Today is 16 December. The same day last year, the world had come to a standstill, especially India with the horrific incident of 'Nirbhaya,' where the 23 year old girl was gang-raped in a moving bus. It shook India. The brutality of men had never been exposed so much until that ill-fated night of 16 December. It was a black day for India. Gradually, people came out on the streets with evident anger on their faces, taking part in protests and candle march all over the country.
There were talk about stricter laws against rape, molestation, stalking and voyeurism. Various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Indian Evidence Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act were amended, all thanks to the Nirbhaya case. The laws were modified to handle rape cases better. But, still it did not help to reduce rape cases in the country, and the toll is still on the rise.
According to the official police records the number of sexual harassment cases registered have gone up post - Nirbhaya incident, but on the contrary as well, women has become more courageous as they are coming out and talking about rape cases, sexual harassment they encountered.
Minister of State HRD and MP Shashi Tharoor tweet on Twitter read, “A year since Jyoti Singh, dubbed Nirbhaya, was raped, brutalised & murdered. Our national conscience stirred but has enough changed for women?”
Though, there were some positive signs as well. More measures were taken by police and the respective authorities. The government has become more alert post-Nirbhaya case. GPS has been enabled and CC cameras were installed in almost all public transportation and the frequency of public transport also increased.
This was an important decision taken by authorities, as the Nirbhaya case might not have taken place at all, had there been some autos in the bus stand to take her home that ill-fated night. The need of taking a private bus would not have come up.
In an major revelation AAP's Shazia Illmi tweeted criticising the government that the Nirbhaya's fund passed in the Lok Sabha by P. Chidambaram in the Union Budget as a tribute to the Delhi brave heart, has still not been touched. Shazia Illmi tweeted “Nirbhaya Fund is lying unused. Not a single step taken so far. Shameful.” The fund was announced by the centre with much fanfare in the Union Budget earlier this year. Another twitterati, well known Indian chef Sanjeev kapoor tweeted, “You've shook the collective conscience of this nation. Hope we have the courage to listen to our conscience.”
After the 'Nirbhaya' incident there has been a change in the behavior of the police against rape and molestation cases, as the police are keen in taking action against the offenders. Though they have put some effort in it, but it doesn't seem to affect the psychology of the rapist, who are on the prowl to hunt another victim. Even after the Nirbhaya case, rape cases does not cease to end.
The most important need of the hour is changing people's mentality. If this happens, may be women may feel secure to go anywhere, anytime.