As a women/ girl in India, do you feel safe? If the answer is No, (which 83% of you responded), what are we doing about it? For the men/ boys – if your mother/ sister is not safe today, just think 7 years down the line, it’ll be your daughter. It is high time we look at it as a malaise and address it as THE most serious issue which we need to address as an individual and nation.
“Zindagi mein ek aisa junoon rakho, jiske lie apni jaan dene ke lie taiyaar ho!!!”. Generally, whenever we discuss women safety, we think first about the law, not because we are law-abiding but because we repose primary responsibility for women’s safety in the hands of the state. We also see laws as expressing a larger consensus (which may or may not exist in reality) that certain kinds of behaviour are unacceptable to this society. When laws have not worked as we imagined they would, we assume it is because they were not properly implemented. The police are corrupt, we say, and the judicial system takes too long. When violence against women occurs, it’s because someone else failed—the police, the courts, the law and order apparatus, governance, politicians.
How many times have we asked ourselves, what have we done about it? Really, apne garebaan mein jhanko! Look within, and ask yourself, have you seen some road side romeo acting ungentlemanly and you turned away! How many times? You heard someone making a crude comment and YOU raised your voice? How many times? You received a risque message and you forwarded it! How many times? You went and saw ‘munni badnaam hui’ and inadvertently perpetuated promiscuity in society. How many times? You watched a ‘Kya kool hain hum’ or ‘Grand Masti’ and under the garb of adult comedy, the perpetrators have debased women. Come on .. understand, it is basic economics; a case of demand and supply. You demand a ‘munni badnaam’ and they supply. Inadvertently you are promoting promiscuity. Now, what do you do about it? Its fun, I know but but but … now, especially now, when things have gone a bit too far; Let us rise as a nation and do our bit to stem this tide, bring around an awareness and raise our voice.
We can make this a safer society for half the nation .. if only, if only you do your bit. It starts from our homes, our thinking and our actions. It has been too long that we have passed the buck and onus to the government … For a change, Let US do something. Blaming the government, police and women, we will never eliminate the threat of violence against women (and others). By seeking and designating safe havens here and there, we force women to trade freedom for safety, citizenship for protection. But by owning and taking responsibility for a violence-free world, we start building the world in which we would like to live and we would like our children to inherit and like our daughters to breathe free.
Be Aware . Be Alert . Be Safe .