tarun tejpal
Priyanka Mukherjee
Happy Holidays, Mr. Tejpal
This article originally appeared in centreright.in. CRI content has now been subsumed in swarajyamag.com. The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of swarajyamag.com

Ours is a nation that runs on bloopers. Occasional “lapses of judgment” are commonplace. And rapes? Come on! Even you know they are but ordinary occurrences. Who cares if a young woman is not just physically molested, but rendered psychologically disturbed for her lifetime? Well, don’t dare call us the complacent bunch. We do outrage on Facebook. We share links with grisly details, we make sure that we put up pontificating updates and then we ‘like’ all other updates that crowd our newsfeed for a day or two.

Our liberal hearts wrench and twist and yank all the more if the unfortunate victim happens to belong to the much talked about ‘oppressed sections’ of the society. And then once all these are taken care of, we go back to Sachin’s retirement, Carlsen’s victory and global warming; smug faced and feeling self righteous.

The ‘liberal’ league of this country has always been vocal about how women folks here always cow down before patriarchy. Rapes are seldom reported and some zillions of talk shows have been held to locate the root cause. But give us a break! Don’t we all know that suave pony tailed intellectuals can take a few liberties and go ahead with their horse play? Didn’t Mr. Freud say that talent is directly proportional to libido? You uneducated buggers haven’t done the required reading yet. And now are you questioning their values? Don’t you see how liberally they overlook their friends’ frequent slips? Don’t you see how they abide by the age old saying of being a friend in need and all that blah?

Now see, it’s pretty simple, these decked up, rather good looking aunties and uncles of the country have taken it upon themselves to speak on behalf of the uneducated, meek, rural women of India. Had the aggrieved person been someone from some remote corner of the country, whose voice was being muffled by the family against a marital rape, then they could have thought of a candle light march perhaps (And you fool! Did you just say that that’s an easy gimmick? Do you even know how it hurts those pedicured feet to walk a kilometer wearing heels? They still do it. Despite the pain. It’s a matter of conviction. They are people with a high moral benchmark, you see).

Even if it was an urban girl working for some corporate, they could have still spoken at length about the adverse effects of Capitalism and how the perverse tendency to commodify a woman’s body has grown roots in the oppressor’s psyche. There could have been at least one seminar at some central university, but this is better hushed.

Now don’t pull that face and try to reason. How dare you point out that pretty much like in all other cases, where the violence inflicted by men are endorsed by women, here too a man’s despotism is being sanctioned by a power hungry female? Don’t you have any other work to do apart from nitpicking on a family’s…err an organisation’s internal matters? Bloody voyeurs! Get back to work. Unproductive hours spent on the internet, following all these stories has led to the nation’s present economic crisis, but you won’t agree; right, right, you would rather blame it on the mademoiselle from Italy. Sick lot, you all!

Well, now don’t say that they are evading an issue. They know that women’s safety at work places has lots of peg as an issue. Can’t you see that they recognise that all women are equal and some are more equal than the rest? Can’t you see that they have feminists like Caroline Fourest, Haifia Zangana and our very own Ms. Patkar on the panel for this year’s Think Fest? They even have a Suzzane Jordon, herself a rape victim. Won’t you admit that they are lending a platform for women to speak up? And when so many are speaking up, some must be muted as well. Just to ensure audibility. Common sense!

Why have you all picked up this habit of making mountains out of molehills? Mr. Tejpal did confess. Didn’t he? Hasn’t the hailed lyricist deemed him a brave heart? Aww… poor Mr. Tejpal, this man has been through a lot of stress over these last couple of days. He sure deserves a break. Happy Holidays, sire.