Yet another case of a child not only raped but even mutilated capturing every News channels headlines. The capital of this great country catching everyone’s frenzy yet again. The “Delhi not safe for Women” tagline looking more and more evident.
What makes us so helpless? The reply to this increasingly asked question can be multifolds. There simply can not be one single answer. Complex issues can have complex answers and should be dealt with a greater sense of maturity. Law and Order is a state related issue but we must also establish a relation of Policing with the kind of society we are living in. The delayed justice further aggravates the situation. In 2012, there has been only one conviction out of over 600 cases of rape reported.
The society plays a vital role in forming opinions and value systems. The society needs to teach the children to respect the dignity of a women. At the same time, the civil society can not always put restrictions on what women wear, where they travel or what what time of the day do they travel. Society teaches the girls to not react and avoid the lane where she was first teased. Infact, the term “eve teased” in itself is discriminating and demeaning. The girls come across as a soft target. It is assumed by the people of disturbed mindset that the girl is weak and easily targetable. We must educate our girls to report, bring it to everyone’s notice and take action rather than avoiding the particular route. Our children need to be educated about good touches (hugging, shaking hands etc), bad touches, safe touches etc. This will help our children to own their body and will certainly help in empowering them. The role of the society to this effect is very vital as it can not only prevent but also help in reporting to go up before something drastic happens.
After reporting, comes the crucial role of the Policing. Changing laws mean nothing if implementation is flawed. Sadly, the ground reality remains that of an empathetic attitude of the Police force towards women. Need of the hour demands gender sensitization within the society in general and in the Police force in specific. There are numerous examples where the Police just plainly refuses to register the FIR. The no accountability of the Police and they are still using the same draconian laws of 1861. The Supreme Court in 2006 intervened and asked for a speedy reform process. There is no follow ups till date. When the Government is not ready to work on a Supreme Court order, there is very little for the common man to hope for. The recent case of the Police trying to bribe Rs 2000 to the family of “Gudiya” showcases a lethargic attitude and a complete sense of brazenness. The road protests mean nothing to them and they treat the same with a very technical mode of operation. Enforcing section 144 and appealing for calm buys time for them. If everything fails, the next reaction is to slap and hit back with lathicharges, water canons and tear shells. The only way forward can now be to implement the reforms along with strict action including terminating and prosecuting these officials.
The judiciary needs to take the Suo Motto action too in these cases and formulate quick result courts so that guilty can be brought to the book as soon as possible. Long judicial process break the rape victim, her family and all the witnesses. Its a torture for the girl from the start till the very end. She is ripped apart in the courts and raped again with the questions of the defense lawyers. The two finger test adds salt to the wounds. Many people argue why should the onus to prove a rape be on the women.
Justice Verma’s report tabled earlier in the year had ignited a sense of hope even as crime against women has been on the rise in the national capital. For us to come out of this mess, clearly all the sections have to play their respective roles.
There have been 48,388 children raped in the last 10 years and we can not afford the future of India to be played with. There is dissent all over India, just how long can the Govt play hide and seek needs to be seen in the coming days.