by Dr Madhav Prabhu
Let’s move on, three words seldom heard before, these words were the worst one could think of once in a relationship. Relationships lasted a lifetime, in fact, people fancied the same relationship for seven lives, never to move on, never to move away.
Times, however, don’t remain the same and change is but inevitable, the eternal truth. Today, you get tired of a relationship or annoyed with a person, you don’t adjust, you just move on. I actually have nothing against moving on, it lets you get off a relationship in which you are not happy, instead of frustrating both the persons, you can be free and in so saying may just be an evolution to how relationship status changes. My actual worry, however, is the attitude of moving on that has crept into every aspect of our life, and that seems disillusioning.
Of all the crimes ever committed rape is the worst, a living soul, a beautiful life, a daddy’s angel is wronged by a bunch of animals. There are an immediate hue and cry, all hell breaks loose. Women’s groups are on the road with their black flags, there is immediate outrage. Students come out in numbers, there are candle marches and memorials. Politicians are in business and come out of their slumber. The opposition promises to hang the culprit, the ruling party promises swift justice and media explores every angle in the story. But then exactly then and somehow almost in no time, the story is not on page one.
The Mahila mandals are back to cooking competition, the students back to RPD corner, the media back to Saif Ali Khan’s son and the politicians back to tamashas, everyone seems to just move on.
Does anyone think of what happened to the girl or her parents, did anyone follow up the case and see what happened to the criminals. The girl is dead, her parents devastated and the perpetrators of crime are out on bail, cases will go on for years and we just move on, as if nothing ever happened.
It’s not that we move on because we want to, but it has become sort of an instinct, we don’t like venturing into struggles where we can’t get selfies, most protests are me-centric and not society centric. The growing spate of suicides, for example, every time there is one, there is so much outcry. Crowds gather outside colleges to punish the management, there is huge sympathy for the parents from the relatives and friends. Organizations hold anti-suicide marches, a few colleges get counselors for their students, there is so much deliberation on the streets, the media calls in the experts, there is analysis of every aspect of the students life, the caste of the student, the economic status, the parents interpersonal relationship is all in the open. The politicians promise intervention, they are however choosy, they participate if an underprivileged or a farmer is involved, you know otherwise there is no publicity or vote bank. Again the opposition promises corrective measures to prevent suicides, the government promises swift action to prevent such incidences in future and student bodies come out with their black flags.
Just when it seems the people have lost their patience, we move on. The media is back to Virushka, the students back to Dharmveer Sambhaji Circle, the politicians back to Goa or wherever and the story off the first page. One life is lost, one family is broken, one productive citizen is gone and we have just moved on.
It’s not that we have lost the ability to fight against the bad or the will to stand against injustice, is, however, a temperament to not fight for more than the time the media gives attention to the issue. We actually don’t like to take issues to closure. Every time there is an accident, for example, a young girl, a kid is crushed by a trolley, there is outrage.
The potholes that kill come into focus, the municipality becomes defensive, Congress road is back on page one, the parents and friends are out in arms, the police come out on the streets actually tearing more challans and making more money rather than regulation the traffic, the helmets are back in fashion, the media analyses the life and dreams of the student and the background and owner of the trolley which killed the victim. The politicians step in and promise better roads. The opposition promises to give better safety measures if the power, the government promises swift action to stop entry of heavy vehicles from the third gate and the colleges ban private vehicles, well what they do is they don’t allow the vehicles to be parked in their campus, so the vehicles are banned inside the campus rather than the roads. It is at this time that again, everyone decides to move on. The media is back to Priyanka’s marriage, the colleges back to admission, the politicians back to foreign study tours on how to make roads and the students back to their tuitions. Lives are lost, new tenders are invited for roads, commissions are fixed and the contractors are back to bask in their glory Nobody wants a permanent solution to the problem, the discussion on potholes like the monsoon disappears and we just move on.
I sometimes wonder if Rani Laxmibai or Kittur Rani Chennamma had just fought for fifteen days and then said ok let’s move on, would we enjoy the liberation we have today. If Gandhiji would go on Dandi march and stop the struggle there and said ok let’s move on, would we have been free today?
Somehow in between, we have lost the will to show our spine, we have lost the will to punish those who wrong our mothers and sisters, we have lost the courage to fight for our rights and for what we have to get in return for our taxes. We have just retired to the idea that we can just forget it all till it happens to us or our loved ones, we have started finding solace in that we can just adopt an ostrich approach and just move on.