Shoot The Messenger

Circa 326 BC.

One of the BSFOKP (Border Security Force of King Porus of Punjab) soldier saw a huge army marching towards them. It was an usual scene to have thousands of armed Europeans in a pugnacious mood coming towards their holy land. Without wasting time, he got off from his post and ran to tell his seniors about the imminent attack. The seniors brushed him off as lunatic and asked him to get his eyes checked. However, the senior was a smart man as he thought if the soldier was right, and if he himself tell the army chief about it, he might get some raise in salary from the King himself. Taking pride in knowing the exclusive news, he went to the Army Chief, coincidentally, the chief was having a chit chat with King while strolling around. With a bit of hesitation, he told them about the news of an army approaching them so it was only wise to start preparing for defense and if possible, preemptive offense to surprise them. King laughed at such presumption and told him ‘Fool, Europeans won’t attack us! We have good relations with the travelers from their land. How dare you broke the peaceful stroll we were taking! Dear Army chief, kindly do the honor of killing this nincompoop right away for bringing this stupid news’. And the army chief instantly, drew his sword and killed the messenger.

After some centuries, around 700s, similar message was brought to the erstwhile ruler of Delhi that some folks from central Asia were planning to loot and plunder us. Again, the messenger was dealt with force and was sent to be fed to a Lion.

Again after few more centuries, some European sailors reached India’s west coast and fooled the natives. Those who warned the then rulers about probable wrong intentions of the sailors were either killed off or declared mentally ill.

Basically, we have always had the tradition of killing the messenger and ignoring the facts which stare at us. Starting from Ravana trying to set Hanuman on fire, as tweeted by @GhantaGuy in response to my tweet.

Obviously, I am not serious about the above incidents, however, I am pretty serious about the following. Our traditions of shooting the messenger will be catastrophic I feel. Just yesterday, the BBC Documentary, was aired in UK and then uploaded on Youtube today morning. While the govt. of India has ‘advised’ news channels in India to not to show it, because it was made, ‘illegally’. Ok, let us believe that government believes that the documentary should have been made with proper permissions and it could have been shown to the ‘censor board’ before broadcasting.

But, what is the bigger and important issue here. Rapes. And not how the accused was interviewed. Yes, making a film illegally is bad and almost criminal, but we can deal with it later too, no? Now, when the YouTube link has been shared wide and across, can you stop people from watching it? Apart from being a Pakistan or North Korea, you cannot bring down YouTube. So, your cause is anyways lost dear Govt.

Coming back to the original issue. The Documentary is well made, although it just relives the same thing, which was told in Late 2012 and next few months of next year. The documentary also shows the point of views of the lawyers who are more sick then the perpetrators. So, larger issue was the mindset we as a society have. The rape did happen in India, so we have to take it with a pinch of salt. No, it doesn’t paint all Indian men with same brush. But that brush is quite big and it does leave stains on almost everyone of us in the society. So, what’s wrong in that? When you can blame all muslims for terror, all Hindus for dowry/casteism, etc, if Men in India face ire of the world as being a rapist, we cannot get away with that easily. Of course, rape happens in other countries too, but we cannot get away from the brutality of this case and we have to bear a bit of brunt.

Sorry OpIndia ( and Arnab Goswami, Nirbhaya or whatever you call her, isn’t insulted with this ‘illegal’ documentary but rather when the major issue gets sidelined with petty issues like worrying about the technicalities of the documentary.

In my humble and honest opinion, I feel, our problem, as a country, has been, since time immemorial, that we like to shoot the messenger instead of understanding the problem, the messenger has conveyed. And this has time and again happened. Banning doesn’t solve anything. The need to ban stuff needs to be taken care of.

I guess, we can take this opportunity to learn from this documentary and try to improve our personal mindsets. Not all are guilty but contemplating about what is wrong in our society, even if told by a foreigner, will do only good. Those who think that a girl asks for it, think again, no?

P.S.: And what nonsense is calling the girl ‘Nirbhaya’. She has a name dammit.