Damned Daughters

Eve-teasingIt’s Daughter’s Day. What will the daughters of India be doing to celebrate this day that celebrates them? They will be sitting in a candlelight vigil at Central Park, Cannaught Place, the heart of the capital city of India. They will be doing this because they have finally decided its enough. They will be doing this because the past week has made it clear that being a wife, a sister, or even a daughter would not help them escape the fate that being a woman has thrust upon them. Though indignities and insecurities are nothing new to the so called modern liberated women of India, what happened exactly a week ago fills me up with only one emotion: disgust. College going girls are molested in broad day light, in front of their own college by nearly 200 men. In a span of one hour, two dozen girls were subject to the worst forms of eve teasing and indecencies. The damning part, these men are ‘aspiring’ policemen. They were there to sit for an examination for recruitment of police officers, after which they decided to set themselves loose upon the very people they are to protect. It’s the stuff bad horror movies are made of. Yet it is the truth.

The nightmare didn’t end there, it just got worse. Police Patrol Vans were nowhere to be seen, because after all it was a Sunday, how the hell did someone imagine that anti-social elements would not work on Sundays, is simply beyond me. Forget police vans, when the students themselves approached the police headquarters the reply they got has to be heard to be believed; “rape toh nahi hua…” Jab hoga tab complaint likhwana..” What??????? Maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked, haven’t we seen the kind of people who sit and get through the exam to join the police ranks. How am I supposed to feel safe around any police man, let alone approach them for help? The government, the media, anyone can go on harping about women security, but as long as incidents such as these continue to happen, no woman can possibly feel secure, anywhere. When police are not there to help, when aspiring officers are the culprits, when people on the road just stand and watch the tamasha, its time to do a serious reality check. And the reality my friends, is frightening.

A few weeks earlier on my way back from the market, I had witnessed something that left a deep impression on me. Two girls walking along the road were being followed by a rickshaw puller, who was harassing them. He kept at it, till one of the girls turned around and gave him one tight slap across his face. Yes you read that right, the tight slap we keep talking about. To me, what followed was weirder, nobody came forward to beat up the man, but neither did they help the girl, an auntyji tried to pacify the girl and led her away. WHY? May I ask you shouldn’t the girl have done exactly what she did? In fact, not just the rickshaw puller, all the men folk at large who think its their birthright to treat women as their objects of lust deserve to be given a collective slap across their faces. If the authorities wouldn’t do it. We will.

Maya Chauhan