What is “The Sarika Project”?
The trigger (for this endeavour) of gathering and sharing media communications on social issues was That girl, the one without the name. The one just like us. The one whose battered body stood for all the anonymous women in this country whose rapes and deaths are a footnote in the left-hand column of the newspaper… You can read more about That girl in Nilanjana Roy’s poignantly evocative article - For Anonymous. You may also want to read this must-read collection of articles and tweets in the aftermath of the Delhi gangrape (and now murder). There’s a ton of perspective articles being written and campaigns being launched and shared on social media platforms.
Combating rape requires multi-pronged solutions – driving awareness, engendering discussion, changing mindsets and a range of actions such as a campaign by Namita Bhandare or a call to action led by Ashwin Mahesh.
Ajay Shah’s post Going from outrage to action provides a compelling blueprint on how to co-opt and align incentives for politicians. Perhaps the most important point he makes is that pathetic law and order is a form of regressive tax and hits the poor worse than the rich. Specifically he says, it hits the poor more than the rich. The rich are able to insulate themselves at a lower cost. When a policeman faces me on the street, he immediately speaks to me in a certain way once he sees that I come from the elite. Poor people are mistreated by both criminals and the police. Through this, the number of votes that should be affected by improved law and order is large. The people who care deeply about the poor, and would like to focus the Indian State upon problems of inequality and poverty, should ponder the consequences of what they have wrought.
Blogger and Twitter commentator (@Pragmatic_d) has been a tireless proponent of police and judicial reforms implementation as the most important step towards establishing law and order. In his cynically titled post Till the next rape case, he quotes the academic and policy researcher (Pratap Bhanu Mehta) – Government can introduce enabling laws, it can spend the money, and it can tick off all the administrative boxes. But these are not the same as inducing profound ethical or social change… But at a deeper level, these kinds of social transformations can be managed only when there is a synergy between three sites for the reproduction of moral values: the family, civil society and state. One the great legacies of the national movement, and particularly Gandhi, was that he grasped the fundamental fact that unless these move in tandem, all social change will be shortlived.
About Sarika and Sarika.org
Sarika was our first-born (Sep 6-17, 2000) and we acquired the sarika.org domain about 12 years ago with the intent to do something meaningful in her memory. We are now using this platform to gather and share information about social maladies of present-day India – at present the focus will on the case of Jyoti Singh and related media communications.