31 December 2012 - SHAMEFUL! -


*


SHAMEFUL !


*


G'day guys,


Today is not a good day for me, nor should it be for the world in general. I wish to publicly state how I felt after reading many reports of the death of the young 23 year-old Indian woman who was recently bashed and mercilessly raped by shameless men.


The horrific attack in New Delhi gained global attention after the 23-year-old was beaten, raped with an iron rod for nearly an hour and tossed out of a moving bus like trash. She died after battling "significant brain injury" and a lung and abdominal infection.

*



Indians participating in a candle light vigil Dec. 26 to seek a quick recovery of the young victim of the recent brutal gang-rape in a bus in New Delhi, India, learned with great sadness that the 23-year-old victim died Saturday, Dec. 29. She "passed away peacefully" with her family and officials of the Indian embassy by her side," said Dr. Kevin Loh, the chief executive of Mount Elizabeth hospital, where she was being treated.

*


It doesn't matter that I never knew her personally, that I am an Australian male, that she was an Indian citizen or that it happened on a bus. What does matter to me personally is THAT IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED  TO ANOTHER HUMAN IN 2012, when we have GPS technology, mobile phones, laptops, plasma televisions, fast cars, and all manner of luxuries to make our life supposedly easier and better.

I have often despaired at the antics, actions and attitudes of the human race. So much so, that many years ago I made a statement to a close friend, 'Nothing shocks me today, but people sure disappoint me.' That friend rang me soon after the young Indian woman had died and reminded me of my comment.

Christmas time was a very reflective time for me. I spent some time looking back at 2012, personally appraising my work, achievements (such as they are), actions, successes and failures as a professional story teller, author, photographer, social justice campaigner, human rights activist ... and human. Sadly, I came to a very stark conclusion that many people around me are struggling, and I do not mean financially. What do I mean? Well, they are finding it hard to make sense of life - wars, selfish politicians, global financial crises, a global dog-eat-dog mentality, pathetic 'dumbing-down' television shows that rob us of our intelligence, a lack of respect for our elders, an increase in child suicides, drugs and many other sad issues that prevail upon our daily lives. How do I know this? Simple. They ring me often, or I ring them, and I can feel it in their voice. They are sad - often depressed.

Wow, have we learnt much? Has technology made us any happier? I doubt it. In fact, I think the loss of this young woman, and especially the manner in which she lost her life, has convinced me that we have lost our way and maybe it's time we all had a good, hard look at ourselves and rethink what life is supposed to mean. If living a reasonable life means being raped, pillaged, treated like trash and thrown from a bus, then we have sadly lost the plot.

*



Indian students hold placards demanding severe punishment for rapists as they condemn the gang-rape of a student in New Delhi during a protest in Jammu, India, on Dec. 20. But they face an uphill struggle. For example, on Friday, Abhijit Mukherjee, a national lawmaker and the son of India's president, caused an uproar and then hastily apologized for calling the protesters "highly dented and painted" women, who go from discos to demonstrations.  

*


Mm ... no doubt many will think I'm a raving lunatic or a bleeding heart. Nope, I'm just another human in the big global village who has every right to enjoy all the human rights laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - as did the young Indian woman who died. Sadly, her perpetrators paid no attention to her rights - none what so ever. Shame on them.

I've always wanted to, and will,  write a story about the 1890 and 1930 depression. Why? Not sure, but I have always had great respect and admiration for those who survive tough times. Having read heaps about people who survived horrendous moments in history like the holocaust, the early settlers in Australia, survivors of the Pol Pot and Idi Amin regimes and the plight of our Australian indigenous brothers and sisters, it has steeled my view of the world - my personal view of humans. What a pathetic bunch.

Having said that, it is a known fact that compassion is more common in poor times than in good times. Maybe that's why I am on the same page as many others around the world who also cry out against injustice and man's inhumanity to man. And, why I've featured those people on this blog. They don't have to do what they do, but they do so because they believe the world could be better. It can, and it all starts with us. Yep, you and me.

*



Kashmiri Sikh students shout slogans and hold placards as they take part in a protest in Srinagar on December 27, following the rape of a student in the Indian capital on December 16. The fatal attack has sparked a wave of protests across India in which a policeman died and more than 100 police and protestors were injured.  

*


Not only but also, whilst on the subject of India, should any of you wish to learn more about the great work of  people like Rita Banerji, please check out this essay of hers which appeared in  'The Lyon Review' in May 2012:

*

http://thelyonreview.com/2012/05/26/why-the-annihilation-of-women-2/?goback=.gde_43780_member_127014260

*

PS: What a shameful world, to allow this to happen to a young woman - anywhere!

Tomorrow is the first day of 2013, so let's have a cold shower and start afresh. Don't stick your head in the sand - do something. It might just pay dividends.

Finally, I offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the young woman who was brutally killed.

Pax vobiscum!


I'm ...


*



Indian riot policemen stand in front of a demonstrating crowd during a protest calling for better safety for women following the deadly and brutal rape of a student in the Indian capital, in New Delhi on December 27.