Yesterday, as I took my son to by train for his weekly hospital visit, there was a conversation going on between two men sitting near us. I am not sure of the exact context, but they appeared to be discussing the sister of another regular in the reserved compartment for disabled passengers (my son has Cerebral Palsy, so we travel there rather than the more crowded ladies compartment).
It seems this girl got taken in by some sweet talking man who had an affair with her and refused to marry her and it is something of a scandal now. Most of the talk revolved around how this guy would cope (not sure what his disability was – not mentioned) with two sisters and now this scandal.
What struck me was a comment by the older of the two who was sad that the world would see the girl as something less for no fault of hers other than believing someone. “What was her wrong? Does kicking an idol devalue God or the person kicking? It is the man’s fault, but samaj ki nazar kameene hain (the eye/intent of society is evil)”.
Here was this shabbily dressed, obviously worker class, aged man summarizing in one sentence what all kinds of dazzling wise and powerful people seem to fail to understand. The girl did not do wrong. She was wronged. Society likes to heap blame on her to put her at disadvantage, because the intent of those around her is also wrong.