If the term 'culture' is based on repeated actions across generations, isn't molesting and forcefully parading women naked as much a part of 'our esteemed Indian culture' as Karva chauth and Ganesha Visarjan ? Because we surely have been watching it happen/reading about it since Independence and we haven't found any magical cure till date.
I'll set the ball rolling so that you don't feel bad because you may give 'the wrong answer'.
Remember, I don't want 'a right answer'. I want 'a honest answer'.
In the first instance, I would call in for help to the police. Since this went on for quite awhile, I'm guessing either it was a relatively sparsely inhabited area or everyone there was just part of the wolf-posse. Either way, I don't see myself fighting off a mob. I would like to think I'd scream at them that the police were coming, BUT probably in a tone suggesting I was one of them rather than as the booming voice of a vigilante who had come to defend the girl.
It isn't about being a coward. It is about reality and knowing I'm not Batman/ the Hulk and I wouldn't survive a minute if even five of them ganged up on me, let alone 50.
In the second instance, I discussed it with some of my friends and funnily, my stand was considered more controversial. But I'll stick with it.
I would turn my son in.
My reasoning is this - Either I have failed in my duties as a dad or somewhere along the way, he has found peers who have convinced him that he can do it because he will get away with it. The deed has been done. I cannot undo it. From this moment on, the family name will be sullied, whether I turn him in or choose to defend him by buying away witnesses and the police. The option of getting him to safety or calling up all the political goons in my and my relatives contact-list does not tempt me for some reason. I am flexible in a lot of matters in real-life, but I don't stand for cheats and people who try wiggling away from a crime they committed using any method possible.
In the discussions I had, I was actually the only one of this opinion. Many went with the 'Still, he's your family. You will end up doing whatever is required to save him.' A significant point is I can only talk about my son, being a male. For women in a patriarchal system like ours, I know it would be infinitely tougher to make the decision against your own husband/son and stand up against the household, risking being called the one who destroyed the family or even worse, physically harmed.
I don't envy you your position.
But I value your opinion.
I would like to know your answers. The honest answers.
P.S. Did nobody else see the irony that on the same day this news went viral, our own Sherlyn Chopra was posting pictures online of herself in USA in her birthday suit ?
Not hidden in a darkly silhouetted room, but walking in broad daylight and posing beside the entire Playboy staff she barely knew for probably a week.
We talk of an India where it is unsafe to walk fully dressed. In her images, she reveals a lot - but she also revealed something else which noone noticed.
She revealed a freedom that no Indian girl will ever have in India. The freedom to feel safe in your own skin.