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Monday, December 8, 2014

A Nation failing to protect dignity of women

The nation jumps, every time a woman is raped and it jumps rather high when the case is a high profile one as in the latest UBER taxi rape case in the capital. While immediate action that was taken leading to the arrest of the rapist is commendable this time and also on previous occasions, the malaise unfortunately continues unabated. Sadly every day the newspapers invariably carry at-least one new horror story of school girls being raped, toddlers being violated or working women being molested, and so it remains, merely one new story for the masses to read and forget.

The Nirbhaya gang rape case of 2012 had indeed jolted the nation into action that manifested more on the streets of Delhi than in any substantive real action. While the level of punishment for such offences increased, it miserably failed to deter the would-be rapist in carrying out his heinous acts as can be witnessed almost every day. Perhaps such cases are indicative of the contempt in which we hold our women regardless of the rhetoric that is often mouthed by almost all strata and segments of the society. The extent of involvement in sleazy activities by even those who were till then highly regarded as a spiritual guru by many is indicative of the low that the society has plummeted to. 

I wish I am wrong, but perhaps the national inability to uphold the dignity of the fair sex is borne out of the fact that with rare exceptions, generally the women who face the brunt belong to the economically weaker strata of the society. And the power to make a change lies with the strata that generally remains unaffected and therefore is unable to feel the pain and the anguish of the common citizen. The advocacy of ban on dress considered revealing and placing restrictions on free movement and interaction of the fair sex is an outcome of warped mind-sets that are now emerging in plenty.

And the basic question remains unanswered, why are we failing to put in place a punishment that would act as a deterrent? Why are we failing to put in place a judicial system that can impart swift justice, for that would also act as a deterrent? Why cant governments publicly declare their intent of protecting the dignity of women, irrespective of which strata of society she belongs to. Perhaps the intent is missing and so is the action.

Castration has to be the minimum punishment for anyone even attempting to outrage the modesty of women. And the gravity of the crime should dictate whether the guy additionally goes behind bars for a minimum of  ten years, a lifetime or is hanged. And it would not be uncivilized to put in place such punishments for those who treat women as a body merely meant to be lusted for. Indeed allowing women’s modesty to be outraged in the scale it is happening in our nation is indicative of an uncivilized society proving itself incapable of good governance.

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