A few people might cringe at the headline and go, ‘Not again!’
Well, too bad, we have to discuss this issue even it becomes too repetitive for the brain to handle.
India has recently been termed as the ‘most unsafe country for women in the world’ by a study conducted by Thompson Reuters.’ It has left behind violence inflicted by countries like Syria and Afghanistan behind it. Naturally, there has been quite a backlash from the Indian government which has replied with a statistic to contradict the survey results.
People are either fuming on the results or denying them and that brings us to the main issue: Denial.
You see, there is a repetitive pattern that is taking place. Let me take you through these events:
2012 Delhi gang-rape case:
Nirbhaya and her male friend, Awindra Pratap Pandey were attacked in a moving bus by six men, late at night. Metal rods had been penetrated into Nirbhaya’s body, causing fatal damage to her intestines and genitals. Nirbhaya passed away on 29th December 2012.
A lot of people questioned that why was she out during a late night with a male friend.
The Kathua rape case:
On 12th January 2018, a man reported that his daughter was missing. Her body was retrieved a few days later. Her autopsy report said that she had been sedated, raped and killed. She had been gang-raped by different men.
This sparked an outrage between the Hindu and Muslim communities. The Muslim community was horrified to learn that a girl from their community was taken to a Hindu temple and raped there by Hindu men. As a retort to this, a few Hindu right-wing protestors came out in support of the accused. The rape case ended up in becoming a religious clash.
You see, the problem is not the rape; it is everything else but the rape.
Even right now, there are debates going on whether India actually deserves the first rank in the survey, rather than acknowledging that Indian women feel extremely unsafe in their own country.
This does not only apply to rape but other forms of discrimination and harassment. A woman, when she goes outside her house, has to go with the mindset that someone out there might try to catcall her, grope her or do something which makes her uncomfortable. In fact, it is not restricted to public places but also to the domestic lives.
I used to live in a city where the areas surrounding the hostel invited a lot of lechers who would try to harass girls or catcall them. There must have been a rare handful of people who would have reported this.
This took place in an area where people are aware of what sexual harassment and that it is a crime. Yet, these cases still went unreported. Imagine what takes place in areas where the knowledge is still lesser.
Let’s see it this way- Parents have to teach their daughters since infancy that anyone in the world can harm them and just survival itself is tougher than It is for the males.
There might be statistics suggesting that the current situation has gotten better, with an increase in the number of FIRs lodged, lesser child marriages etc.; but narrate these statistics to a woman who feels that her dignity is violated on a daily basis and you will find an abundance of such women. Moreover, these numbers catch only a fraction of what happens in the country. A lot of these cases go unreported because either these women are not aware that they are being wronged or else they are not encouraged to fight against discrimination.
We are all living in denial. In order to escape the harsh reality, we want to believe that India is slowly progressing. This might even be true in certain cases but the pace is so slow that it cannot keep up with the crimes and discrimination against women.
When a person raises their voice, there are a lot more people who try to subdue it those who come out in support.
Now, how can we improve as a country when we want to contradict anything good that happens when we are the barriers to our own growth?
So, yes, India is in denial and will be the most unsafe country in the world if it stays in denial.