On Tuesday, the Thomson Reuters Foundation declared India to be the most dangerous country for women. Like all times, the intolerance in our blood boiled to an extent that even the Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD) needed to react to it (on behalf of the Centre) to make up for the tarnished image of the country. I wonder what the hassle is all about, when it clearly concerns not the government but the ideology brewing in the nation.
The WCD says that the report isn’t accurate – and that the methodology isn’t right as it only considers the opinions of 548 experts on women’s issues. I wonder where this logic was, when, back in 2013, the same Reuters Foundation declared India to be the fourth-most unsafe country for women. Or were the blindfolds of politics too tight to open their eyes to the reality?
But I guess, back then, it was the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) who laid their claim on this information and used it, ostensibly, to bring down the UPA II government. Just as Rahul Gandhi tweeted his ‘not-so-concerned’ concern on Tuesday, five years back, it was our current PM Narendra Modi who stood on the other side of the fence expressing deep regret on the same issue.
While our PM tiptoes around his garden making Yoga videos, India leads Afghanistan, Syria & Saudi Arabia in rape & violence against women. What a shame for our country! https://t.co/Ba8ZiwC0ad
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 26, 2018
I wonder where this concern vanished when the ball lay in his court. While obsessing over ‘fake’ meet-ups and yoga sessions, why don’t the PM’s social media profiles speak much about the real issues? Moreover, going by the surveys, hasn’t the situation in India actually taken a turn for the worse under the BJP – from the fourth-lowest position to the absolute lowest?
However, I won’t say that the government alone is responsible, because I believe it’s the nation’s people who bring such depressing realities upon themselves. However, the kind of an ideologies brewing in our nation today is indeed a matter of serious concern.
On one hand, a ministry has declared that this survey hasn’t been conducted on appropriate/accurate parameters. On the other, the ministers of the party issue comments about rape like “This is a social crime which depends on men and women. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong.” And this isn’t just about one minister – a lot of them who have given controversial statements about rape and rapists. But none of them offer support to the women. Rather, they seek to justify this heinous act. Neither is it about one party. It’s about the nation I live in – and I am ashamed.
The government also seems to be encouraging the wrongdoers by not punishing or questioning them. Instead, they are silently watching these incidents and often ignoring these issues. It is this silence and ignorance that’s led to these statistics. So, why do we suddenly feel offended about it?
Recently, a columnist wrote against the government and how the Thomson Reuters Report is, in fact, an outcome of the ideology that women are to be seen as an object of pleasure. And yet, there’s no one to punish or stand up and say to those men that they are wrong. There were these ‘Bhakts’ who tried to highlight how Prerna Bakshi was wrong in her views on our country. But the way in which they tried to highlight this point made me wonder if they were really defending themselves or, ironically, proving the point made by the report. The language, pictures and thoughts directed to Prerna were not only absurd but also regressive and disgusting. Had I been in her shoes, I would’ve been compelled to take the post down. But then, the people wouldn’t have changed, and neither would the state of the country.
Prerna isn’t the only woman who has faced this for holding an opinion. In the past too, Gurmehar Kaur and a lot of women like her, who held strong opinions and voiced them (in an effort to be heard), have been trolled, called names and abused to an extent that it would be normal for them to not wish to walk out of their homes – forget being alone on the streets.
I am a girl living in Delhi in the 21st century. I am 19 years old – and yet my ‘curfew hour’ remains unchanged at 7 PM. I live in a country where ‘werewolves’ still hunt for prey, with no one to listen to your screams. Even though the report may not have been substantial with the appropriate evidences, yet there is no denying that the country is unsafe for women because they are still expected to dress and live right without ‘inviting’ danger. The greatest tragedy in all this is that the sons are not taught to think and behave right.
Representative image used for representative purposes only.