Mumbai: A city of visions, whose land has the magic of making your dreams come true. A city in which, thousands of individuals find themselves struggling in various different fields to taste success, to earn fame and name and to earn money. One such woman was that photo-journalist, who was brutally gang-raped by 5 men, in broad day-light in the heart of city. She must have cried and begged for mercy, she must have fought for her dignity, but those filthy animals, in their blind lust, tore her soul apart. They not only took a part of her body, but also a part of her soul that she may never be able to recover. With Mumbai Gang-Rape news hitting the media, the newspapers are once again filled with rape and sexual assault news from across the country.
I had a brief talk with various people from different fields about safety of women in India, and the problems that they face in everyday life. Some of them, I’ll be stating in this article. Not everyone has same mentality; there are very well-educated people with sick mind, and some less educated with a broad mind.
I won’t be revealing their names, but I’ll address them as alphabets.
Person A (Male): Recently returned to Delhi from California, after 11 years of his job, says:
I have a daughter, 6 years old, and I don’t believe anyone in this country. My wife is also at work most of the time, and we both can’t focus on anything while she’s away. Even schools aren’t safe here, and the continuous news of rapes and molestation has filled my heart with a never-ending fear and trauma. I feel like leaving this country once again and flying back to USA.
Person B (Female): College student in Punjab, says:
People say Delhi is the rape capital, I believe this entire country is a rape capital. Even Punjab isn’t safe, no street is safe here. People look at you with lustful eyes. I myself experienced molestation several times, sometimes by the fellow passengers in auto-rickshaws, who stealthily touch and fondle my thighs, and sometimes by the educated officials, who feel my hands while exchanging money. From that day onwards, I’m afraid of men, every single man in this country seems like a rapist to me.
Person C (Female): Housewife in Delhi, says:
It’s never the dress that provokes men, it’s their mentality. I’ve heard many people say that her dress wasn’t appropriate so she got molested, but what about the girl who was raped on 16th December, in the bus? She wore a proper suit, then why was she assaulted? This entire country is unsafe, not only for young girls, but also for middle-aged women like me. I’m also afraid to go to crowded places, in the fear that someone will grope my body, fondle my breasts, something that has happened to me so many times that I don’t even remember the number now. It’s a very common thing here, and I don’t think there’s hardly any girl who hasn’t been sexually molested in Delhi today!
Person D (Female): Newly Married woman in Bangalore:
I was shocked when my mother-in-law forbade me from wearing jeans and capris. That’s something I feel comfortable in, that’s something I’ve wore my entire life before marriage, then how can I change my attire? When I asked her the reason, she said, such clothing invites men to assault you. I was shocked at her answer. Being a woman, she said that to me, and restricted me from wearing western clothes. I have to wear suits and saaris now, just because they will act as a barrier and prevent me from getting raped.
Once I was strolling through the market with my husband, I was wearing a suit that day. My husband went to get some frozen food, while I was standing in a queue to get the groceries packed. I felt something hard, touching me from behind. I turned and saw a man, who had a hard-on and was rubbing it on my ass. Before I could react, my husband came and slapped him. There was havoc in that queue and the man ran away. Back at home, I narrated the whole thing to my mother-in-law, and I was again shocked at her behaviour. Instead of asking me if I was alright, she started blaming me for putting her son in dangerous situation.
That was the time I felt that it’s not her fault either. The fault is in our up-brining, which has made us partial towards male-sex and so we feel that women should be suppressed and kept in veils. The society ‘claims’ to have modernized, but the mentality of people hasn’t. They’re still residing in 18th Century, where the only women who were free and independent, were prostitutes and sluts. The dignified and respectable women were confined inside the home boundaries.
Person E (Male): Businessman in Gurgaon, says:
Society that we are living in, is full of contradicting examples. The priests and religious gurus, who claim to live a celibate life, are themselves the hungriest beasts of lust. I visited the holy Ganges last year, and I saw this with my own eyes. A family was going for a ritual, and everyone from that family was climbing down the stairs to step into the river, along with two priests. There was a little girl, who maybe around 13-14 years of age, standing with her brother, who was even younger. They all were partially inside water, and a priest groped her ass. I was shocked as I saw his hand, touching the girl from her back, when I looked closely I understood what he was doing.
The poor girl was looking at him with teary eyes, but the shameful priest kept chanting some mantras and being the sickest hypocrite ever. There were so many people around, and I felt so bad to be of no help, but when I again think about that incident, it still gives me shivers down my spine. How could that poor soul have tolerated it? But even if I would have stood up for her, who would have believed me? Instead I would have been bashed up for blaming a religious preacher, and a saint!
These are just a few people, with their stories, and there are a million others with similar stories of assault and sexual exploitation.
We say we’re proud to be Indians, but look at the newspapers, which are full of assault cases, electronic media, which telecasts rape cases every now and then, and on the contrary, we worship girl-child in the form of ‘Kanjak’, we worship the female deities and goddesses, WHY? Why do we portray such double-faced individualities on the name of religion? If there are people who want to leave this country and live abroad, they’re not anti-nationalists, they’re simply concerned about their families, their daughters and their future. They know this country can’t be changed, mentality of people can’t be changed, still there are many such homes where male-chauvinism is passed on as a hereditary trait, still there are women who are teaching their own daughters to be in veils instead of making them strong and providing them the strength to fight.
We are the only ones who have victimized women. Whenever a poor woman gets raped, we call her a slut, we call her a victim, and her entire life is destroyed as no man ever marries her in future. Instead of such behaviour, we should be calling the rapist, ‘VICTIM’, victim of a poor mentality, victim of a sick mind, he should be the one who should be blamed instead, and he should be the one whom no woman shall marry in future. The government isn’t going to do anything. There will be opposing views, one party will blame the other for lack of security on the name of vote-banks and the issue will be dropped once the matter is cooled down, but nothing will change.
Being an Indian-Woman is not at all a thing to be proud of. It’s something that I’m ashamed to be, because every day I hear the news of rapes and molestation, every day I see a soul dying a brutal death because some perverts wanted a few moments of fun. Being an Indian-Woman is no less than a TORMENT.