The recent news about a gang rape in Delhi has stirred the conscience of many. Despite the worldwide rallies, condemning violence against women, the memory of the very shameful act has masqueraded as a slap on the face of every activist and feminist.
This is the Indian capital we are talking about. The capital of a country which boasts democracy to be at its best and all is done to protect and back the rights and duties of citizens. We are referring to an emerging superpower where women are more educated, privileged and independent than in most of South Asia. However, we are talking about a nation where the mindset still looks down on women, no matter how well developed they are.
The strong Indian media attracts attention to such cases of all feminists, activists, protesters and well wishers of the victims. But should the media only limit its coverage to big cities? How many rural villages have women being beaten, assaulted, tortured and killed by men almost every single day? The fact is simple. The ‘emerging superpower’ and best-claimed-democracy does not have the rights and values strong enough to protect women=. Forget the media; such victimized women hardly even make it up to police crime records.
Talking about crime against women in our own country, it is a whole lot different. Either crimes at such high level do not take place everyday or they are being ignored and unreported. Once or twice, we hear stories like that of a girl being killed brutally for refusing a marriage proposal or one police AIG murdering his wife. Petty crimes like drugging and then robbing are a bit more common, and victims are mostly women.
The bottom line of all these instances pertains to the fact that a woman is not safe irrespective of where she is or how she is dressed. Many a times it is assumed and believed that a woman provokes such crimes to herself by dressing or behaving inadequately. But that is not true. As a woman, I can tell how a shadow of paranoia follows all the way through empty lanes or even crowded public vehicles. No matter how brave one is, many encounters with men, throughout the life span, are uncomforting, let alone being able to walk an alley in the dead of night without for once being scared. That is what the reality is not just for me but for thousands of others. And this does not for once consider if you are wearing skimpy clothes or covered in a burqa. This is just how it is. And with constant instances and situations like these, the paranoia increases.
Why should it be that such cases enlighten us about the maltreatment of women? Laws should be enacted in such ways that a woman can freely walk everywhere at any time. We do not need protestors and activists fighting for us after we are raped or almost killed. We need them to fight for rights that make sure such cases never occur. Also it is not repression that is the solution of these issues. Laws have tried to repress men or women from doing such acts. Even India where the aforementioned situation occurred has laws to protect the victim. It is the culture that should be changed, the inferior ideology and mentality of people that should be wiped out and killed from roots. One girl raped anywhere in the world is a stain to all women and on humanity. This denies all studies and reports that humans are better than animals.
We live in a society where we are taught not to get raped rather than to fight for the crime. The aftermath for a victim is very sad. The media gives away all the light after the case becomes a bit too old for them. All protesters and activists go back home and look for other cases. The victim is left fighting alone; fighting to make another start, fighting to find a place back in the society and fighting to protect other women from encountering and bearing such crimes.
So who is responsible? Is it a crime to be born as a woman? Let us not just talk about the Indian girl in the capital whose case is going to fast track court but of all other girls who may be the future victims of such crimes. It could be me, you or our friends and family. Will we be sidelined, neglected and subjected to hate and sympathy throughout our lives? Will we see the perpetrators roaming freely trying to assault on another faultless naïve women? Will everyone just always shut up about such crimes? Where are the answers and the justice?