Rapes were common in India and now they have been supersized to gang-rapes. Sexual harassment is brushed under the carpet and harassing a girl by calling her vulgar is called something as harmless as “eve teasing”.
Harassment against women in the work place is also a huge issue, but most of it gets swept under the carpet. The erstwhile great crusader against all evil Tarun Tejpal claims (while countering a rape charge) that his act was consensual, not criminal because, wait for it… the survivor was a “liberated, emancipated and modern woman”. Wow!
If you remember then another prominent personality in the form of Alyque Padamsee asked why she went into the lift with him in the first place!
If you want a girl, then pursue her vigorously even she finds it harassment for that is the Bollywood way. Hundreds of thousands of girls have been killed in the womb for being of the wrong sex and a similar number of new-borns too. How many people have been arrested for convicted a baby girl? Practically zilch!
There is much to be done in terms of laws, policing, sensitization and sweeping reforms, but most fail even the basic superficiality.
That is, paying lip service!
Far from supporting our girls, we leave the onus on them to behave and see that they don’t get molested. When something happens, it’s always the girl’s fault.
What was she wearing? What was she doing late at night? Did she provoke the incident? Was she modern? Why was she working? … Why not add: Why does she exist?
The latest sick statement by NCP leader Asha Mirge is definitely not the first and sadly will not be the last. Mirge questioned what Nirbhaya, the victim of the infamous Delhi gang-rape, was doing watching a movie late at night!
She also questioned what the survivor of the Shakti Mills gang-rape case in Mumbai was doing at an unearthly hour of 6pm! Mirge also said that rapes take place because of women’s clothes! And this woman is part of the Maharashtra Women's Rights Commission. A toothless body headed by a women misogynist offers absolutely no hope for this nation.
Our political leaders are supposed to protect us. They are supposed to govern in such a manner as to make us safer. They are supposed to pass laws protecting us. And yet they go around making such nonsensical statements that make matters worse.
Sample: 90% or rapes take place with the consent of the women. Girls should be married off at the age of 16 to prevent rape. Chowmein leads to rape. Western culture leads to rape. The survivor should have called the rapist a “brother” and begged to be spared...
The list of such nonsensical statements by people in power or in public life is endless. The sad part is that all of them get away. Hate speech against women should be made a grave crime.
The scariest part is that our system is such that the entire police force reports to politicians. If the masters of this land are misogynists (including the women), then do you really expect the government servants to take crimes against women seriously?
Superficially an extreme amount of rage takes place in middle class conversation and social networking forums. Dig deep down and we are an extremely misogynist society that believes strongly in suppressing all women.
That is why we have bizarre things like a West Bengal village council ordering the gang-rape of a woman who committed absolutely no crime other than loving somebody. Super sick was people in the village agreeing with the illegal and criminal sentence.
That is why the outrage over a Danish women’s gang-rape in the capital is used by AAP minister Somnath Bharti to get a mob to harass, molest, abuse and hurl racist slurs at African women! Only in India can you run a campaign that harasses women and say that it will lead to a safer city for women! Added bonus: Hold a dharna and hold the city to ransom!
The rot is right at the top. When the anti-rape agitation took place in front of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Union Home Minister likened them to Maoists. The President’s son called the female protestors “painted and dented”.
At that time what was the President doing? He was too busy doing nothing inside Rashtrapati Bhavan and hence too busy to come and meet the protestors outside. He didn’t even deliver a speech to the nation outlining what he expected the elected representatives to do on the day when the whole nation was seething with rage.
So basically if we can’t even get our politicians to give lip service to women’s rights, then how will you bring down crimes against women?
In India you can’t criticize politicians without attracting their ire. You can’t answer back elders. You can’t insult caste or religion. There are laws against that.
But the freedom of speech to insult and degrade women freely seems to be the most fundamental of rights that is exercised with alarming regularity.