Invitation On Behalf Of Delhi
I know lot of news gets splashed about rapes happening in my city and this has really tarnished the image of my Delhi. I understand the heavy criticism and I myself get awestruck every morning when similar news is splashed on front page highlighting such incidents.
Being born and brought up in Delhi, I take a lot of pride in identifying myself as Delhite but trust me recent publicity wave has pushed me to the wall taking away nearly all my defenses. It feels like you can relate to Arthur from movie “King Arthur” who had discovered that the purpose & Rome which he had been fighting for didn’t exist any longer.
It’s is like a huge which monster has taken shape , and all the good qualities of my city have taken a backseat against it. When I look back maybe I was just becoming a part of the crowd which started believing that Delhi is not meant for women but I am glad I have been pushed out of that phase.
A few years back Shobha De had blasted the entire community of Delhi men in her article and then to my memory there was another impactful blog post “Letter to a Delhi Boy” reflecting views of a south Indian girl on boys in Delhi, all pointing out to one conclusion that Delhi is not safe for women.
Yes there are concerns for women safety but can these really define my entire community? The most honest answer would be a ‘NO’. There is a lot more to my city, which goes deeper than what has been projected as a superficial image of Delhi men.
The image which you get to see in everyday life, while you are out shopping, in malls, travelling through metro or public transport and not on a news report supplemented to you in your native city. A handful of men getting into ladies compartment in a metro makes it to news but no one talks about those bunch of people who vacate their seat to accommodate a lady passenger to save her from frenzied Rajiv Chowk crowd. We are a community sensible enough to call our wives as “Home Ministers” and mature enough to handle the reigns of governance to a women chief minister.
We all read the headlines where “RAPE” are mentioned and allow them to make judgments on our behalf but do we ever keep the follow up of these news in our memory where the case comes out as a pressure technique to make a guy commit to marriage, or it was a false case of enmity to implicate someone wrongly. Or have you cared to think that how many times an accused or rape gets caught from your native town or village which is not Delhi. Have you ever googled how many people land up every day in Delhi from distant parts of India to get an employment or pursue their education? Majority of these come from closed communities and suddenly become mainstream part of a progressive culture where their perception for “women” gets challenged.
But of course you would rather publicise men ogling at your assets but not talk about some friendly stranger who would give you directions to your destination, or even drive in front of you till you reach where you intend to. You vent out your objections over guys trying to impress girls by boasting about their Lamborghini but what else do you expect some man to do after splurging a hefty 100 Lacks on a car? Humbleness?
Kindly understand that my intentions are not to shed off my responsibility to make my city safe or shift the blame on migrants or simply shrug a sensitive issue off my shoulder or project Delhi as flawless destination. My city has many shades and is a complex design woven together by threads of various cultures, communities and people and has many struggles of it’s own. If you paint my city with one color only – Women Harassment, then not only are you doing an injustice to the vibrancy & buoyancy which Delhi has to offer but you are also depriving yourself from opportunity to discover the gamut of experiences which Delhi has on it’s platter.
My City is not a perfect blend but for sure it has a flavor worth indulging in. So please be a “Atithi” and discover Delhi beyond common perceptions.