Saturday, 7 December 2013

If not us, then who? Stand up today!

Some of my last posts were based on sexual harassment and laws pertaining to them. Today, I read a news on NDTV that left me awestruck and forced to think- Is this what progress we are achieving? The cases of harassment have been increasing day by day, despite attempts made to curb them. The news I read today said, two years ago, a Human Resource Manager employed with a reputed US-based multinational company was fired for supporting his female colleague who complained of sexual harassment from her Director. The efficient and vigilant professional, instead of merely trying to cover up the case, assorted to support the colleague and take legal action. The professional is jobless for 2 years now, paying a high price for choosing to act as per the law.
What message is this going to give us?

How many victims get adequate and timely help?

Most professionals today shy away from supporting their female colleagues who are a victim of misbehavior at the workplace or even offering help fearing they would lose their job. Forget the professional world, how many of us would help a man lying on the road, injured, bleeding and in a condition that clearly points to murder? In the month of December last year, when the victims of the fatal gang rape in Delhi were thrown out from the moving bus, people simply passed by, afraid of being caught up in a case unnecessarily and the victims could get help only after 40 minutes. Is this fair? I mean, don't you think 40 minutes are enough for a person to lose life?

Why are people not willing to help?

I have personally witnessed such incidents before where victims of rape, murder and even accidents are left to die on the road with fear of getting trapped in police questioning unnecessarily or receiving threats from the accused. Who is to blame in this? Is it the people or the system that handles these cases? The fact is we do not get any support or security for helping a person or for serving as a witness in such sensitive cases. Today, if you stand up for someone, you would be forced to withdraw, you would be offered huge sums of money and perks, you would be threatened or sometimes even attacked and harmed. This has created a sense of fear in the minds of people who, despite willing to help innocent victims, pass away from their side, feeling sorry for them.

A request on my part!

A humble request to you guys, do not think so much before helping anyone, your one effort could save a life! And this may happen to any one of us tomorrow, we know well now India is no longer a safer place it used to be! And for support and security, it will come when it has to if we fight for it collectively. If the world is to be made a safer place, it is we, and no one else who can do that! So stand up today guys so that we enjoy a better tomorrow!