Let’s Reserve Our Celebration For When Streets Truly Become Safer For Women

Yes, the encounter killing of the Hyderabad rape and murder accused was celebrated. But should we really be celebrating? Are the streets safe now?

Yes, the encounter killing of the Hyderabad rape and murder accused was celebrated. But should we really be celebrating? Are the streets safe now?

The first Friday of December, 2019 came with a piece of news, that sent the whole nation into celebration mode. That one piece of news was enough to melt away the anger took almost every citizen in its grip.

As the news of the encounter and deaths of the rape and murder accused of the veterinary doctor from Hyderabad, poured in, the nation rejoiced. Loud and strong, people proclaimed- “Justice is served. The doctor’s death is avenged.” And the police officers responsible for the encounter were given a hero’s welcome by the citizens of Hyderabad.

At the same time, one common line of thought that was being passed n was that ‘precedent has been set. Thee fear of the law would now keep the perpetrators of such heinous crimes at bay.’ But, take a minute and think, did this encounter killing really make the streets and the country safe for women?

What needs to change

Just a week ago, veteran Tamil actor and director Bhagyaraj went on a misogynistic verbal tirade on stage at a public event. He event went on to the extent of saying, “Only because women let it happen do such crimes (rape) happen. There is no point blaming only men.”

Several other eminent personalities let him continue his misogynistic verbal diarrhoea. However it was even worse when the audience kept cheering onto his rants. They even applauded his speech that reeked of a warped mentality.

Ironically, it may have been the same people who were happily a part of the revelry celebrating the news of the encounter. The same people who shouted from their roof tops about the precedent being set. And the same people who believed the world would be safer for women now. Mindsets like these encourage misogyny and thrive in the ideology of ‘keeping women within their limits.’ With these mindsets, do you think women really are safe in the country?

Are the streets safe now?

On the same day that the doctor in Hyderabad was raped and murdered, five other incidents of rape were reported in the newspapers. There may have been several others that never got reported.

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The others faded into oblivion, one of the major reasons for this could be the fact that the perpetrators of the crime in all other cases wielded more influence than the four accused who were shot dead in Hyderabad.

So, here is the next question would this vigilante justice or encounter have been done, if the accused were from influential backgrounds? We all know the answer. If you have any doubts switch on the news channels, the news of the Unnao rape survivor’s death will give you the answers.

I know I will be chided, opposed and even labelled an “anti-national.” But encounter is not the solution I need. The incident of the rape and murder in Hyderabad caused an outrage across the nation, there was one question which people still asked, why was she out so late.

We need a change in the mindsets

This where the change needs to be brought- the change in mindset. In aftermath of the crime, the Hyderabad police issued a 14-point advisory for the safety of women. Though well intentioned, was that really the need of the hour?

What really is the need is gender sensitisation classes- majorly for the male population. To put into people’s head that a woman is not just to be valued as someone’s sister, daughter, wife or mother. Neither is she to be ogled at as a piece of meat, she a human, an individual and give her the basic respect you give any human.

The relationship tags do not count and do not matter. It needs to be drilled into people’s heads that women have as much right over the streets as anybody else. And as far as her life is concerned, she is the sole person responsible for it.

She has the right to live her life

So, her clothes, her lifestyle, her profession, her choices, are none of the society’s business. Every adult has the right to live a life of their choice, and so does a woman.

The day this change in the thought process is established, is when we should actually rejoice. And the day when gender sensitisation classes are made compulsory across the nation should we actually rejoice.

Let’s celebrate when instead of issuing advisories on women safety, dictates are issued for men to correct their act. Last but not the least, we will celebrate with all our heart when every case of rape is treated with the equal amount of importance. And where every perpetrator is brought to the books, irrespective of his importance and stature in society.

Till then this quote currently being shared on social media is the harsh reality

Indian Justice system explained
If rapist is poor, kill him.
If rapist is influential, kill the victim.”

Picture credits: Pexels 

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About the Author

Parvadavardini Sethuraman

A dreamer by passion and an Advocate by profession. Mother to an ever energetic and curious little princess. I long to see the day when Gender equality is a reality in the world. read more...

89 Posts | 323,531 Views

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