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Is India Safe For Women?

By Sree Sudha:

Looking at the recent attacks women are facing in India, I would definitely say a big ‘NO’. According to UN Sexual Violence and Rape Statistics, India is ranked 2nd in the highest number of rapes since 2003, it doesn’t include the unreported case or else I bet India would have been topping the list snubbing USA to the 2nd place!

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Society’s Views:

Women should not be dressed provocatively
Support death penalty for the rapists and speedy fast track courts
Why do housewives and school going girls need mobiles? It encourages them to make futile small talk and get connected with people outside their homes

And the suggestions, advice, opinions and a lot more start featuring in the newspaper articles, media’s live coverage shows, talk-shows, strikes and what not. These all vanish after a few days as soon as the event is snubbed by another breathtaking issue. Yes, nothing in Indian media or say, in recent times seems to be perpetual. Looking keenly at the political leader’s suggestions or the Baba’s opinions or women leader’s approach of motto just after such incident occurs makes me more worried. Why don’t they perform all this drama when nothing has happened? Why don’t they think that Indian legislative should have by now made strict rules? Why there isn’t punishments till now or why is it that as soon as such event occurs, one thinks of the dress code of an individual? Why could they not realize it the day India started westernizing itself? Why do politicians promote globalization? Why? Why it is that one has no issues if a celebrity wears a western costume but if a fellow Indian does, it is suddenly an issue? Why does one doesn’t ban the movies showing vulgar dresses? Why is it so? I need an answer for all my questions!

Yes, I am fed up with the social-media, the newspaper articles and the society which blames a ‘girl’ for being herself and they say that it is ‘the world’s largest democracy’!

Educated Vs Uneducated:

The question that strikes one’s mind is that if an individual is educated, they would never ever commit such crime. My dear friend, that  is not the reality. Be it an educated person or an illiterate, one’s commitment for doing or thinking of such a deed in their mind arises only when their sense of morality is not correct. The society one is raised in maters a lot. How many of us know that the Manipuri tribal girls have complained about the Indian army Jawans raping them? Do you think the justice has been provided to the girl’s families yet? Don’t you think they are one of the most respected individuals of the country as they treated as the saviors of India?

One of my close friends, being a single child and a pampered-guy at home by his parents, grandparents and the entire family, especially the momma-kid, doesn’t value girls, even after studying in the most premier institute- IIT, he doesn’t have the understanding in him that a woman is not just for satisfying him. He feels woman are just for serving and kitchen purposes and the girls studying higher-studies are of no use as they end up in household works as his mom says so to him! What can one say about this now? I could no longer bear the way he used to speak about girl’s way of dressing, the way he used to describe fellow girl students in the campus with such filthy comparisons. I raised my voice against it, and the consequence is just the way expected, gossiping about me started in his family premises! I’m the new topic of discussion. I doubt they labelled me as a slut as well, I do have male friends that doesn’t mean I sleep with them but a wicked thinking society can think of it!

Politicians:

One woman is raped every 20 minutes, according to the government statistics, well, I think there is a need to rephrase it after such an incident has occurred in the recent times. According to a report compiled by National Election Watch and the Association for Democratic Reforms, it has been declared that more than 260 of our so-called politicians who have contested elections in the last five years, the ones who are to shape the county for its betterment are facing charges on rape, assault and outraging the modesty of a woman! What can be said about this? May I please know why is that the political parties are recommending such contestants. Yes, I would take my part of the blame as well by voting for them because in India, more than 90% of the votes are influenced either by cash or kind. And of course, today complaining about them makes me no more a brainless idiot! But, in this context I would like to bring upon a few issues — Since, the state is so much involved in corrupt practices that one could become an MP or an MLA or any other representative of a political party if he had good backing, in terms of money and assets, and the most important ‘political’ support from the existing leaders or the pioneers of the country! And what outcome could you expect from these, who have been facing the assaulting charges, contest and win the elections as well?

