I studied in the Computer Science department of Jadavpur University in Calcutta where in our year there were 52 guys and 1 girl. Other departments like Mechanical Engineering had 100 guys to 1 girl. Hooking up with members of the opposite sex outside one’s social/educational circle was much more difficult than it is today— chatting and SMS-ing was unheard of in those dark ages (1995-1999) . Testosterone-driven desperation hung thick in the air —some became hooked onto “palm piloting” , some sought solace in same-sex experiences, some stayed awake at night for the non-deterministic half-hour of Playboy TV on TB-6, many watched Sun TV’s After Dark with the sound off , the adventurous few jumped the red light. The more academically inclined, ambitious people used their frustration to motivate themselves by fantacizing about what they would do once they landed in USA after a kick-ass GRE score—straight off the plane and straight into the set of “MTV Grind”.
Even the kind of volcanic stirrings we felt were nothing comparable to what must have prompted these two fine men from Tughlaqabad (yes from a city named after a mad emperor–how appropriate) to rape a cow and stab her. I shall not go into the sickening details of this bestial act but I cannot help but wonder as to what level of desperation would make human beings stoop to this level. I do not support this dastardly act–not in one bit.(A measure of how civilized we are is how we treat animals) But on a level…yes I understand.
I remember from sociology that most people commit suicide in summer rather than winter (intuition would say that winter makes one depressed and hence winter should see higher number of suicides) because the way a depressed person looks at it is that everyone else is having fun and feeling good (this is obviously a Western summer) while I am miserable. The same sentiment is beautifully echoed in “As Good As it Gets” where the following exchange takes place.
Carol (Helen Hunt): “OK, we all have these terrible stories to get over, and you—”
Melvin(Jack Nicholson): “It’s not true. Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that’s their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you’re that pissed that so many others had it good.”
With so many young people in India now indulging their basic instincts (see my post DPS Dhamaka) , the gap between the haves and the have-nots (in this case the “getting-it” and the “getting-it-not”s) becomes even more unbearable for the people in the second category. And this cow incident is just a manifestation of that “unbearable heaviness of not getting”.
A question that intrigues me is : given that such a woeful incident has happened ,how will the moral guardians react? Well they could have reacted in a wrong fashion–like the big guys at DPS do. Their latest boo-boo is the moral stricture imposed by the principal which makes girls compulsorily wear “flannel trousers” (Trust me sir that won’t help matters any) . For once however the moral guardians have got it right with respect to the cow incident….and it needed the sagacious government of Bihar to show us the light. [After all if the Yadavs do not look after cows who will ?]
The Bihar judiciary (technically not the government but law and Bihar, as we all know, are oxymorons) has banned, yes sir banned, naked dance shows at cattle fairs. Now this is the kind of jurisprudence I always approve–plain and simple common sense striking at the root cause of problems. Naked ladies dancing near cows is an aberration of nature and should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. It puts cows at further risk of molestation and I am surprised that this was allowed to continue for so long. But at least once the authorities have gotten it right and I am sure all the cows will heave or should I say moo a sigh of relief at this example of judicial activisim. Not so lucky the girls of DPS who shall have to slip in (and out ) of flanneled trousers for some time to come.