So, let me see if I understand this. Women are molested, raped, disfigured and killed on a daily basis in this country- and all that a senior leader of a party can say, is that women should stay indoors. The sad truth is that we’ve heard this before, so the words come as no surprise. Azam Khan has said exactly this in response to yet another case of molestation in UP, the video of which has been doing the rounds on social media. In the video, men are seen harassing and molesting women. The response – “women, stay indoors”. So, yes, that’ll solve the problem. No calls for swift punitive action or better enforcement of the law – that does not seem to be an option. What is needed, it seems, is to tell the women that they are really bringing this upon themselves.
As long as people like Azam Khan believe the problem lies with the women, there isn’t much hope for women’s safety in this country. Sure, you could argue that he’s an outlier, (which disturbing he’s not, because he’s not alone in thinking this way), and that other leaders have not echoed his thoughts. That may be true, but it does not take away from the fact that despite gruesome violence against women, nothing is being done to stop the violence (we don’t count lip-service or some perfunctory FIRs as action).
Yogi Adityanath made a big deal about women’s safety by unleashing anti-romeo squads, but that mostly ended up with the harassment of couples rather than any safety for women. We don’t need these squads – we need the culprits to be booked and punished – we need swift action which proves that there’s a zero-tolerance approach to violence against women. Why is this so hard to do? Why can’t the police be pulled up? In the recent molestation case, the men can be seen clearly – they are brazenly molesting these women, and such nauseating brazenness comes from a belief that they are above the law, that no matter what they do, they will get away. If they had seen earlier culprits being punished severely and in time, they would not act in this manner. Sure, there have been arrests, but will that be enough to deter other men? The truth is that these men will be released soon, they’ll probably threaten the women again – this is tokenism which will not send the message needed today.
Why can’t Yogi Adityanath, who must have surely seen the video, or other senior leaders, take the matter into their own hands and make sure those men are punished in way that sets an example for others – not just a wrap on the back with a few days in custody (though they should definitely not be allowed to roam free), but these men should be photographed, their pictures should be published in papers, posted in all public places, they should be publicly humiliated as well as punished. Moreover, they should not be released in a hurry – and after they have served their sentence, they should be made to report to police stations, wherever they go, the people of that area must be made aware of their presence – their sentence muse be extended beyond the prison term – this is the message that needs to be sent – that if you commit a crime, you will face the consequences for a long time t come.
Also, it is well known that many of these men are repeat offenders – why don’t we have a
national registry of sex offenders yet, despite fervent calls for the same. This is a critical piece which will be a big step towards making the country safe for women. Why is this not being done on a priority basis?
When will things change? How many women will it take? We need answers. Soemthing tells me it’ll be a long struggle before women are safe in this country.
Crabbymommy writes about the not-so-cute side of parenting. She like to say it as it is, which usually does not make her popular. She’s a writer, blogger and a works as a content head in a company . You can find more of her writings at mommyrage.com