My favourite spot is my study chair (where I do anything but) while I play Pacman (Judgemental eyeroll duly noted). One such slouchy morning, I check my phone to see a “News Alert”. I downloaded the app to feel intellectual. Under normal circumstances I’d have ignored it, but this one managed to shock the living daylights out of me. “…40 year old pastor rapes 17 year old girl…”. Don’t even ask me to extrapolate on my reaction. Imagine being hit by a steel rod and simultaneously given a wedgie. Don’t imagine it. (Been there, done that, regretted it).
For a country with the most number of qualified women, we have a paltry rape justice rate of 24.21 percent. Not only is it dismal, but also regressive to us as a sensibility. What irks me further is the treatment dispatched towards these women after the crime. Rounds to the police, public statements, defamation by society, the scorn of employers affixed to the personal humiliation and dejection.
How many of you girls can look me in the eye and tell me you’ve never been stared at, in all the wrong ways, from all the wrong facets, by all the wrong men? The government has banned police from interrogating the victims. These interrogations were
borderline thoroughly embarrassing and were a means used by perverted officials to harass victims. Applicable from 1st March, only a statement to the magistrate is mandatory.
I blame the law though. Unless you create fear in the minds of law-breakers they aren’t going to stop doing it repeatedly. Take a cue from international governments and carry out judgement impromptu. Instead, our coveted rapists are fed Tandoori Chicken and Biryani every effin day. I wish some of the police’s clemency transferred to Mom. (What, I want a world where Biryani never ceases to end). I’ve jotted down a few things I think every Indian woman should keep in mind, while travelling alone. I’m not saying that women need to change. I strongly believe men are the cause and only men, but it isn’t in my capacity to educate them.
1. If you’re alone in a lift with an unknown man who tries making a pass at you, press all the buttons on the lift dashboard. This will cause the elevator to open frequently and he won’t dare to come near you.
2. While travelling by rickshaw, always take down the details and call someone you know (or even pretend to) and convey to them the information in a language the driver will understand. He will now consider it his duty to drop you off safely. The potential assailant becomes the protector.
3. Learn martial arts or any other form of self-defence. You could practise on your partners.
No seriously ladies, stop contemplating doing that.
4. Download the Siren app on your phones but don’t abuse it. Use it when required.
I’ve given up hop
e on my country’s law enforcement system. One has no choice when our ministers say horrendous things like “Women should not venture out with men who are not relatives”. Someone please tell Abu Azmi to shut up. We have to be the change we’ve been longing to see. Or atleast, try bringing about one. Relentlessly and unabatingly, keep at it.
The crime of defiling a woman is a harrowing, spine-chilling one and deserves no mercy. Not even a shred.
P.S.: Thank You for all the encouragement on the previous article, I’m grateful and overwhelmed. I’m not one to beg for shares and follows, but I feel this article needs that treatment. Please share it and spread the word. You’d be helping potential future victims.