Thursday, 21 February 2013

Kartik Nijhawan,
When I was a school kid, I used to believe that schools and other learinng institutes are considered to be the only places where we get knowledge, where we learn how to live in a society, where we learn how to compete in every field. And it used to happen only, “When I was a kid”. 

I’m quite sure that the scenario of protests after Delhi gang-rape case must be in the mind of every Indian. Almost half of India’s population was on roads with candles in their hands. Even I was a part of the mob once, until I started questioning if it is going to change anything, if it is going to alter the mindset of the people?

Few days ago, I went to meet one of my sisters, currently pursuing a degree in nursing in a private institution and she was on training there. It was really shocking to know that she was not allowed to carry mobile phone with her. She has been away from home for almost a month and hasn’t been able to talk to her parents. I got to know from her that the college does not allow them to use mobile phones even when they are in the hostel.

‘Need to change the mindset’, was one kind of slogan we could hear from the agitated, protesting people. Schools, colleges and other private learning institutes took part in candle marches or even organized some protests. But acceptably or not these protests were held to feature in newspapers. No institute took part in protest without banners of their names, which is saddening. 
It is easier said than done! The slogans of ‘Change the mindset’ aren’t going to help if we are not ready to actually change it. Every periphery or demarcation is created for the fairer sex- do not step out of the house after it is dark, do not carry cell phones, and do not wear inappropriate clothes and the like. Does the society or more so the rule-makers even know what is inappropriate, when we are professing to be a developed nation with broader thinking. 
A survey in England said, “Students in England read only Huffington post, whenever they get time.”  And it would be shocking for them to know that some of Indian institutes do not even allow using a phone. It’s not the era where we write letters to each other. We need phone or internet to be and stay connected. I remember once Ravish Kumar, Prime time Journalist with NDTV India said,“Hum hath mein mombatti pakad ke protest bhi kartey hai, hum ministers ko kasoorwar bhi thehratey hai par hamari poll wahan khul jaati hai jab humsey rape honey ka karan puch liya jata hai.” (We carry candles in hand for the protest, we also blame the ministers, but the truth is laid bare when we are asked about the cause of rape.)

Isn’t it a Mindset Problem??


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