Mindset:

It all needs to be there in one’s mindset. Be it an educated or an uneducated person, nothing matters really. If you have the right set of morals in you, you would definitely not take part in such kind of incidents nor will you ever support them. From eve-teasing to torturing verbally to raping and murdering, I don’t find any difference among any of them as one may lead to the other gradually. If one is not able to raise the voice in the initial stage itself, the devil or the ‘shaitan’ as my 4-year friend points out, starts waking up. If we just neglect it by “ho jaata h yar kabhi kabhi- sirf maze lene k liye hi toh karte hain”, then, my dear friend, you are the one who is promoting these kind of incidents indirectly! And yes, you are equally responsible too!

You must be to comment.
  1. Raj

    I hope you remember that India has a population of over 1200 million whereas USA has a population of 310 million. So the key indicator is PER CAPITA RAPES REPORTED.
    USA has a rape reporting rate of 27 per 1 lakh people whereas India has 1.8 , which is even lesser than 1/10th of USA. And countries like Sweden have more than double of USA (65). Take a look at the statistics : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

    Some sections of society do come up with crappy ideas, but our laws aren’t like those in middle east that require the testimony of 4 men and such. We do have quite progressive anti-rape laws in place

    Now regarding that IITian friend, his tragedy is that he has been brainwashed by his immediate society into thinking that it is his responsibility to earn and take care of his wife and kids, while his wife takes care of the kids at home. He is the one who will suffer working harder and harder for his family and die sooner than his wife. Sadly he is proud of this scenario which disregards his own happiness and makes him a slave of the society.

    Votes are not highly influenced by cash or kind, it is mostly by caste. And of late, development too.Now regarding politicians having rape cases registered against them, many(perhaps not all) of them are indeed false. I know this from a close relative who has faced this issue. It is politically incorrect to talk about false rapes but that is an unfortunate reality.

    I am not “equally” responsible for the actions of eve-teasers, verbal torturers, rapists and murderers by neglecting them, since I’m not responsible for enforcing law,order and justice. It’s fashionable to promote unearned guilt, but I have no interest in getting blamed for things I have never done nor supported. Yes I do have a moral responsibility to mitigate such incidences but it is neither legal nor binding. In the end, everyone is primarily responsible for his or her own self

  2. sreesudha

    @Raj : I very well respect your views regarding the Indian judicial system, and I appreciate the amount of time you have spent on analyzing the statistics.
    But the major concern over here is not just the official statistics which you are providing! More than half of India’s victims do not report it to the police, just because of many orthodox views in the family or because they feel so very depressed. Again, I totally agree to the fact that India is being modernized, yet our approach towards the sensitive issues have not changed, this may be due to our way of bringing up or the values which have been passed from generations to generations!

    Well, you say you are not “equally responsible”, but my dear, even the Indian penal code says, the one who seems to be neutral when a crime or any such action is happening is borne to be a witness and may be equally punishable as he/she is indirectly supporting the criminal by staying neutral without helping the victim!

    Finally, I’m glad that you have accepted that you have moral responsibility and yes, I do agree with you that everyone is responsible for oneself but there may come a time when one needs help from other as well!

    1. Raj

      Under-reporting is a major issue, I agree. But even if we take “More than half of India’s victims” don’t report, that would only take the per capita reporting from 1.8 to 3.6 or perhaps 4.8 which is a far cry from US/UK/Sweden etc. So do you really think having a much stronger police and stronger rape laws are actually helping to bring down rape cases in these super-highly developed countries? Common-sense would say yes, but the statistics don’t show that one bit.

      And no there is no law that states that not helping a victim is punishable (It’s there in some holy books but not the Constitution). I think the 26/11 attacks made that quite clear, since none of the survivors are being prosecuted for failing to stop the attacks or help the victims. And if such a law were in fact in place, then it would give my point more validity since it would be the best to run away from the scene of the crime and pretend that it did not happen.

      Also regarding the headline of this article, you should have probably asked “Is India safe for women as compared to men?” There’s nothing wrong with talking about women’s safety, but a purely gynocentric view of things isn’t healthy either. The vast majority of violent crimes usually end up having men as their victims who are treated as disposable foot soldiers of the society.Failure to share the burdens of building and protecting the society and stereotyping both men and women into their traditional roles will be detrimental to our post-industrial society.

  3. Bansi Dhameja

    I would not like get into statistics and compare our country with outside world and feel happy about our country being at so and so position in comparison to others.
    This is a very important issue facing our society. In my view we have to analyse the reasons for increase in these incidents more than what people of different sections of our society think. More often than not people in general give their views without weighing their own opinion, this is true of educated and uneducated alike, the politicians in general have a tendency to put play the blame game, media takes up the issues to a limited extent and…..
    The law enforcing agencies are not doing their part for various reasons and they put forward reasons to justify their action/inaction. The net result is the situation remains to be same.
    I feel the main reason for all this is “DECLINE IN MORAL VALUES” in all sections of our society including the young and the old, educated and uneducated, politicians and ordinary citizens, ….. . We have been simply running after increasing wealth at any cost, the elders are not paying attention to moral build-up of children and this has been happening for several decades and the result is before us.
    I LEANT IN SCHOOL AND STILL REMEMBER: IF MONY IS LOST NOTHING IS LOST, IF HEALTH IS LOST SOMETHING IS LOST, IF CHARACTER IS LOST EVERYTHING IS LOST. I do not think this is emphasized in schools these days.
    The schools are not at all paying attention to character building of students. I AT SEVETY EVEN REMEMBER MY TEACHERS WHO TAUGHT ME TO BE WHAT I AM TODAY. I REMEMBER MY PARENTS WHO STRENGHTHENED MY MORALITY. But what is happening today. Parents are busy earning money. They do not have time for children. Parents give them money but not time. Most of the teachers are not bothered because the work to earn money and above all there is no punishment for any crime for the rich, the powerful. There are no speedy trials and no punishment, resulting in no fear for the law of the land.
    The politicians win elections by unfair means, not respecting moral values, so they are not serious about anything except wining next election. EVRY THING IS SALABLE ONE HAS TO HAVE THE MEANS TO BUY— RIGHT FROM VOTES TO PEOPLE AT EVERY LEVEL.
    So being aware to the problem, we as ordinary citizens have to do our part———TAKE CARE OF OUR FAMILY -EMPHASISE ON OMRAL VALUES AND SWEE THAT YOUNG IN OUR FAMILY DO NOT REPEAT NOT FALL PRAY TO UNDESIRABLE ATTRACTIONS AND HAVE STRONG CHARACTER.

    1. Raj

      @Bansi : But if you don’t have a standard of comparison how can you say X is good or bad?

      And what’s this thing with decline in moral values? The word decline means that something with higher and now it is coming down. Tell me, when exactly did we have high morals? We had rampant caste-ism, we had 300 years ago lesser 40 years ago and much lower today. We had no democracy for 1000s of years, we had a very backwards , regressive and superstitious society for the most part of our recorded history. Women were treated like crap well until the new Constitution gave them rights.
      We had kings who fought wars among each other for time-pass, where every young man was forced into the army . And kings wasted so much public wealth in building palaces for themselves.

      What about post-Independence? We had a corrupt socialist system that stifled innovation and kept millions in grinding poverty. Isn’t this the fault of our parents and grandparents? What exactly were they doing after Independence, as compared to their counterparts in Germany , Japan , South Korea , Singapore etc.? So to whom are they preaching moral values?

      I would argue that this free-enterprise-capitalist drive to earn money and improve ones quality of life is our strongest weapon to ensure that we live in a peaceful and equitable society. Remove the rampant protectionism and socialism , remove the vast powers of the politicians and bureaucrats . And private citizens will demand the highest-quality of policing and justice that their taxes can buy because then joining the Govt. service isn’t going to give you special protection against the vagaries of life, nor the powers to rule others.

  4. Bnasi Dhameja

    Raj ji I fully agree when you Quote I would argue that this free-enterprise-capitalist drive to earn money and improve ones quality of life is our strongest weapon to ensure that we live in a peaceful and equitable society. Remove the rampant protectionism and socialism , remove the vast powers of the politicians and bureaucrats . And private citizens will demand the highest-quality of policing and justice that their taxes can buy because then joining the Govt. service isn’t going to give you special protection against the vagaries of life, nor the powers to rule others.UNQUOTE.
    But can you answer WHY A FATHER IS RAPING HIS DAUGHTER, WHY UNCLES AND EVEN GRANDFATHERS ARE INDULGING IN THIS ANIMAL ACT? Has this any thing to do with poverty? NO it is the decline in morality that is what I feel.
    Were the leaders at the time of independence so corrupt as toady. NO. Is it not degradation of moral values?. We simply for the sake of saying say HAM MARENGE WATAN KE LIYE HAM JIYENGE WATAN KE LIYE.
    If inner strength is high one will starve rather than steel. That is morality. It has nothing to do with riches . Perhaps we may differ but I would request each one to think and find an answer to why rapes are taking place? can we do something about it?.

    1. Raj

      Coming to the specific points of rape, I believe it has a lot to do with the sexually repressed culture we live in coupled with the fact that there will always be some rare demented individuals who will indulge in such acts. I agree, it can’t be solved by earning more money. But to say that there has been a decline, I disagree. Rapes have been going on for countless centuries, it’s just that we are hearing about it now.

      And regarding corruption it comes because of our rampant socialist tendencies. Politicians etc. are corrupt because like every individual , they look for their own benefit first. They merely pretend to be altruistic. But don’t we all? Do we treat the homeless child on the street with the same love and devotion like our own child?

      Why is it that Hong Kong has such an amazing society and high moral standards whereas mainland China is full of corruption? It comes as a result of the way their societies are organized.

  5. Bnasi Dhameja

    @Raj: I fully agree to your views QUOTE I would argue that this free-enterprise-capitalist drive to earn money and improve ones quality of life is our strongest weapon to ensure that we live in a peaceful and equitable society. Remove the rampant protectionism and socialism , remove the vast powers of the politicians and bureaucrats . And private citizens will demand the highest-quality of policing and justice that their taxes can buy because then joining the Govt. service isn’t going to give you special protection against the vagaries of life, nor the powers to rule others. UNQUOTE
    But the issue is : IS POVERTY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CRIMES? WHY THE RICH ARE CORRUPT? WHY DO WE FIND CORRUPTION AT ALL LEVELS IN OUR SOCIETY? DOES THE CRIME DIMINISH WITH IMPROVEMENT IN QUALITY OF LIFE?
    From me the answer is NO. I believe it is the character of a person which determines what one will do under what circumstances. You will agree that a person with strong morality will prefer to starve rather than steel. What is that drives persons at the highest levels indulging in corruption bringing shame to our country. Is it the life of affluence that they already lead responsible for their actions?
    I would simply request all to look within and search for an answer.

    रोता है दिल सुबह सुबह अख़बार पड़ कर….bansi

    हर रोज़ रोता है दिल सुबह सुबह अख़बार पड़ कर
    कुच्छ नेताओं के और जनता के कुकर्म की दास्तान पड़ कर
    कब तक यह दिल का दर्द सहना पड़ेगा हम सब को
    नेताओ कुच्छ तो करो करता हूँ इलतजा हाथ जोड़ कर

    अंधेर्गर्दी देश में बड़ रही है रफ़्तार पकड़ कर
    क़ानून तोड़ रहे हैं सब नेता और जनता मिलकर
    लगने लगा है ज़रूरत नहीं रहने की क़ानून से डर कर
    कब तक सज़ा देने वाले बैठे रहेंगे हाथ बाँध कर

    अंधेर्गर्दी हमारे देश में हो रही है बड़ चड़ कर
    ‘बंसी’ थक गया है किया करूँ कैसे करूँ यह सोच कर
    सुना है भगवान के घर देर है पर अंधेर नहीँ हैं
    सिर्फ़ तेरा ही सहारा है भगवान अब तो तू ही कुच्छ कर
    बंसी(मधुर)

    Har roz rota hai dil subah subah akhbaar pad kar
    Kuchh netaon ke aur janta ke kukarm ki dastaan pad kar
    Kab tak yeh dil ka dard sahna padega ham sab ko
    Netao kuchh to karo karta hoon iltja haath jod kar

    Andhergardi desh men bad rahi hai raftar pakad kar
    Kanoon tod rahe hain sab neta aur janta milkar
    Lagne laga hai zaroorat nahin rahne ki kanoon se dar kar
    Kab tak saza dene wale baithe rahenge haath baandh kar

    Andhergardi hamare desh men ho rahee hai bad chad kar
    ‘bansi’ thak gaya hai kiya karoon kaise karoon yeh soch kar
    Suna hai bhagwan ke ghar der hai par andher nahin hain
    Sirf tera hi sahara hai bhagwan ab to tu hi kuchh kar
    bansi(madhur)

  6. bansi dhameja

    Raj@ You yourself have said QUOTE Hong Kong has such an amazing society and high moral standards whereas mainland China is full of corruption? It comes as a result of the way their societies are organized.UNQUOTE. i humbly say that we have to change our values.

    This has itself explained that society achieve high moral standards as a result of the way they organize them selves.This is exactly I wanted to convey. We have to organize so that we are able to achieve our target.
    THE TOP HAS TO THEIR PART AND THE . REST WILL FOLLOW BUT IT IS PITIABLE SITUATION THAT THERE IS A THE PROBLEM IS WITH THE TOP.
    RICHER THE PEOPLE MORE THE CORRUPT, HIGHER THE LEVEL MORE THE CORRUPTION.
    Where was the need for the highly paid cricketer to indulge in what we are hearing today. Where was the need for rail gate,. coal gate, …. .There is a long list.
    When I was in school I learnt
    WHEN MONY IS LOST NOTHING IS LOST
    WHEN HEALTH IS LOOST SOME THING IS LOST
    WHEN CHARACTER IS LOST EVERY THING IS LOST
    But what is today
    WHEN CHARACTER IS LOST NOTHING IS LOST
    WHEN HEALTH IS LOST SOME THING IS LOST
    WHEN WEALTH IS LOST EVERY THING IS LOST
    There is terrible decline in the way we have started thinking and that is the rot cause of all problems. Please think if we can contribute to make our society morally strong.

  7. Raj

    I’m not against what you are saying. I’m just saying that moral values can’t be taught through books. You need to have a societal structure that allows for such morals to flourish.
    I quoted Hong Kong and China because they both are essentially the same people with the same history. What is different is the fact that Hong Kong has a very different economic and social system than China.
    You may say that Hong Kong has very moral and uncorrupt bureaucracy but China has a bad one. But the truth is that Hong Kong hardly has any bureaucracy which eliminates the chance for corruption to grow.
    I disagree that richer the people, more the corrupt.
    Earning money by providing a long term sustainable need of the people is in my opinion the greatest moral good. What is money? It is the nectar of your value to the society. It is a vote to what you do. It is a sign that somebody out there wants what you do and is ready to exchange it with the nectar of his labour. It is a voluntary exchange by which both parties leave satisfied

    But what do politicians and robbers do? They take your money through deception and force which is not a mutual respect for each other’s effort. That is why free enterprise capitalism must be allowed to flow, becuase that is one of the most moral ways for the society to progress

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