Today, my mom has to think twice before sending me across the road at night just to get a packet of bread. I’m sure even she never imagined that it will be one of the biggest fears of her life to have a young daughter in this country.
Crime against women, be it rape, eve teasing, sexual harassment or domestic violence have become so frequent in every corner of our country, that it is routine to see the newspapers reporting such incidents almost daily. With the situation going from bad to worse our government has little to offer other than suggest banning of provocative movies and sexual innuendos ( however a few great MPs and god men like asaram bapu have their lowly and sexist opinions to offer too). Though admittedly I’m not a great fan of Honey Singh and his pathetic lyrics, I believe that it is not the sole reason for this growing shame. After all, such things are very dominant in the west but are not leading to such heinous crimes (not at this rate or of this magnitude at least).
After countless sessions of debates and discussions, people have come up with two conclusions – our Indian Culture and poverty. Since time unknown, boys have been preferred over girls. Maybe now I understand the reason behind this social stigma – a man could loose his lifetime worth of earnings just to get his daughter married owing to the hypocritical concept of dowry that still sadly exists in most modern societies of India. In a country where the birth of a boy is celebrated, plates are banged (maybe a form of music in old days) and festivities are held whereas the birth of a girl is mourned, a lot of boys grow up in an environment where doting mothers cover their short comings and mistakes (FACT) and young boys of fourteen are encouraged to drive around the place as if they own it. Many psychologists have concluded that this very attitude towards “boys” is one of the main reasons that a lot of young men (especially from influential backgrounds) believe that they can get away with anything. This was aptly shown in the movie “No one killed Jessica” where the typical traditional mother of the murderer just blindly insists on the release of her son at all costs, with not even an ounce of regret or shame, completely oblivious to his deed.
Poverty has been cited as another reason. It obviously leads to lack of education amongst a large portion of India’s youth population. With no other means for survival, many young ones often turn to crimes such as thieving, drug dealings and prostitution, winding themselves deeper and deeper into this dark, tangled, uncivilized world. Psychologists have argued that they have a built in frustration. Frustration of their birth, their miserable lives and un-fulfilled desires which often comes out on innocent, well off women belonging to a world completely different from theirs.
And of course, the court proceedings in our country are far from inducing a sense of fear in people. Any action against the criminals would be concluded long after their natural deaths or the case will simply be buried away with the files. It’s been months since the horrifying “Nirbhaya” gang rape case that made news across the world. While the horror of it all must be fresh in the minds of her relatives, people are already forgetting
about her sufferings and moving on with life with fewer and fewer reports about her each day. But I don’t blame them – there is no punishment yet (and unlikely to be in the future too). What is our Indian Law actually waiting for – more evidence that the bastards were actually the ones who tormented her? Even now that they have confessed to it? Oh no, we are too busy allowing them to take examinations while in jail, to suicide or else reducing the term of that barbaric juvenile! Why would anyone ever even think twice before committing such acts when they have such a shining example of the consequences in front of them?
Sometimes, I find myself wondering….is it all worth it? I mean living in this country in the name of patriotism and in the hope of improvement while at the same time fearing for our lives and integrity every single day. Are those who settle abroad traitors who have turned their backs on their country or are they simply in search of a better life?
What happened to us, that today parents send their children out into the world like they used to send young men to war.
– Nidhi Gupta