There are humans. And then, there are animals.
I think it is highly foolish to believe that everyone processes information, values and ideas the same way in which we do; that everyone thinks the same way we do; and that everyone possesses the same ideals of morality that we believe defines a human.
There are many animals around us and there are many more within us. We are not the same all the time - I have done inane things in the joy drunken, post-work party nights which I would never have in the self-controlled, work-driven mind of the morning light. I sometimes have the most unbelievable defenses convincing me that something unacceptable is actually okay in my case. There are plenty of reasons that can be offered in justification of the most heinous acts by the ever-mysterious mind.
And this is exactly why incidents like the Guwahati molestation incident doesn't make me feel so much shocked or angry as it makes me feel helpless. The men there cannot be compared with human standards at all - they were all possessed by the terrible animal spirit that hides within all of us to various degrees and it was so blatantly evident in the way that they were enjoying themselves as though they were engaging in a casual sport - no hesitation, not the slightest doubt or remorse. It is that occasional animal spirit that comes out in the otherwise normal people in their most angry or frustrated states - perhaps that is the baseline morality of men like these all the time.
People say we need to do things to them - hang them in public, sentence them to life imprisonment, strip them in public and stone them and so on. Well, I wonder what purpose it might solve, other than perhaps a sense of vindication for the victim, and well, feeding our own animal spirits within. Any hope of eliciting guilt or remorse from those men, to me, is a far-fetched fantasy. It is an exhausting thing to make animals feel what their minds blocked out years and years ago.
Perhaps a better place to start would be from the near-humans - those who watched the crime and couldn't get themselves to act for reasons other than the pleasure of voyeurism. Maybe they were scared of being shamed themselves by such an animalistic mob, perhaps they didn't know if it were appropriate to interfere, or maybe they were apathetic. I think these individuals might be a better place to start and we are them.
The need of the day, to me, is not so much about vague statements like "we need the state government's immediate intervention and stringent punishment of the guilty" and "steps must be taken to see that the safety of women is ensured in public places". Perhaps I have grown pessimistic but I am tired of these predictable statements of the institutions. Not that I blame them... how much can one do to curb animal tendencies in millions of people? Surely, a better economy will help ease certain triggers; definitely, a better education for everyone will. But at the end of the day, the world around will always be a jungle for a long time to come and the smartest thing to do can be to prepare our wits, mind and resources to defend ourselves to the best possible extent, erasing the slightest notion that something called the 'public' will ever comes for help or support.