Restricting a woman's freedom is not the solution to end rape

By Anindita Dev | Last Updated: Dec 12, 2014, 18:11 PM IST

Imagine the despair when every day the newspapers flash a horrific crime and/or report a rape of a woman. It is appalling to even admit that it happens in a civilised society such as India.

On one hand our Prime Minister is sweating it out to put the country at the forefront - at par with other developed countries. On the other, there are these ill-bred buffoons (for the lack of a better word) who bring shame to the country.

The law and justice system that currently exists in India for women definitely needs to improve. It is a mockery of the rape victims. Take for example the latest decision by the Delhi government post the Uber rape case.

A 25-year-old woman was raped in an Uber cab while she was returning from Gurgaon and the accused driver threatened to sexually assault her with an iron rod and even kill her if she informed anyone about the incident.

Following this, Uber services have been banned in Delhi.

Will shutting down cab services stop rape? Will banning the taxi services help in delivering justice for the victims?

They might as well ban auto rickshaws and other public transport systems like the bus and the Metro where women feel vulnerable too.

What banning cab services will do is lead to more drunk people driving on their own. There will be fewer options for women to travel back if they work in the suburbs, especially if work keeps them back. I wouldn't be surprised if women face a ban from leaving their homes soon!!

What people want is a concrete punishment for the molester and a faster more efficient justice system for the victim.

Cases of kidnapping of women and girls are on the rise in India, with Uttar Pradesh registering the maximum number of cases.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau 2013 annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012. Of the total number of cases, 12.5% (3,125) rape victims were minor.

Women getting raped, women harassed in the name of religion, stalked, molested, infants getting raped – that's how 'incredible' India is now.

The country has reached Mars but certain sections of the society still live in the dark ages. They have justifications for the most horrific acts against humanity. A mild example would be - “A women is to be blamed for the injustice that is done to her.”

There were many to point fingers at the girl. So what if she was returning home after a party? Why is that even wrong? Why isn't she allowed to sleep in the cab if she wants to? That is no excuse for what has happened. Her dress code, or where she was returning from has nothing to do with the loathsome crime.

One thought of the horrific December 16, 2012 gang rape in Delhi sends shivers down the spine of most people. It had strong repercussions around the world, and everyone hoped and prayed that such barbarism will not be repeated. Obviously everyone was wrong.

There are so many such horrific accounts of rape, murder, acid-attack cases still languishing at the courts for justice.

The victim’s identification of culprit and statement along with medical report should be considered sufficient. I feel it is of absolutely no use to give him a chance to find a loophole and escape justice when all the evidence screams out the rapist's name.

What is even the point of claiming to be a technologically and economically secure nation, when 50% of its population lives in fear of inadequate security.

Ironically, most people are mute spectators to even acts going on right in front of them. Even if a lady in distress calls out for help, they fail to hear her cries.

One such incident left me flabbergasted. On being followed and trailed closely by a bunch of hooligans in a swanky car, I called out to a handful of people that I could see on the road. But they turned a deaf ear.

The men jeered and leered at me. They used cheap dirty words for me. The entire time my heart was in my mouth, and I just kept praying that I should be able to escape. I was lucky that I was unharmed by the end of the ordeal - mentally shaken, but at least physically nothing had happened. I shudder to think of the consequences if any of them had tried anything worse.

It is just the general misconception that only uneducated people do this sort of thing. Men who have had city education, roam around in high societies, own cars, houses, and some are even married are quite often the people harassing women on the roads, looking for opportunities to act like animals.

To such people one thing has to be said - If you can't differentiate between what is right and wrong, then throw away your education. How much longer before the mindset of men will change?

I am sick and tired of the irrational logic that the Khap panchayats and other political associations often come up with - “Clothes provoke men, food incite men, do not carry mobiles, do not wear jeans, do not go out. Women should be controlled”.

No, we do not need to be tamed or controlled. If someone needs a change, it's the male population in our country and the age-old rules and myths associated with a woman and her freedom. She is not a domestic pet to be chained and dominated.

The irony is that the rape victims are questioned and mocked but the culprits are the ones that go scot-free. There have been appalling blame games, but not a single law strict enough to put an end to and deter these ghastly crimes.

Sometimes it is a sixth standard rape victim who dies after delivering a baby, sometimes we hear that a two year old baby girl being brutally molested by her own uncle. If this is not bone chilling, then nothing is.

May I ask these 'wise' people the main reason of these loathsome crimes? What do they have to say when an innocent infant is victimised? Was it the way she dressed or how she smiled?

Are only girls accountable for India's heritage? When men go on harassing, molesting women, aren't they tarnishing the image of our country? The so called leaders of the country need to answer these questions before blaming girls and putting restrictions on them.

Teach men to control their animal urges and stop treating women as their property.