That girl, cruelly attacked and gang-raped in Delhi, is fighting for her life. Most of the rapist bastards have been caught by the police. Calls have grown louder to set up fast-track courts to try these culprits and hang them. The government is being asked to install closed-circuit TV cameras, and implement stringent laws to curb this menace. The cops are being asked why they could not prevent this grisly crime. Everyone has started to direct its anger towards Delhi, which time and again has proved, that it is a precarious city for a woman to be in.
But is it only Delhi? Though our capital has the maximum number of reported rape cases, are the other cities more secure? Maybe, the number of such cases reported is slightly on the lower side as compared to Delhi. But that does not mean a woman would be able to roam freely wherever she wants. This act is not just a spot on Delhi; it is a black stain, a shameful act for the entire nation.
The question that arises now is how we can prevent such ghastly crimes against women. Women have been asked to not wear short or revealing or Western outfits. They say it attracts undue attention. Women have been asked to not travel late or alone. They say it makes them vulnerable. Reach home early, carry pepper spray along with you wherever you go and don’t even dare step out without a cell phone. A woman should do this and do that, so that she does not get sexually molested.
But this is not the solution. Sexual assault on a woman is not her fault. Then, why should she compromise on her way of living? As Derek O’Brien rightly said, “Rape is not a woman’s issue, it is much beyond. It is about men who stop behaving like human beings and start behaving like animals.”
Why do certain men think of women as objects of sexual desire? Why do some men think of sex as an activity that they can force upon the girls, as and when they feel the need to do so? The foremost problem is not with the government or the police department or the law enforcement agencies; it lies with the attitude of those vicious men, who think it is their right to show their masculinity by such an act of horrific violence. Rape is an intentional act of humiliation, disgrace and insult, inflicted by the so-called ‘strong’ men on women.
We live in a country where women are worshipped. Laxmi, Durga and Saraswati are revered as Goddesses. But where are we heading now? We need to build a society where every man should respect a woman, her dignity. We need to build a culture where women do not have to think twice before travelling alone anywhere in India. What we need is attitudinal change. No man can claim a right on the woman’s body, even if they are married. Men should be made to understand that any kind of sexual forcefulness is unjustifiable and unforgivable.
Our society is indeed malnourished. But can we build a better homeland with humanity as its essence? I would like to believe we can, because ‘The alternative is too brutal and inhuman to believe’.