What happened in Bangalore in not confined to Bangalore only, it happens all over the country. The same horrific incident took place on the night of 31st in Nainital where locals of Haldwani went out of control and started groping and touching women inappropriately, it also happened in Hauz Khas Village on the night of Christmas when a group of guys started groping and molesting two foreigners and this list goes on and on. Who’s fault was it anyway?
When a lawmaker says it was the fault of short dresses there is a problem, when a cleric says it was due to girls character there is a problem, when a movie shows a man touching a woman inappropriately and portrays it as an act of naughtiness there is a problem, when men are triggered by mere short dresses and high heels there is a problem and when a society considers anything less than rape as a trivial issue then there is a problem.
The patriarchal Indian society has always felt that men have a dominion over a woman’s body moreover, over the years a big section of society has objectified women to their sexual body parts. This section of society comprises mostly of uneducated and ill-educated people but shockingly at the same time well-educated people also form a good chunk of this section.
This section portrays women as an object which was made to please men, not only they would take pride in groping and molesting but later on when they share these stories they are projected as the real winners. This mentality generally begins to take shape in the early adolescence age when our society ignores such acts as boys are bound to do such things while girls are told to keep a distance from such guys and precautioned to avoid the places where these guys are found. Not only this encourages this mentality but also discourages a girl to fight against this mentality.
For a long time westernisation has been debated as a cause of an increase in sex crimes in India. Over the years our politicians have been blaming westernisation for the rise in rape incidents and it could have been held true in remote areas which are cut off from the real world but in these areas the victims of sexual assaults are generally properly dressed. In major cities again this could be considered as a factor for a rise in such incidents only if we were still living in 1970s but in the twentieth century with widespread westernisation, this factor cannot be considered as a cause of excitation for men.
The root of this problem lies in molestation unlike rape not being regarded as a matter of grave concern as in remote areas, a case of molestation if reported is not considered important enough to be registered, patriarchy, sometimes it being termed as a women’s fault, the silence of women and also selective outrage of media and feminists over these issues.
With the current social mindset, there is no immediate solution to this problem but one can start with toughening of laws, putting a tab on lawmakers terming this as a girl’s fault as such statements encourage these activities and strict actions against policemen who deny registration of an F.I.R in such matters.
In the long run, values related to respect towards women should be taught at a very young age, the women in the family should let them know how bad it feels to be sexually harassed and in the meantime we all should move from ‘someone should do something’ to bringing a change individually.