Last week, a girl was molested in Guwahati by a savage mob while a journalist filmed the entire incident and put it on the news. That may be one of the saddest openings to a humour column ever (second only to ‘Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is over’). But this is India, and we like our WTF-ness the way we like our food; in large, unrelenting, acidity-inducing doses.
First the National Commission for Women sent a team in to cheerfully let slip the girl’s name, then it emerged that the journalist had possibly goaded the crowd and spurred the molestation on for coverage. This is India, the only country in the world where a man can direct your rape like it’s a Sanjay Leela Bhansali opus. And then, after he was fired for his sins, the NCW demanded that the girl be given a government job, because apparently the only cure for the psychological trauma of molestation is death by ennui, corruption and boredom. The only way this could have gotten stupider is if Raj Thackeray had driven the head of the NCW home from the hospital to file her nomination for president against Purno Sangma (whose name, it must be said, sounds like a Maharashtrian man asking his mother to finish a story).
But the NCW did save the day by offering a 17-point recommendation to help matters. The recommendations included important points that the police would never have thought of, like “the culprits should be booked and punished under law” and “action against those protecting the culprit”. These recommendations are so game-changing that tomorrow the NCW is going to publish a set of rules that will help find the Higgs-Boson, some of which include “If the Boson is female, it is her fault she was found” and “HA HA Purno Sangma IS a really weird name”.
Luckily, I have hacked into the NCW database, and found their 7 point plan to stay safe if you are a woman in India:
1. Be born male.
2. Understand that the ‘for’ in National Commission for Women only stands for ‘about’. It does not mean ‘pro’ or ‘to help’. At best, it may mean ‘to cause embarrassed smiles at dinner parties about the condition of women in India’.
3. When assaulted, instead of the NCW, or the Indian police, run to someone more likely to help you. Like Hitler, or the Joker, or Prem Chopra.
4. Remember that it is always your fault. This is much easier than taking on any long-term attempt to alter the current perspective of the Indian male, which is that women are created to be a man’s personal pleasure-barge. They exist for men to mould, act upon, and do things to, at the man’s pleasure. Remember, you’re not a sentient being, you’re a scratching post that has the convenient ability to spit out babies. (If you are Thai, though, you may also spit out… you know what, different conversation for a different day)
5. Hahahahahahahahaha Purno. His name is PURNO.
6. Don’t go to pubs. If you have a drink, you may end up doing something you regret, such as inviting the attention of the National Commission for Women, or signing up for an iMint loyalty card.
7. Remember, your husband is god. Which is to say that no matter how much you worship him, he will never communicate back, and you will only be fully aware of his existence when he smites you down.
There. That is a list of complete recommendations to save yourself. If you follow all of those recommendations, you will be saved from molestation. And iMint cards. Seriously, what do those things do?
Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi