The Need For Proactive Outlook For A Safer India

Posted by Pavan Tarawade
January 7, 2017

We almost have a routine reaction to incidents of rape or molestation. It is fine to express our emotions of anger, disgust, empathy, and frustration at the repetition of such events. But these reactions hardly help prevent or tackle future incidences.

Namely, we see the following reactions whenever such unfortunate events take place.

Blaming the survivor for their choice of clothing makes absolutely no sense because the survivors could be wearing anything, from a short skirt to a winter coat.

Western influence is blamed and is another routine reaction to incidents of rape and molestation. Alcohol certainly needs to be consumed responsibly by men and women both. But simply blaming the survivors for having consumed alcohol is uncalled for. Perverted men attack anyone in their sight.

Male bashing by pseudo-feminists on blogs: No. Most men on your friend’s list, I think, must be equally angered or moved by the incidence as much as you are. Ask them to be brave and stand up for what’s wrong instead of engaging in futile gender wars.

Blame game: There are people who bring politics into the discussion, and say that it is simply because a particular government is in power in the respective state/locality.

Seriously?

Enough of gyaan. What could we really do about taking control of the situation? Our country is currently divided into two contrasting mentalities. One small section of the society is educated, open-minded, which is learning to treat women equally. Then there is a much larger population which is not yet familiar/fine with women being empowered. This section does not read or follow or understand such Facebook posts or movies such as Pink. These people do not accept women who work till late, who wear the clothes they feel comfortable in, women who consume alcohol, women who consider themselves equal to their men counterparts.

Our long-term goal certainly revolves around educating the men of this country about respecting women and their freedom. This goal will require the strict planning and execution of government policies, education reforms, and several social groups to bring about this change slowly and steadily. Sadly, this change will take years to happen.

Therefore, I believe our immediate attention should be on the short-term goal of minimising such episodes. ‘How’ is the big question.

I believe all of us need to come together and scratch our heads to come up with effective solutions.

Few things that I feel are an imperative right now –

  • The better-trained staff at police stations to address cases of molestation or rape. The survivors are often made to answer/face embarrassing questions post the incidence which adds to the trauma.
  • The use of pepper spray, stun gun, etc. Pepper sprays are easy to obtain and use and are a must for women who travel during late hours. Stun guns are illegal and can’t be used by civilians and probably rightly so. Maybe we can think of an alternative to stun guns which are user-friendly and can be used quickly.
  • Clichéd it may be but women, do ask your male colleagues and friends to drop you or accompany you whenever possible.
  • Men. Let us grow a pair of bravery and stand up against the sick elements of the society. Let’s use our presence of mind and call for help if the attackers cannot be tackled alone.
  • Learn to accept women as your equals and make sure your friends and colleagues do too.
  • Men or women. Control your liquor consumption. Drink responsibly so that no one can treat you in a way you wouldn’t be comfortable with.
  • Could we have one uniform mobile app that lets us mark the places or areas as safe/unsafe based on our personal experience? Let’s review the places before we travel, the way we review restaurants. There are so many genius minds in our country who could think of creative ways to ensure safety.
  • We need to exert more and more pressure on the government to enforce strict laws for punishment (no, let us not go berserk and say let’s castrate people. Law is a complicated procedure which can be improved, and we are not a middle-eastern country).

Does this help? I do not know. But I certainly wish to do my part that makes the difference. If you have a better idea, we can certainly come together and attempt to execute it. I am willing to be corrected. I am willing to learn and hear you out. But let us not engage in endless debates which lead us nowhere apart from giving us a false sense of victory or intelligence. Let us fight together. For real.

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