Touria Prayag's Blog

Milking tragedy 6 February 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on January 23, 2015

In the aftermath of the horrendous crimes
perpetrated last week against three women, some
voices were raised in the press about the
indifference of women’s associations and
Opposition MP Satish Boolell went on air to ask
why these associations were not marching in the
streets as a sign of protest for violence against
women. He gave the example of the gang rape
in India which drew millions of protesters onto
the streets in various parts of the sub-continent.
Before responsible people start mystifying
issues and making suggestions of drastic
action, it is perhaps worthwhile highlighting
certain crucial points:
First, the long arm of the law took no time to
nab the perpetrators of those heinous crimes.
One after the other, they were questioned and
locked up while awaiting trial and what will
hopefully be an exemplary punishment. While
this is small comfort for the grieving families,
it is important to highlight that no one in this
country gets away with crimes of that nature,
unlike in countries like India, for example,
where women had to march in the streets after
the outrageous gang rape before the law
enforcement mechanism started working.
Secondly, atrocious though the crimes committed
against these women may be, crimes of passion,
which have always existed and still exist in all
societies, are committed while in the throes of
passion, with no opportunity to refl ect on what
is about to happen.
One-third of all homicides, according to
statistics, are escalations of trivial squabbles
arising among spouses, strangers, co-workers,
neighbours, friends and family members –
killing scores of people every day worldwide.
The killers do not necessarily have a history of
violence but rather are human time bombs on
the point of exploding if there is a trigger.
Naturally, in traditional patriarchal societies like
ours, macho pride of immature and ‘tough’
wanna-be alpha-males who cannot accept that
their wives or partners can potentially fall for
someone else, tend to tip the scales against
women. That does not make the issue a gender
one and has nothing to do with feminism or
feminist associations. After all, one of the women
who was killed had herself killed her previous
husband and was out on bail.
Last but most important is perhaps our reaction
to tragedies. Every tragedy is now seen as a photo
op that we all queue up for without wondering
what purpose that is likely to achieve. If we don’t
seize the opportunity, this is taken as a sign of
indifference. What is the matter with us? Have
we become idle to that point or are we simply
turning into a bunch of attention seekers
desperately craving the limelight?
If we want to come out of our apathy, here are a
few useful suggestions: Those who were really
scandalized by the murders of the three innocent
women and want to show some solidarity can
give some fi nancial help to the families who are
mourning the tragic deaths of their dear ones.
They could equally provide funds which would
see the children left behind through their
education so that they can escape their parents’
tragic fate. Those who are even more concerned
can pay for a boarding school in the UK or
Australia to make sure the orphaned children
get the type of education which would lift them
out of poverty forever.
Naturally, help of this kind requires a real
demonstration of sympathy and does not provide
for a photo op. And that is where our sympathy stops.
weekly@lasentinelle.mu

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