No Nation for Women: Wake-up call for a decadent society

There’s a newly minted term in English, esp. in the parlance of book-reviewing. It’s known as ‘blatantism’. The root word is ‘blatant’. The book, No Nation For Women, by Priyanka Dubey falls in this category. Hard-hitting and below-the-belt narrative presented in a bare-knuckle fashion will invariably stun the readers.

Rape, like the Big C, is endemic to our decadent culture. Our collective insouciance to a flagrantly heinous crime like rape borders on criminality. It’s like Kauravon ki sabha (assembly of Kauravas) where all the venerable people chose to remain spectators to the humiliation of Draupadi.

In fact, we’ve become worse than those people, who at least showed their helplessness and later felt ashamed for that. We don’t even care for the victims and every occurrence of rape is nonchalantly cold-shouldered and ignored in a jiffy. 

The book has been written from a journalist’s perspective. Since Priyanka has smelled the coffee and is familiar with the print media, her descriptions bear axiomatic truths and prod the readers and the system to wake up from the slumber. It jolts us out of our comfort zone and raises disturbing questions about the genuineness and integrity of our police force and also of the judiciary. 

One needs gumption and courage of conviction to be so audaciously bold in these utterly corrupt times. The cries of victims and the screams of the ravaged go unnoticed. No one dares ask question. The patriarchal Indian society looks at rape as a 'corrective' measure. In the hinterlands of India, rape is a punitive measure. 

“Yatra naaryastu poojyate, ramante tatra devta” (Where women are worshipped and respected, gods inhabit that place). Now this oft-quoted adage sounds so out- of-place in our moth-eaten society. Values have gone to dogs and the power of pelf reigns supreme. In such a pathological set-up, who cares for a woman’s modesty? 

Getting justice to such ravaged and hapless women is the cardinal objective of Priyanka, who seems to have vowed to fight against all gender anomalies and aberrations. This needs ‘a sense of positive monomania,’ to quote the sociologist Iravati Karvey. Priyanka has this desirable monomania to fight for a cause close to her heart. By espousing this sensitive issue, she has upheld the dharma of intrepid journalism.

Book: No Nation for Women

Author: Priyanka Dubey

Publisher: Simon and Schuster India

Pages: 235; Price: Rs 399