Haryana is the most unsafe place for women to live. An orthodox rural society is a terrible place for women to be born in.
The girls who comply to all the rules – wrap their heads, veil their faces, never carry mobile phones, and always avoid eating fast food-are the good girls. But does that by any chance spare them of hostilities?
The recent rape incidents in Haryana lucidly answer “No”.
Telling the story to even the closest of relatives would be extremely embarrassing. To gather guts and quote the incident would be worse than committing suicide (which women usually end up doing).
So this is usually what follows:
While the damsel in distress files a complaint, the otherwise indolent and amateur hawaldars (junior constables) would all join; absorb the first hand story; more curiously than a high professional sleuth. Though there are very few cops who would do some homework on it and investigate the matter seriously.
A problem shared is a problem doubled! The father would kill himself fearing dishonor, the story would regale everyone in the neighborhood, and the old and senile members of Khap Panchayats would get the opportunity to pontificate about their conservative ideas, leading to implementation of hard and strict rules on all the teenage girls of the community.
Governmental feminists (such as Sonia Gandhi) and other women and men from non-governmental organizations would fly down to the small hamlet just to sympathize with victims and/or their family (in case the girl had been murdered after getting raped, or had committed suicide after being harshly dumped).
Now, have you ever questioned and wondered about why the events unfold the way they do.
In traditional societies, where age old patriarchal norms are seen as natural, a woman’s vulnerability to violence is a fallout of multiple reasons.
In Haryana, the victims of recently reported rape cases are women, of course (the subordinate gender), most of them dalits (the bottom in the caste chart), and a lot of them are poor. Some of them were also minors (less than 18).
Though rape is by and large, the demonstration of violence by the potent gender on the subordinate gender, there are certain factors that mostly contribute to casually frequent rapes in rural and orthodox societies of India.
Acts like marrying young girls would only suppress them more. Not letting them go to schools and colleges would only deprive them of proper education.
Societal hostility is predominantly, the sole obstruction to women’s growth. That is why; achieving Women Empowerment is a compulsory precursor to obtaining legal justice.
While the government does provide mechanisms for ensuring law and order, it is not enough.
So whose the saviour?
It is the NGOS, feminist groups, women development cells and social workers, who empower women by providing education; bring them to speak up for justice and also keep a check on the work of the authorities. And considering the inability of the Indian abla nari (the weaker sex) to stand up for justice, we probably need to have search and rescue operations for them,,especifically rape victims.
To women, personally, the revelation of their rape story jeopardizes their izzat (esteem) and they pointlessly wash their dirty laundry in public.
Moreover, the most rigorous imprisonment to the perpetrator(s) would not commensurate the bodily and emotional trauma that the horrendous moments has on their entire lives. And in reality, the reported cases do not even portray the right statistics.
There are a number of accounts of such tragedies which a girl faces and finds difficult to talk out.
The increase in levels of quality of life, and improvement in women’s condition cannot be shown only through petty graph curves.
We do not need the census and other reports, which are most of the time misleading and rife with anomalies.
When Bihar becomes Japan (both have almost the same scope for growth but exhibit contrasting levels of development), we would know for ourselves!
When families start valuing the girl child, sex ratio would automatically improve.
The Society (especially men) needs to have respect for a girl.
It is ridiculous when the world tries to shift the blame from the accused to the innocent.
Anyone with an ounce of logic would doubt that how could a woman, who is too scared and ashamed to even go to police station and file a complaint (the reason for rape cases coming into light, days and months after the date of incident), be such a bold, influential seductress that the man could not control but rape her?
And when the rape incident is out and known to all, anyone with an ounce of logic should be astounded at the knack of the blatantly vociferous ministers to blame the woman, claiming the rape incident to be consensual sex, and questioning the victim’s character.
Again women are pushed back to the dungeon of vulnerability and end up regretting.
Well, that is how most of the time these stories end—women are left lamenting, become more prone and poorer, emotionally.
And financially- the West Bengal Government, for instance, provides 30,000 rupees for minors and 20,000 rupees for adult rape victims.
They are victims and not prostitutes that they should be satisfied with twenty and thirty thousand for the act…er…criminal act.
Both government and society owe a big responsibility towards the victims; fake sympathies and half-heartedly promising money is no way to show concern (if they at all have some in real sense).
Even worse, the government did not bother to provide any monetary relief to the family of the rape victim who killed herself at Saccha Khera village in Jind, Haryana.
And that is when the issue was not just another incident; it was highlighted and hyped the most out of all the 17 rape cases that took place during the last one month in Haryana.
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