India is also known as the land of Gods and Goddesses. India is the land where a girl is considered “Devi” or goddess and worshipped. India is the land where mother is called “Mata”. India is where Kaali Maa, Vaishno Devi and Katra Devi are considered the holiest shrines. India is where even cows are worshipped and considered holy. India is where certain trees and rivers (with feminine names) are worshipped.
Now, let’s see the other side of the story. India in today’s time is a country where a girl is not safe at home, at office, in school, in relative’s place, in friend’s house, in public place or any such public institution. No matter how one is dressed, the fact that she is a girl becomes a reason enough to lure some eyes towards her who scan through her clothes. No matter what her age is, she is often stalked, teased, assaulted, and being commented upon. No matter what her class, caste, or color is like, she is brutally raped, murdered and silenced to death. If not murdered, she is a subject to brutal domestic violence, sexual assaults, and is living a life worse than death.
But why? Why in a country like India, which itself is an embodiment of women’s power by its name “BHARAT MATA” are women considered a mere object? Why is that even after one year of Nirbhaya’s death the numbers of rape cases have not decreased? Why does women seems an open invitation for a man to exploit her? Why women are not yet safe?
According to National Crime Report Board of India, the numbers of filed cases against women were more than 50,000. And the number is just a report of the total number of cases filed and does not include the crimes which are done inside the house or are never reported. The number of rape cases in India in 2012 was reported to be around 24.2%. What is more disheartening is the fact that marital rape which is quite common practice in many parts of India is not a part of this rape conviction rate report. Not only rape, but kidnapping, molestation, eve-teasing, stalking, cruelty towards women, assaults, gender biases, dowry deaths, infanticide, feticide,driven to suicide for some petty issues are all common crime against women in India.
As a woman, it is quite sad to mention about all the recent rape cases including the rape of a six-year old girl in her school. Such news is so disturbing that many of us avoid them. Many of us read them with quite keen interest, discuss about them in public and social circles, update on social media sites and attend the protests as well. Many people are also silent listeners and are pretending not to care what goes around them because that isn’t their ‘personal matter’. If you are one of the many people who feel the tragic pain and are determined to do something about it then what change have you brought recently? How many of us are actually doing something for the cause?
The bitter truth is that because such demonic violence against women is getting more common, the reactions of people are also becoming quite less-responsive. With time we are slowly accepting the truth that here women are not safe. We are asking our women-daughters, mothers, wives, sisters-to dress properly, be cautious, step out of the house as less as possible, do not drink or party, do not trust strangers, do not travel alone at night and the like. We are quite forgetting that these precautions sometimes become useless as dust when a sick mind decides to harass a woman. He does not care for money, nature, clothes or her background, all he knows is to satisfy his urge by killing her personality.
We Indians need to understand that a woman/girl is an individual and she too has equal rights as that of man. In the twenty-first century, she does possess an equal right to education, jobs, status and everything she wishes to achieve. Women are not a weaker sex to be tamed and controlled by men. Women today are strong to stand up on their own and history is a proof of such legendary women. A woman has a right to dress in whatever way she wants to, and make a decision of whatever way of life she wants for her. No sex or government or institution can force or pin her down because she is a woman.
It is time to realize that the cause of rape is not a woman’s dressing/behavior/or any such thing. But the sole responsibility of crime lies upon the criminal, the assaulter, the rapist. Society needs to change itself and not to change how women should dress-up like or behave like. Instead of teaching girls/women how to behave it is better to teach the men not to peek over a girl’s dress, not to follow her, not to stalk her, not to assault her, not to touch her inappropriately, not to insult her, not to hit her, not to rape her. Every body possesses a beautiful soul and nobody has a right to hurt that soul or to even hurt the body. A female should not be considered a weaker gender. She is the giver of life (Mother) and men do not have a right to take her life.
Crimes against women can never stop until and unless we keep finding the fault of the victim. The equation of a crime is clear-cut. The aggressor or the criminal is the one who needs to be punishes as severely as possible. No rape victim should suffer a shameful life. No women should entertain physical, psychological or social violence. No women should keep quite if teased or stalked. No women should be patient to suffer the beatings of her oppressor. Fight back! Use all your strength and show it to men that you too have a right to live!
Let not India outnumber other nations in such a heinous crime as rape or crimes against women. A nation can never prosper without women like a house which cannot prosper without a house maker. Realize your worth and correct the men and their sad mentality instead of pointing at women.
Make India a safer place for women. If you can worship a cow then you ought to worship women who are the reason of your life. Women have to become strong and protest against these evils. Shout aloud and do not suffer silently. Fight for the justice because you are worth it. You are not a “thing” but an individual – never forget your individuality.
Women have got to make the world safe for men since men have made it so darned unsafe for women.” ― Nancy Astor the Viscountess Astor
[author image=”http://www.aapkatimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Jaskiran.jpg” ]I am Jaskiran Kaur student of Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi, pursuing B.A Hons in English.Working as Campus Reporter at Aapka Times[/author]
Jaskiran Kaur is student of Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi, pursuing B.A Hons in English.