Friday, January 29, 2010

The problems of mai-baap culture

This is the kind of news which tells what is wrong with the way things work or rather not in India. A woman who booked ticket in first class coupe for purpose of safety was assaulted and molested by other passengers in same coupe who probably were 'more powerful' in some way, or so they thought at least!

Twenty-eight-year-old Alka decided that for her journey home from Patna, a first-class ticket on the Rajdhani was worth it. After all, she was returning alone to Delhi.

In the middle of the night, however, two men who were travelling in the same coupe allegedly molested her. Ironically, the offenders were on the train to guarantee the safety of another woman, Jyoti Kumar, a Congress politician from Aari in Bihar - who was travelling in another coupe near Alka.

Really, it is a reflection of the power structure of Indian society -- a mai-baap culture in which you can feel secure not by following the law and rules but only by being under wings of someone more powerful. And of course, the fundamental problem with a mai-baap driven culture is that someone you have placed your trust in should not turn from protector to predator.


The Rajdhani is meant to have four armed commandos from the Railway Protection Force patrolling the entire train. There was no sign of them while she was being assaulted. Alka shouted out for help. That summoned Jyoti Kumar, the employer of the guards.

Kumar allegedly responded to Alka's SOS by beating her. This version of events is confirmed by other passengers. Though the politician says, "I did not beat her. It was she who assaulted me."

This if true is the real crux of the problems in a power driven society. The politician thought it fit to protect her own guards than stand for justice and rule of law. Because only then can she command the respect and loyalty of her own guards. Otherwise they may think that she has left them in the lurch and not fit to be their employer or protector!

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