Last two months have been full of news makers in India and abroad. India’s projected growth rate was updated to near around 6-7% by IMF and World Bank for Fiscal year 2015-2016 and could possibly outreach China in a couple of years. Indian cricket team’s winning spree continued for seventh consecutive match in ongoing Cricket World Cup. PM Modi’s four day visit to three island nations (Seychelles-Mauritius-Sri Lanka) underscored and put forth Government of India’s ‘Indian Ocean Diplomacy’. Also, tiger population in India increased by 30% to 2226 in last four years. Supreme Court cancelled the Union Governments 2013 decision of including Jat community in OBC category.
Amidst all these ‘macro’ news makers there were some ‘micro’ personalities who could not make up to hard news in national dailies. Saina Nehwal became the first Indian to qualify for All England Open Badminton Championship final. Women Indian Hockey Team won Hockey World League Round 2. Youngest Indian cabinet minister Smriti Irani was selected as Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum. Let us flip the coin now. A 70 year old nun was gang raped in Nadia, West Bengal; a state which is presumed to be a matriarchal state. A 26 year old law student was allegedly raped by her live-in partner in basement in a mall in Delhi-NCR region. In February, a 28 years old mentally challenged girl from Nepal was brutally gang raped in Rohtak, Haryana. Brutality met to the victim outcast Nirbhaya case as per Dr S K Dhatterwal who supervised her autopsy. Last week, entire nation was debating whether the BBC Storyville Documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ should be allowed to release or not. In 16 hours of his interview he had no sign of remorse or an ounce of guilt. As per a report published by BBC News Magazine on 3rd March 2015 he said :
“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good. When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit the boy,the death penalty will make things even more dangerous for girls. Now when they rape, they won’t leave the girl like we did. They will kill her. Before, they would rape and say, ‘Leave her, she won’t tell anyone.’ Now when they rape, especially the criminal types, they will just kill the girl.”
The documentary debate shifted focus from the prime issue whether the reformative justice approach has served the end well to control, if not eliminate, the increasing crime rate in the society or we should revert back to retributive justice or we should look for some alternative measure to inculcate justiciable balance. As Immanuel Kant rightly put forward, ‘it is better that one man should die than that the whole people should perish.’ If justice and righteousness is out of picture then human life would no longer hold any value in the world.
Adding a feather more to his cap of him being shameless, veteran MP Sharad Yadav was at his chauvinistic best when he remarked over women complexion during a debate on Insurance Bill on Friday. “The body of women from south is as good as beautiful they are. They (women) in our region are not that good as those (in south) know dancing“, he said. The statement reflects the true colour of our thick skinned parliamentarians.
Enough said and debated. Every day real issues are left behind with some news anchor screaming and venturing to mark its TRP rating. No country can aspire to be a super power if it can not secure the dignity and lives of its women subjects. Before striving for the possibility of life on Moon or Mars we need to ensure the safety of lives of people around us. Before exporting warships to neighbouring countries we need to defend the person and property of our citizens. We might have soaring stock markets, good, but we gave soaring crime rates against women as well.
With the government’s decision to formulate new National Education Policy there has been increase in demand to include ‘sex education’ as a part of students curriculum. Also, a mammoth exercise of gender sensatisation needs to be undertaken by the government with the help of civil society as it did to eradicate polio to ensure zero crime rate against women. National level debates, seminars, conferences and awareness campaigns must be conducted to instil sense of responsibility and respect for the opposite gender amongst the masses.
Every Laxmi and Suzette Jordan needs to come forward and fight for themselves. Fighting as an ‘acid attack/rape victim’ will only serve the perpetrator’s purpose of clipping your freedom wings. “For almost a year, I chose anonymity. I felt that it would be my security. But then I realised that hiding is not the solution. People who can harm me the most, the perpetrators and their families, know my identity,” said Park Street rape survivor Suzette Jordan. You can be a ray of hope and a sense of inspiration in the country where very often we come across when morality of rape survivors are questioned. We need to question ourselves, why does a woman has to pay price of other’s crime?