What can be more disturbing than the sight of a graphic violence? How can the picture of a 14-year old chubby kid munching chocolate disturb me? Believe me, it disturbed me and it would disturb you. The kid was killed a few minutes later, shot point blank. The information that the boy was killed and picture of him nonchalantly eating a piece of chocolate troubled me like anything.
I can't name the feeling, for naming it would be to run away from facing it. The feeling stays there, like a bad food troubling your stomach. Let it linger for a few minutes; this is real. This feeling is real. The information is just information, it is not my experience. I can make believe that it my experience, I can feel like a boy facing guns. I'd be as helpless as I'm right now.
Like the boy facing the gun, like the girl teased by a bunch of goons in a Delhi bus, I'm helpless. You are helpless. Let us not run away from this feeling. Let's not wear the hat of a cold judge and lecture about strong punishments. Nor do we wear the hat of a saint or a human rights activist and preach mercy. That's running away from the reality - the reality that we are helpless.
Experience it, experience it fully. Then, with a clear mind let's take to the action. The action is driven by what you can. At the very least, you as an individual, can start to respect life - not just human lives; you can respect women - not just a motherly woman, but can also respect someone that you'd have never respected in your so-called life. You, as a parent can influence your children on these lines. You may become the upholder of justice who wouldn't spare a culprit even if they are the kith and kin, you may become a saint who can forgive the worst offender - these are all possibilities.
What is real is what you experience, here and now.