on 16 December 2012, five years ago, the entire nation was shocked at the gruesome gangrape and murder case. Nationwide protests were organised demanding capital punishment for the rapists and led to the formation of new laws on crimes against women in the country.
Five years later, there are still some questions that need to be answered.
Have we not learnt anything from the Nirbhaya case that took place five years ago in Delhi? Have we not learnt our lessons? Are women still this desperately unsafe in all of our cities? Would there ever be an end to such horrendous crimes against women? Please look into the matter and come up with laws that serve quick justice to and stringent punishment. Roads are still unlit, transport still risky. Nirbhaya fund is still unutilized. Is beti ki safety not a priority? Women still feel at risk. Are Neta’s promises only on paper? 5 years on and no lessons learnt. Have things changed in terms of safety for women? After the five years of Nirbhaya gang-rape case, India is still struggling to save its daughters.
Five years have passed but the question still being asked is if the country is any safer for its women. Asha Devi, mother of Nirbhaya said to Outlook, “Even after five years, her (Nirbhaya) culprits are alive. If justice isn’t served on time, people cease to be scared of law. A strong law needs to be formulated and mindset of everyone, be it a politician or a common man, needs to be changed.”
It is very true that women in India are given a place of Goddess Lakshmi in the Indian society. However, we also cannot ignore the negative aspect of women position in India. Every day and every minute some women from all walks of life are getting harassed, molested, assaulted, and violated at various places all over the country. It is true that women in modern India are joining high offices (President, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Union Ministers, Leader of Opposition, Chief Minister, Governor, etc), however, on the back of curtain, they are being exploited too.
According to the Constitution of India, they have equal rights of dignity, equality, and freedom from gender discrimination. Indian women are continuously facing numerous problems such as sexual harassment, violent victimization through rape, acid attack, dowry deaths, forced prostitution, and many more. Women are still being raped by a family member, beaten by husbands or parents-in-law, burned for dowry, and so many cases.
Nirbhaya gang-rape in the national capital of India was a dreadful event which can never be forgotten. Women make up almost half of the country’s population, so they are half participants in the growth and development of India. We are running in the 21st century, an advanced era, however, it is very shameful to say about the doubtful safety of woman in India. One of the main reasons of violence against women is the mentality which deems women inferior of men and merely limits their importance to the maintenance of the household, the upbringing of children and pleasing their husbands and serving other members of the family.
Crime against women has been on increase. It has existed in the past in almost all countries, regions, cultures and communities. The crime has much to do with the existing low status of women prevalent in our society. The violence is at various levels. It is physical, mental, emotional, domestic and public. They are the most oppressed, subjugated section of society. Though various measures for education, economic independence have been taken, they are far from improving their status which directly or indirectly helps in increasing crime against women.
According to a report published in Hindustan Times (March, 2017) as per the data from National Crime Records Bureau, the crime rate against women rose from 41.7% to 53.9%, between 2011 and 2015. Up to 3,27,394 cases were reported in 2015 alone, including 34,651 cases of rape, 4,437 cases of attempted rape, 59,277 kidnapping and abductions, 7,634 dowry deaths, and a whopping 1,13,403 cases of domestic cruelty, among others. Unfortunately, ‘reported’ is the key word here, given that a majority of crimes against women remains unregistered, even in 2017. Therefore, as upsetting as these numbers may seem, they barely paint the whole picture.
In the conclusion note, I would just like to add that violence against women will stop if we start right from the grass root level! I think the major problems lies with the issues we choose to address and the amount of importance it deserves. Everyone is always talking about rape more openly when compared to others. Some issues like marital rape, domestic violence go unnoticed or are brushed under the carpet or at least are not given the kind of importance it actually deserves. This is also important to put that till and until women start viewing themselves as strong persons, crimes won’t stop. Women must try to be independent in every sense. Education alone won’t help.