Monday, December 31, 2012

India, we missed the bus.

“Man, what has happened to my country” (Hamara Desh enga poguthu) remarked one of my NRI friends. This Delhi rape incident has provided impetus for the dormant volcano to erupt. It is not that Law and Order has suddenly deteriorated or BlameItAll on UPA government.  There’s has been more reporting of rape cases by media channels and more FIRs are filled in cases of sexual harassment.

Why all of a sudden this incident shook the country? Two reasons.  One, the brutality of the criminals makes all men to hang their heads. Two the incident happened in the national capital, more approachable by the media channels. Rapes happen in Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Tuticorin, Vridhachalam.  What is even worse, some village and Khap panchayats, on the pretext of culture, compel the victims to settle for a compromise and marry the criminals. These criminals should just be given a treat like Shoot out at Minor kunju by Vivek.

Yes, so much outrage over these crime against women. Rationally speaking, how do we move forward?

1. Government or institutional changes.

 A) Keeping the pressure on the government to introduce more stringent judicial reforms and amend IPC and CRPC sections. The police reforms needs to be introduced to empower police forces and also hire more women into work force.  A change in the mind of police or empowering women police can help in the bringing to book many unreported cases of sexual violence. (Only 1 conviction in 635 rape cases in delhi in 2012  )

B) ‘Justice Delayed is justice Denied’. Indian judiciary truly lives up to this reputation. Fast tracking of the pending cases and amending our legal loopholes can alone reaffirm some respect in our Indian judiciary. Terms like Eve teasing and rapes need to be cleared defined under sexual harassment sections

C) Bringing electoral reforms and debarring people with criminal records can resolve most problems in the country. All of us will agree to this. (The list of MPs and MLAs who have declared rape cases and crimes against women in their names:

D) Need for all boards across India to uniformly introduce sex education at school level. By sex education, I mean Sexism and not about fantasizing reproduction.

E) There’s a genuine need to introduce more and more co-education schools across India. We’re in a situation where women compete against men and perform better in most cases. Lack of exposure in understanding opposite sexes has lead to many stresses in adolescent age and increased number of suicides in < 28 years age group.

If the political class has the will or they succumb to people’s pressure, only then at least one of the above bills will pass through. Government alone can’t be blamed for all this menace; we should partially take the blame too.

2. Individual introspection.

A) A change in the mindset of the people about treating women and accepting crimes against women as heinous. Domestic violence and sexual abuse will definitely have an impact in the formative years of a child.

B) Poor depiction of women in our movies. Scantily clad women with low necks till their cleavage and the culture of item numbers are ridiculously glorified in the name of commercial cinema. There’s also this concept of men teaching women ‘how to dress, behave in society’ by our heroes. Our censor boards need to have a spine. These are the movies that our students watch and emulate in their college days and at workplaces.News channels should refrain from reporting whose wardrobe malfunctioned, which star dated which actor and who got totally sloshed at who's party. There are far more issues pertaining to national interest than lip-lock scene and sensuous moves or bikini clad actress.

These are some suggestions that I’ve sent to Justice Verma( committee. These suggestions are just enough to climb the roof top and not the sky. But still aiming for sky is easier from the rooftop than from the ground.

Hey Delhi Girl, i don't know who you're. Whatever has happened to you, could have happened to any other women in this country. May your spirit bring about a change. RIP :(  I believe, together we create a safer country for the kids.

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