Millennium Post

We need to weed out this depravity

There’s little to be said in the aftermath of the horrific incident involving the rape of the 51-year-old Danish woman in the heart of the national capital, that too before the sun had set for the day. If a woman, let alone a foreign visitor, cannot roam around freely in broad daylight at Connaught Place of all areas, what can we possibly say about the remote regions of the country, its towns and villages, its vigorously urbanising conglomerations or the suburban centres of economic growth? When will a woman feel safe in this blighted city, where the chief minister, despite being elected over an overwhelming anti-corruption mandate, links the sexual assault and violence with ‘sex and drug rackets’? And even if the Delhi police chief fights it out on the streets with the state law minister over the nitty-gritty of legalese, it is a matter of absolute shame if our cops fail to protect a woman just two kilometres from Parliament. Naturally, even though the CM has left his security to the gods, he cannot allow to let the same happen with the men and women living and travelling through this city and it is a huge failure on the part of the administration if such a crime has occurred right under their noses. Not only was the Dane tourist raped and robbed at knife-point for almost three hours, such an incident just a month after the nation commemorated one year of the 16 December Delhi gangrape, is another reminder that practically nothing has changed in the depraved mindset of the multitude.

While the cops made arrests swiftly, the fact remains that even the spruced up anti-rape law has not been able to adequately curb the escalating menace of sexual violence in the city. Barely a week passes without reports of gruesome rapes and murders not hogging the national headlines and despite the toughened up measures, both penal and legal, the problem remains as unabated as ever. The misery of women who become victims of such sexual animosity, too, stays unaddressed, since our systems are only learning to cope with the crimes committed and are still lightyears behind culturing a sensitivity towards the aggrieved party. While sexual assault and harassment remain the elephant in the room as far as the professional classes of urban India is concerned, rape and sexual violence have become the unequivocal quandary in which the contact zones of rural and urban India finds itself in. It is true that law alone cannot handle the accelerated levels of crimes against women, but better job opportunities, improved and freer education for all as well as tending to needs, sexual and psychological, of urban migrants via setting up counseling centres and helplines would go great lengths in plugging the gaping holes in the security edifice. Since entrenched prejudices and misogyny are not likely to go away any time soon, the government has a stake in creating more awareness campaigns that deal with the problem and familiarise men and women with the complex issue of sexual violence.
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