Kolkata, March 9 (IANS) West Bengal Human Rights Commission chairman and former Supreme Court judge Asok Kumar Ganguly Saturday said the state is not lagging behind Delhi in the number of atrocities on women and may have well gone ahead of the national capital.
"Today in West Bengal the cases of outrage against women, cases of molestation... we are coming very close to Delhi, maybe we have superseded it" said Ganguly.
Speaking at an event organised to observe International Women's Day in the Calcutta High Court, Ganguly described the civil society in the state as "absolutely sleeping", and urged them to take up the fight against atrocities on women.
"I am appealing to them, please wake up, please take up the battle, please fight till the last. This is beginning of the battle," he said.
Referring to the role played by the civil society in protesting the Dec 16 Delhi gangrape, he said that " his heart goes out to them" and that they should be encouraged.
He also emphasised on spreading the "message of constitutional equality for women and said the mindset of the society towards women needs to change.
"Mindset cannot be changed by harsh laws, it cannot be changed by draconian punishments. It must come from within," said Ganguly.
"Question of treatment to women is a question of constitutional values, of dignity and justice," he said.
"Rape is not an act of sex only, it's an act of aggression. It is an act of power to show dominance that 'I am a man I have power'," said Ganguly adding that most of the times rapists are person with clout and they are not arrested.
"The Delhi gangrape perpetrators were arrested only because they came from the lower strata of the society," he contended.
Ganguly was also critical about female foeticide and the skewed female ratio in several states including West Bengal.