Six years have passed since the brutal Nirbhaya gang rape which shook the entire country. Reports state that rape cases have rapidly increased in subsequent years after that incident. About 42,000 rape cases were reported in 2016 in major cities of India while 40% of them occurred in Delhi. Adding to it, conviction rates where just 19% of reported cases. We are about to enter 2019 but can we promise that there won’t be any more Nirbhayas?
Why, despite achieving such great heights, we still can’t promise women, their safety? Is it because of short clothes they wear, or is it because they travel alone or because they travel at night, or because they can’t defend themselves or because of the delay in conviction, or is it because of the quiet penalty imposed by courts, or because of the unemployment among youth, is it because of the lack of sex education in our education system or is it because of underprivileged areas in our country, or is it because we shut our mouth when an incident like that occurs? Reports state that most rape cases are committed by the youth. My instincts, based on experience and incidents, say that unemployment, lack of sex education in our education system, poor policies of government regarding the safety of women, slow conviction by courts and the incapacity of some women to be able to physically defend themselves are some of the main reason of rising rape cases in India.
After many incidents of child rape, heart-wrenching scenarios, and many protests, the government sanctioned the law on death penalty for child rapists. The 16th December gangrape case brought many changes in bus services. Many steps are taken to increase women participation in basic occupations like drivers, hawkers etc. Despite those steps, rape cases still hiked making India the most dangerous country for women leaving behind Syria and Afghanistan.
As citizens of India, we are all responsible for women’s safety. Women should also be well equipped for their own defence, something as basic as carrying a pepper spray might help. No one should defend or help a criminal hide because “it could be your daughter/wife who might face the crime next”. Constantly keep talking to youngsters, counsel them, especially if there are unemployed and are seemingly frustrated in their life.
The government has to play a crucial role in the safety of women. Firstly, sex education must be an integral part of our education system. It must be implemented from 7th class in all boards. As for the youth, counselling must be done especially for the unemployed so as to curb the budding satanic thoughts and show them the true meaning of importance of life. Some defence training centre could be opened, especially in areas where crimes against women recur frequently. Pepper spray must be made available for women free of cost. Strong policies for women’s safety is the need of the hour. Fast-track trials must be made more effective and pleading of their cases must be only on strong evidence basis or if the convict disagrees to accept the imposition on him. Court proceeding must go on in full pace and on rape cases should not go beyond 2 years. Unemployment must be tackled at the earliest. FIRs must be filed both offline and online.