I am not a female chauvinist; that does not come from within. I am a humanitarian. Recent rape cases involving minor in Delhi; gang rape cases in one of the most popular work zones in Mumbai and many more gruesome piece of news you get to hear often enough, shocks the human in me. I would not call the rapists, men; men are inclusive of our doting fathers and brothers who we can rely on. Farhan Akhtar, a sentient renowned Indian actor, recently launched this very apt project where he defined MARD well enough, ‘Men Against Rape and Discrimination’. Rapists are not Men, they should be labelled as ‘Inhumans’.
I deem these horror episodes have been featuring in our society since women have been in existence. I prefer to suppose that the media is prompt now-a-days and provokes the common man by bringing out such issues to light, calling for justice. Rapes have always been on the radar, but the panic buttons have not been hit in our country yet for the disadvantaged women. They face societal exclusion, soul selling trafficking, constrained mobility, premature marriages and denial of civil rights.
To expect a major change, primary changes must be first put into practice in several downtrodden orthodox pockets in the countless regions of our motherland. In terms of law, we do have a remarkable Constitution, but we require critical amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure that will trim down the time and pride munched through trials. Fast track courts for sexual assault cases, unforgiving reprimands and grave police reforms can truly repair the oath to women safety. These are feasible, and all are equally indispensable as any other civil right. Any amendment can fundamentally set in motion from any home, whether of a rich or poor, where a parent educates his or her son about the honor of gender equality and rule of law.
We should muse at women empowerment, not men “over-powerment”. The whole poise of concern goes astray when the undertone is aggression regarding gender equality. Let us forget being equal to anyone and fight for individualism. This will be a move towards revamping the look of our country. As modernization progresses and civilization renovates itself, women seek independence; but with an ‘evil eye’! It is frightening to accept that the working class women are now preys of the monstrous redundant hawks in the urban areas of our country. “We never used to see so many cases of gang rape, and so many involving groups of young, unemployed men,” said Supreme Court lawyer Kirti Singh, who specializes in women empowerment issues.
I want to highlight that having settled in Mumbai for nearly 6 years, as much as I find the recent mishaps here heart-rending, I believe the police are not all that blameworthy. Mumbai has one of the most preeminent police services I have seen across the warp and weft of our country. One must learn to help oneself foremost. To emphasize on that, a pack of counsel for ladies of today: Keep a ‘friend in need is a friend in deed’ person on speed dial, a pepper spray or its equivalent should be living in your handbag, refrain from snuggling with your male friends at shady places, an abusive spat with a unpredictable colleague can be easily avoided (self-respect is not in proving yourself right but proving your silence worth it), make sure of a safe way back home after party time, do not visit or take loner walks at marooned sites, and last but not the least, please scream if you’re caught in a dark situation, you never know who will hear you and be a savior.