Walter Hunt was goofing around one day with a metal wire. His head was deep in thought about the $15 debt he had to pay off. He bent it (the wire I mean) and molded it and by the end of the exercise had come out with the world’s most useful thing: a safety pin.
When Walter Hunt toyed around with a metal wire and got out a safety pin, he had no idea how many potential cabinet ministers would be affected by his invention.
Allow me to elucidate:
Any girl who has travelled by public transport in India knows the shame of being hassled by members of the male clan. Crowds spike their spirits as they fall on you, or grab at you. My constant companion through these horrible times was a safety pin. I would unleash the weapon on those whose intentions were not noble. A small prick would do. A sudden hiss and a sharp withdrawal often resulted. It was most gratifying because the prickee could not complain. What could he say? That he had been jabbed with a safety pin by a girl for touching her inappropriately?
While education was supposed to have made things better, clearly things have not improved. Television serials still show the end of every argument between man and wife stopping only with physical violence being inflicted on the wife. Movies still portray that harassing heroines is fine as long as a hero does it.
The rape case in the nation’s capital in December shook people out of their apathy. In reaction to it, the Indian parliament was forced to take action and came up with some laws. During the debate about the anti-rape bill, Sharad Yadav’s comment about girls drew flak: “Who amongst us has not followed girls?” he said to general laughter in the room.
So just saying, I might have pricked some cabinet ministers too.
What is more disturbing? The cabinet minister’s comment or the laughter? Why didn’t someone poke the bubble with a safety pin?
When will we learn to treat others like we would like to be treated?