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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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  1. Hi Akanksha,
    You have brought up something very important.
    Fine, some of us talk about it, but there are some people in this world (women inclusive), who bring up sons as if they are the maharajas and deserve all due respect. Once I spoke about how patriarchy has silenced many women who live in joint families, to speak against incest and child molestations. The elderly woman who heard me speak with passion ‘sympathised’ me and ‘advised’ turning off the tv, not to read news and to relax…..I understood that when you speak about ‘save tiger’ or ‘panda’ with as much passion, people respect you, but it is after all ‘women’, who cares?
    It is this bunch of people, who wear blinkers and walk form a great hurdle to societal reform. The previous few generations have let the men loose owing to which, the next generation is suffering now, but they end up blaming the current generation, as if their situation was hunkydory at that time. More number of cases went unexpressed and unreported, during that time (due to the stigma and victimisation such women faced) is not at all coming to their thoughts. They fail to delve deep……seeds cannot be sown and harvested in a day. At least all the parents of the current generation, who have sons, should check with them where they are going and what they are doing. They also need to strictly reinforce that invading any person’s privacy is unethical.

  2. A country cannot be changed overnight. Things have to change there is no doubt. We need to work with men too. Catch them young. Most young boys see how their mothers and sisters are treated, as second class citizens. How then can anyone expect these young minds not to be influenced? We have to start young and if we are lucky we will see a change in two generations. If we are lucky.

    However, a government can only make the law, society and its agencies have to enforce and implement the law.

    I live in Norway, where men and women are so equal in every sense. Yet here too there is rape, there is abuse.

    Its only when we can see all of us – male or female as humans above all else can we truly begin to get a glimpse of light.

    • Very true. I agree with you completely. I live in the United States. and though there is rape and abuse, there are also signs of stopping it. My brother and many of my friends who are male do not believe that women are second class. My brother, a strong baseball player in college now, when I asked him if he thought that women were inferior to men replied, “No, why would I?”

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