Various articles, interviews and tweets have been come after the incident of the 23 year old young girl’s gruesome rape in Delhi. This is without doubt a dastardly crime and rapists must be punished with an iron hand.
An interesting post on the subject came in Firstpost – titled “Why 2013 should be made the year of the boy-child” . The author has brought about a few points about how the male child needs to be trained to respect women from childhood. This is true.
However, by and large, families teach children to respect women in the childhood. The issue comes up when they reach adolescence and move towards youth. In childhood, impressions are formed but the opinions are really forumaled during youth. It is in this age that young boys and men make opinions about everything in life. They are very largely influenced by the quality of the discourse that surrounds them, the company they keep including friends and peers, the books they read, the films they see, the sites they watch on the internet and the heroes they try to emulate. It is probably here that the society is failing.
Whether youth power is a positive or a negative depends on what the core content within them is. With positive and higher goals, they can be a huge asset to a country and with negative goals can create mayhem and anarchy. Atleast 2 of the rapists who are accused seem to be coming from poor families whose parents seem to have a high value for human life. They have sought death sentence for their own children. One of the accused rapists is a boy-youth who is just a few months to reach 18 years. Therefore, there seems to be a bigger issue at hand.
For example, a recent news item regarding drug abuse across the country esp those near the borders is a matter of concern. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/10456/punjabs-bitter-harvest.html
While the above article highlights Punjab, the same is true about many border states where drug trafficking is common and many cities which form the markets for the drug users.
The old saying goes, ” A persons character is determined by the company he/she keeps”. The importance of Satsangati ( good company ) in such an age cannot be underestimated. The government must be supporting organizations which are working towards building character among the youth. If the governments of the land are a non-player, the people at large must support organizations that are working towards inculcating patriotic values among the youth, support organizations that spread value based education.
Ofcourse strong laws are a detterent against crimes, but the guarantee of long-term safety and progress of a nation comes from youth who not just educated to earn but educated to know about what our country stands for, confident and equipped with values. One of the biggest values that Bharat has stood for is respect for womenhood. “yatra nAryastu poojyante, ramante tatra devataaH” ( Where the women is respected, the devas reside there ). We must introspect why this aspect of our culture is fading. If we lose this aspect of our culture, then we would be putting our ancestors to shame.