Today is Dussehra, which is celebrated in honour of Lord Rama. The meaning of the festival is reflected in the name “Dussehra” – the words ‘Dus’ and ‘Hara’ combine to make the term. Another interpretation derives from the festival’s mythology, in which “Dus” stands for the 10 heads of Ravana or evil and “Hara” is the verb to overpower or eliminate. Ravana affected by hubris committed a deadly sin by abducting Sita and the consequent sequence of events are known to all. For this heinous act, to date every year the effigies of Ravana along with his brother and son are burnt. This is a confirmation of the fact that the majority community didn’t pardon Ravana for his lapse and Dussehra is the reminder of the same.
What is the present state of affairs in our country now? As per the NCRB’s “Crime in India 2021’ report, there was a 19.34% increase in rape cases last year when compared to 2020. Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. According to the 2021 annual report, 31,677 rape cases were registered across the country, on an average of 86 cases daily, a rise from 2020 with 28,046 cases, while in 2019, 32,033 cases were registered. The report also shows that there was a 13.2% increase in overall crimes against women in 2021 compared to the year before. Crimes against women include cases of rape, molestation, acid attack, cruelty by husband/his relatives and domestic violence, among others”.
The most shocking rape cases were: Nirbhaya gang rape, Ajmer rape case, Mumbai gang rape, Ranaghat case, Delta Meghwal rape case, Kathua rape case (J&K), Unnao rape case etc.
Furthermore, all the 11 persons convicted in the 2002 Bilkis Bano rape case have walked out of the Godhra subjail under the Gujarat government’s remission policy.
After over 50 days of police and judicial custody, Nityananda of Nithananda Dhyanapeetam in Bidadi, accused of rape, criminal intimidation and cheating, was released from the prison in Ramanagaram. The godman returned to his ashram in Bidadi soon afterwards.
Even the move of Yogi Adityanath government for withdrawing rape case filed against Swami Chinmayanand Saraswati in 2012 by a rape survivor is mind-blowing. The accused Swami, a former Union Minister heads Mumukshu Ashrams and accused by a girl for repeated rape, coerced abortion, criminal intimidation and wrongful confinement. This case is a seprate case then the one in which Swami was exonerated by court in 2021 for allegedly raping a law student in year 2019.
In terms of kidnapping and abduction, India logged 1,01,707 cases in 2021 which was a rise of 19.9 per cent from 2020. Of those kidnapped or abducted, 86,543 were females.
In the light of the aforesaid it can be safely vouched that we as a society have given birth to more Ravanas as we did not learn anything from our past and even our preachers of all denominations in majority of cases left us in the lurch. Ravana of Ramayana shall continue to be burnt till eternity but present day immoral folk shall continue to have a field day.
On the auspicious occasion of Vijaydashmi, let us seriously ponder over as to where we have landed. We have become Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians but not human beings.
ॐ दशरथाय विद्महे सीतावल्लभाय धीमहि तन्नो राम: प्रचोदयात्!
(The author of the article Prof. SK.Bhalla, is a retired Principal of HED, J&K UT and is known anti corruption crusader, critics and social activist)