Millennium Post

And the serial horror serial continues...

Yet another gruesome incident and yet another expose on the series of serious lapses by some government and a private agencies. However, the recent incident of rape perpetrated by a private cab driver in the national capital was followed again by yet another series of avoidable attempts at scoring intellectual (read political) brownie points. The media must avoid its temptation of misusing these unfortunate incidents to settle scores with those with “parental” mindset. They must stop  advising the victim and also stay away from encouraging the overtly “unrealistic and confused” freedom activists, who resort to defying even genuine concerns.

These ‘activists’ expect the system to take total responsibility. It is considered fashionable to denounce “parental” concerns primarily that have originated out of someone's helplessness, casting aspersions on their mindset. Some innocent women liberation activists, out of their genuinely agitated state of mind, often fail to differentiate between  the genuine concern of helpless relatives and conspiring activists, who jump in to take advantage of these horrifying incidents and justify their contaminated ideas and thoughts.

The recent rape incident does hold similarities with last December's gruesome events. The victim, like ‘Nirbhaya’, had taken enough precautions that is normally expected from an aware working girl. The lapse in this case was clearly committed by the taxi service that did not observe the prescribed checks. Also culpable are the police, who gave the serial offender a “character certificate” that eventually helped him in acquiring this job. While last year’s incident saw the girl looking for public transport was with her male friend, this time the victim had chosen a 'reputed' taxi service to get back home. In both cases the culprits were nabbed promptly by the police thanks to media hype over the incident. It is also a fact that all the culprits of the last incident (except the one who took shelter under a serious flaw in our law) have been convicted.

Besides the ritual bashing of the government and the police after such incidents, what goes missing generally is proposing innovative ideas, suggesting proper planning and enforcing their execution in a time-bound manner. Instead of beating drums and shouting slogans, asking why the incident happened, our purpose would be served better if we suggest an effective strategy and question responsible agencies as to why these proposals were not implemented in a time bound manner.

Having more women in the police force and creation of a section fully devoted to act on issues related to victimisation of women are a few steps that should be put in place in a time bound manner. Provision for free mobile applications to raise alarm and alert patrolling are other valid expectations. And of course all these efforts will not have the desired effect if the rate of conviction does not improve. With all these proposals in place, we can expect that similar crimes by 'unknown' criminals can be effectively controlled. Similar crimes however, by males who are 'known' to the victims can be tackled primarily through social activism and of course by educating everyone around us on 'moral values' and respecting the woman’s consent at any cost.

The author is associate professor, Department of Physics, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi

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