Having roamed through the streets of Delhi for over three years now, it has effected me in so many ways, one of them being the amount of fear I contain while walking from one spot to another in a city that is known for its amazing amalgam of all Indian cultures, all of which provide a special strata of respect to women. It isn’t that they haven’t acknowledged this problem before.
It usually turns up on some page or the other in any newspaper that we pick up. Countless women groups, never ending debates, and one of the most popular topics for examination, many of which I myself have had to write. Words are only counted if they turn into action. And I’m hoping mine would turn into something substantially change provoking. The basic step needs to be taken by women themselves. And no, I don’t mean they need to cover themselves from head to toe. It starts with awareness.
A little attention on the details may actually save you the horror of being harassed on Delhi streets, which trust me, isn’t pretty. Self defence is the best defence. Which obviously is true to only some extent and kind of fails horribly in this city because even the slightest trace of defence sometimes becomes the whole cause of the incident. Delhi men probably misunderstand themselves for Christian Grey considering the number of rapes that are recorded.
Now comes the authority concerned, the police. Many women complain about being frisked rudely by policemen for the dumbest of reasons ever. I myself was once asked how shameless I could be to sit on a roadside and eat a packet of chips. Certainly, either I didn’t know the law too well, or this gentleman claiming to be the protector of the people thought I was a grave harm to the society. If the police don’t respect the women they are supposed to protect, expecting them to take any action is out of question. Being a judgemental society that we are, a woman in short clothes or with a cigarette is automatically termed as characterless. I’m confused, how can a woman’s dignity be measured by the amount of skin revealed. The police, must do what it is meant for. And equally. They have been appointed to protect the people, not decide who gets it.
It’s true, the police cannot be everywhere. How about streetlights? A road lighted enough for a woman to walk. Complaining obviously isn’t going get us anywhere. But providing a solution will. I hope this letter reaches out to you, and to all the men who have thought they can treat women as objects of pleasure. A woman’s dignity once snatched can never be returned and a crime like that is unforgivable. Guilt is an emotion rarely seen in sex-offenders. Well, if you lack the feeling of compassion, loose the one of temptation too.
Image Courtesy: [The Viewspaper]
Disclaimer: The above article is the personal opinion of the author and not of the publication.