We are looking at an abyss here. What happened to the city on the 16th of December was something that one can never forget but what happened today was even more bizarre. The main accused to the Delhi Rape case, Ram Singh, committed suicide today. And as I write these words I am trying to figure how to react to this. Following his death were accounts of rape and sodomy which allegedly took place inside the prison (which also, strangely, happens to be the maximum security prison of the country). Why do we bother keeping any prisons if we can bypass the entire system of justice in any case? Or why not just lynch rapists and alleged terrorists because that makes our society feel ‘safe’ somehow?
I have never understood this culture of mob-justice that makes one blind. Being strictly ‘just’ does not mean finding a victim at every point and isolating them from the societal space complete where the act of the crime has taken place. When the Delhi rape case happened, we were rushing away naming the victim a braveheart and all but where are we dealing with rape culture? Many people I heard on the radio while speaking on the BBC today (link here) went on the ‘good-riddance’ and ‘justice served’ front which obviously is not different from the ‘Braveheart’ syndrome. What we need is cold and precise analysis for better understanding of the crime and the psychology that gives birth to a crime that heinous and degenerated. We need some sense and rationality.
What one can expect in the University of Delhi after a short semester where you spend the last two weeks writing four papers in a manner that leaves you exhausted? A long semester. Albeit, with fests that cripple the entire system. This semester has been a particularly bad one: the college trip, the college fest, the university fest and with the mid-semester break looming ahead in March, this has an empty semester. One with no classes, no discussions and what is one supposed to feel about it?
It was not so in 2012, of course. Perhaps the dates got very differently arranged in 2013. But what is worrying is the lack of people talking about the way the semester is becoming crowded with events that are not even relevant to the students. For instance, the flower show is not, strictly speaking, the greatest idea to enrich the academic mind of a student. Or enhance a cultural life. So where does one go with an empty semester?
Thankfully life goes on in the campus and one can always live around college, having very good discussions and reading good books without attending classes at all. And that is perhaps the only way that I am planning to spend the next few weeks.
These are the things on my plate right now:
a. Reading and completing Pope’s Rape of the Lock
b. Writing academic papers that are due this semester.
c. Complete reading a book on the politics of hip-hop and rap.
d. Read Book VIII and Book IX of Paradise Lost.
Planning makes life sane and normal in these times.