In India rape is always a common incident courtesy the strong feudal grip on our society…But this crime was different as it was simply horrendous!!
The whole world was shocked and the nation was severely jolted seeing the brutality and viciousness of the assault! There was an explosion of unparalleled remonstrations in the entire nation. People crossed all the barriers of cast creed religion or other differential issues and straight away walked the streets demanding justice for all those who suffered such cruelty and asking stoutly for the end of such crime.
For India in general and women in particular it was really like a moment that could make a paradigm shift in terms of dignity, respect and security of women that they absolutely deserve.
But asking for dignity, respect and security of women…was it simply a day dream? I mean has anything really changed after the above monstrous episode that happened last year...let’s have a reality check.
Unfortunately, the legitimate dream for a safe haven is still a distance phenomenon for every woman as the reality speaks a different story. While going through a Times of India poll which asked, “A year after the horrific Nirbhaya's gang-rape, are our cities any safer for women?
I was not surprised to see that only 5% out of 2000+ people voted YES because that is the truth...I feel.
I admit that now law has been very stringent recommended by Justice Verma Committee following the Nirbhaya’s gang rape that had shaken the nation last year that empowered some woman to report the sexual assaults, which is a good news.
But has it been able to rub of completely the stigma attached with rape and other sexual assaults that often discourage girls in particular and families in general to report the cases across the country?...a spontaneous NO!
Even if reporting and registering of complaints has been increased and there has been much openness noticed among women so far as sexual assault cases are concerned but can we say there has been a significant change in the attitude of the entire society towards the victims other than a small section of people of it?...again a BIG NO!
There has been a notable strong media reporting on sexual assault cases whether it is mainstream TV or front page of print media unlike earlier days post Nirbhaya episode. But again there has been much biassedness in media highlighting cases as only those cases get the limelight where either a high profile person is attached or a big city name is connected with it.
What about those women either living in the remote areas of the country or do not connected with any high profile person or a big city name, that gets routinely violated but never attracted media’s attention?
Isn’t their hope of getting justice appearing awfully miserable as they fail to catch media attention?
Well we have now fast track courts to accelerate the pace of rape trial hearings but isn’t it wrong assuming that faster judgements meant more convictions?
In last few months we saw how Tejpal or Asaram were sent behind bars and Justice Ganguly is still facing problems due to the reporting of the sexual assaults by the victims. But can we deny that these cases have again given rise to some new sets of misogynistic attitudes in the form of fear psychosis among male community?
Now we have new sets of advocates who are firmly asserting that women are misusing the law and falsely defaming the men. But if they can give a bigger percentage of it...I doubt.
I can say that in every house hold in India there must be at least one woman who have faced with assault in some form or other...can anybody deny this??
I saw Nirbhaya’s Father saying, “Kanoon badle hain, Halaat nahin” during a TV report. I think he is very much right.
In the night still we can find perpetrators heavily drunk roaming in search of a prey knowing that women these days are bound to work long and get late to homes. Can we say that the relatives of a working lady are not looking at the doors after the evening, desperately expecting her early arrival at home?
Still in work places either the hunter will be in the form of a boss or a jealous colleague who if caught then can smartly put counter charges that they are subjected to false defamation because of an undue demand by the victim.
Even if there is a genuine case people still are not hesitant to ruthlessly blame the victim and doubt her intent.
Even ask the mother of a school going girl who has just sent her daughter in the bus...she must be praying to the God for the safe return of her baby…..we cannot ignore such realities!!
Then how can we say that much has been changed??
I admit that some sections of the society have changed for sure as they are now realizing the real threat of these problems in the society. But what about the rest of those people who still are living with traditional and feudal mindsets?
No society can run without woman. So when her security and safety is a big concern how can there will be so much fuss?
If something has changed then it is only that more women are coming up to break their silence and voicing against the violence they faced and registering their complains backed by tough laws unlike earlier days that was limited to feminists and activists...but can we deny that still it is not enough and they have a long way to go?
Point is very clear. In short the patriarchal mindset still strongly prevails in the society. Boys are more valued than girls. There are so many unquestionable realities that strongly affirms that still it is not easy for women and her nears and dears to fight for justice and eventually get the justice...isn’t it???
Unless and until the perpetrators of such crimes are not stringently punished I feel nothing can play a strong deterrent to such heinous crimes. But coming to the point, undoubtedly Nirbhaya episode has definitely initiated a change which is yet to catch a pace...I feel.