Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gandhiji's Idea of Independence..Mine!

Gandhiji said India would have attained real independence only when a girl roams freely on any Indian street at any time!! No, I am not going to challenge this statement but wait, I want to assure that nobody, boys or girls are able to step out into the "Night Street." Actually this is a very healthy issue, considering the fact that people are afraid to go out late in the night and are getting a good six to eight hour sleep everyday!!
Why I made this statement, is because of a strange or better put it "the strangest event of my life" that happened to me late in the night in the capital city of the state with highest literacy rate in our country!! But hey don't worry, India is overall quite a safe place to live in!! 


Not a watch dog but a street dog
I had to board a train early in the morning one day in this high literacy city. So I was in the railway station the previous night itself. I wanted to experience the 'footpath' life. So, I went out into the city. As I was walking on the 'Mahatma Gandhi' road, a person came to me and asked me to come to his room which was nearby (he pointed not towards something residential!) and sleep there the entire night. When I said no, he tried convincing me for a long time and finally left.
I could have left the matter there but I felt like Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes and started following him. Of course he shook me off! Who he is? What is his profession? Don't ask me!
Then I continued my walk along the road. Now, two youths on a bike stopped beside me and asked for money!! I didn't give any!! They asked my phone. I said I had none. Maybe they were unarmed because they left me unharmed.
This time I felt a little nervous because two very strange events were simultaneous.
Hey the rhyming was spontaneous!! 
As I started walking back towards the railway station, I was approached by a guy who was dressed in the oddest possible way( I better not describe the colour combination or the pattern of his dressing!!). Now, I was ready for another assault but the guy asked for the address of the primary bus station. It was just opposite to the railway station so I showed him the way and calmly came back to the station and waited for my train till morning.
Now my point is, though nothing happened to me, the experience made me worry about the safety in our country at night. You can ask, 'Why should one roam on streets at night?' In fact, this is a valid point because the police at night have to but suspect everybody. It happened so that one day few of my friends were locked in a cell for an entire night on suspicion grounds. They were roaming on the streets just like that and couldn't give a valid reason to the patrol men.
But then, true independence doesn't mean roaming freely on night streets with no purpose. Gandhiji meant that one should mind his own business and not disturb others, even in late hours of the day when crime is easier to commit. Only then, India is independent.

A little late, but
Happy Independence Day