaking out. I silently watched others commit a crime because the change might just be too small. I kept quiet when others said that the crime they just committed was a mistake and too small to make a change.
And to enlighten you all about the scenario, it indeed might be trivial, but I feel like a criminal if I do waste food, water and other resources. I see people taking a hit at the system but I just keep quiet.
So, let’s call it mistakes and talk of the bigger crimes I’m guilty of, crimes that hit the newspaper headlines.
I could have done something to curb the ills are taking place in the world, especially my country but I chose to wait for others. I did nothing more than shedding a few tears at the plight of those girls who suffer excruciating pain daily, at the cry of the 6-year old who was raped by her Gods (read: Teachers). Moreover, I stopped reading the newspapers because i didn’t want to be sad about something which I couldn’t change. I started running away from the truth like that innocent pigeon which closes its eyes and thinks that it’s dark for the whole world and the hunter won’t be able to shoot at it.
Okay, I realise that solving the problems of a country is a big and an impractical task but I did nothing to improve the situation of my very small city, forget the city, I did nothing for the area I live in.
I did nothing to preach to the guys I know who encourage prostitution. I did nothing, I knew everything but I was just too lazy or too scared to say it. I was aghast to know that prostitution was encouraged by such educated, young boys. My mistake was that I was disheartened by this fact and I didn’t try further.
My inability lies in the fact that I just tweet or share the indignant remarks made by the politicians and other esteemed people blaming the rape victim while I just sit back and plan a business idea instead of planning on how to curb all these crimes to bring a change.
I appreciate this stirring movement, the awakening, the united revolting students against the fee hike in the various NITs. But, I feel like a hypocrite for I never stirred a movement when a young girl was being raped in the neighbourhood. The reason, because the fee hike affects me, not her unheard cries.
I never travel alone, because you see the current scenario, it’s dangerous when rapes can take place almost anywhere, if not schools, hospitals, buses then you may read the old ladies or young girls being raped in their houses itself, it’s easy to break into a house, isn’t it? I feel lucky to have a chaperon with me always to accompany me for the entire journey to make me feel safe. But, my offence is that I would never raise my voice until my chaperon is killed during the journey and I’m raped. My inanity is that until something happens to me, my world will be beautiful, full of joys, stress and burning desire to succeed, while I read others being burnt alive.
I write this just to avoid you all from feeling like a criminal and help me do the same. Trust me, we can start right now and bring a change, if only all of us unite. Do you think it’s impossible?
If an aeroplane, a cell phone, a computer, a touch screen phone can be made, why can’t this problem have a solution – the only reason is that we aren’t trying hard enough, we aren’t united, and we ourselves are criminals. When we can study a whole book right a night before the exams and score 90% do you think we can’t eradicate this problem? When we can code solutions to lengthy, difficult problems, when we can make big circuits work – do you think we can’t find a solution to this?
The crime is that none of us is trying, after all enjoying the college life is more important. Isn’t it?
Soumya is currently pursuing B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering. She holds prior experience as an editor at Srijan (her college’s annual magazine). She is a brilliant singer, an avid reader and she spends most of her time pondering over various issues which often inspires her to write. Usually she can be found surfing the internet and reading almost any impossible thing in the world right from biology to astrology. She wants to serve the nation and she feels that writing is the most effective and the easiest way to work on all problems and eradicate them. She believes in learning something new from whatever she experiences. She is extremely excited about writing for a large number of enthusiastic readers here and she promises to deliver her best. She really appreciates constructive criticism. You can reach her at her blog (hearabuzz.blogspot.in) or her email id ([email protected]).