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We Are Unsafe. But Do We Really Want To Change?

One hears of rapes in India more often than actions of law and order to combat it. Are we serious about wanting to change the status of violence against women, asks this post.

I don’t even know where to begin. But, that won’t stop me from writing. A twenty-six-year old woman and a six year old girl were raped in Delhi this last weekend. There might be a few more rape incidents to add, but maybe the women decided to keep shut and didn’t register official complaints for the umpteen reasons that this country gives them to not report.

Two years ago, I fought for Nirbhaya. I held candles, I signed petitions, and I wrote articles. I cried out loud, when the news of her death came in, that foggy Sunday morning. Considering what they had done to her, her death also brought with it a sense of relief that she was not in pain anymore. But, it also made me really, really angry. Even the hope inside me was dying a slow death.  I tried to keep it alive, fighting all odds – like people blaming the victims and protecting the culprits.

Two years and numerous rape cases later, the reality of safety of women in this rape capital is still the same. The candles have melted, the petitions have gone down the drain, and rapists are still lurking around with uncontrollable libidos. They are fearless, because we still don’t have the laws to deal with them. How many rapes do we have to see before we accept that this is a serious problem and we need to act?

How many rapes do we have to see before we accept that this is a serious problem and we need to act?

Blaming victims

The victims are getting younger and the rapists are getting older, everyday. So, instead of punishing the culprits, we conveniently blame the girls. “Her skirt was too short”, “oh wait, she was in a skirt and not burqa/saree-clad” is reason enough to ‘ask for it’. It is now an understandable fact that a six-year-old girl can provoke a sixty year old man. Really, the child was asking for it, since she went to the man, as old as her grandfather, when we has alone in his shop. “She was drunk – she totally deserved it”. Another woman was out in the dark, so she wanted it to happen, she was actually fantasizing about it. Really – this is the sentiment of a nation which worships a thousand goddesses? Such big hypocrites we are.

We continue to raise and support demented people who go on to commit such crimes. We don’t set an example by punishing the rapists fair and square. Some people are arguing that the for the recent rape of a woman by a cab driver, we can only blame the cab company, Uber Cabs, for the neglect in background verification and lack of security, and not the government.

Inaction from our leaders

But that would only be one side of the problem. Does the government not know that Delhi is unsafe for half its population? Do we see any measures being taken? Do we see any amendments in laws dealing with rapists? The answer to all these questions is a no. Then how and why should the government not share the blame?

Blaming rapes on chow-mein, jeans and alcohol is nothing but  a way to get trending in this country. I believe these statements are made by our leaders to please a certain khap-worshipping section of their respective vote banks and also a means to get noticed by a Mulayam or two, who are currently in power and are torch-bearers of the ‘men-are-men, they-can-make-mistakes’ syndrome. For these politicos, it is rather convenient to make such statements as they bring instant limelight. Also, for them the raped girls are lesser beings who committed a crime by believing that they are safe in their own homes.

A few years from now, text books will teach kids across the globe that a nation called India is the rape central of the world. This history is being formed now – only we have the power to change it.

What kind of a history are we forming? A few years from now, text books will teach kids across the globe that a nation called India is the rape central of the world. This history is being formed now – only we have the power to change it. The question is, do we, as a nation really want things to change?

Pic credit: Image of a woman crying via Shutterstock.

A software engineer, a realist, and a cribber by the day. A chef, a writer,

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