India, is our mother land. Our national song vocalizes it time and again, Vande Mataram, and look at the fate of our mothers, sisters, daughters and female friends. Each and every Indian should bow down their head in shame as they cannot deny the disgraceful state of women in India. In the era of women empowerment, is there anything that we can say.. except a sorry and an expression on our face which says ” We have failed Nirbhaya”. What has changed after a year from the horrific incident of 16th December 2012: Huge hue and cry among the masses in demand for justice across the world took place, we were globally recognized as a country which still practices barbarism, a major amendment act took place in criminal law which hardly addressed any constructive issues to stop violence against women and the cases of violence against women in Delhi and other parts of the country doubled, incidence of eve-teasing, stalking and molestation as per reports had multiplied by five times, multiple women helplines, (police control rooms) PCR vans have been installed in sensitive locations, a government running Delhi had been toppled and the final verdict on the justice to the Nirbhaya case is still pending. So we are where we were. Just amending laws and increasing police vigilance does not make women secure in any way. Inspite of the increased infrastructure the police have failed to decrease the violence inflicted on women. Lets also have a glance at how the law has failed. On a serious note the act mentions long durations of imprisonment of the accused who has been proved guilty for death or vegetative state of the victim or who have attacked the victim with acid or raped her so that the victim had to be hospitalized, who has been involved in voyeurism, gang rape of child, disrobing etc. Heinous crimes like the above may go pardoned, bailed as per the act. Shockingly it does not even consider marital rape as a criminal offence. Such is the pathetic situation of the legal structure of our nation. The rich and the powerful would definitely find their way out through the loopholes of this act. Hence no victim would be punished.
But punishment does not bring end to this. Can laws and acts create fear in the minds of the criminals or can they provide security to women? Its doubted as the crime statistics shows otherwise. The laws have such lacunas that they cannot bring safety to women. The person who eve teases, makes sexually colored statements, stalks or molests women can go unpunished due to lack of evidences. So, large number of women face such torture every day in buses, metros, trains on a daily basis. Some react aggressively to it, some bear it without much protest. But they lead their daily lives in these places with lot of trauma and fear in their minds. When will these end? What can bring changes in these situation? Does any one of us believe that laws can stop people to behave in such ways. Leave the torture out doors… day in and day out women face similar physical and verbal abuse at home. No laws can bring an end to this either.
The behavioral change among all of us, both men and women need to take place. Women especially mothers who give preference to the male child and teach him to be the dominating gender, herself subjugating to the dignified living. Women from their childhood should be at school and household level be trained to think themselves as equal to men and not being indoctrinated about misconceptions of being dominated by male. The Nirbhaya Fund can be solely utilized for this function as no clue as to whereabouts of the fund is know to the masses. Until and unless the mindset of the people change the crime against women cannot be stopped. Stringent laws should also be made not to exempt any people whosoever irrespective of their age, social, political status and nature of employment to be punished severely in case found guilty.
There would be high chance that the rapists would now make it sure that the victim is killed to prevent any witness or evidence of the crime. Hence the situation worsens. This calls for a generation of mammoth database of DNA and finger print of each and every individual in India during Census itself to identify criminals. But with improvement of science and technological know how, forensic tests it has become easy to destroy even such evidences of crime.
So at the end of all the debates and initiatives, it becomes imperative that each one of us need to take the onus of making the world a safer place for women.
Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt Ltd also strictly take into account the gender sensitive issues in the office environment. IFA Pvt Ltd also formulates concept notes and proposals for social developmental sector such as health, environment, livelihood and education keeping in mind the indispensable role played by women towards holistic and sustainable development of the nation and its economy.
By – Dr.Abira Dutta Roy