The nationwide outrage over the assault and rape of a young woman in a moving bus made me feel a bit optimistic about the nation’s future. There are other such cases occurring all over the country and the law enforcement and the society at large seem to think that crime against women is not a serious crime and not worthy of strenuous investigation.
There several reasons for this. Most of them sociological. As long as society is patriarchal and women are treated as objects of sexual gratification for men designed by nature, instances of rape will continue whatever may be the deterrent punishment. Add to this attitude, rapid urbanization and influx of single young men to metropolitan areas in search of jobs, you have a tailor made situation of these instances to occur.
Will amendment to the laws help? The demand by the protesters that the crime of rape be punishable by death penalty is a deterrent/ will the assault on women come down? How about the law being misused? What will happen if a man is falsely accused? My personal view is that strict enforcement of law will only help to some extent. Real progress can only be achieved if we learn to treat women as fellow humans and parents bring up both boys and girls in the same manner
Coming to the role of women. What can they do apart from protesting? They should boycott and get their parents, boyfriends, brothers to protest against the electronic media and movies which exploit women and show them as sex objects to sell a commodity or a film. The songs and dance sequence in the so called item numbers are nothing but veiled pornography. They must also learn to dress decently. Liberalization and economic independence doesn’t mean that one goes around wearing next to nothing or wearing clothes designed to show explicitly one’s body contours.
Arvind Kejriwal has let loose the hidden resentment against the whole governmental hierarchy and the protests which one is seeing in this unprecedented scale is partly due to his activism.
I hope women will vote en masse for the Aam Aadmi party in the next elections