Sunday, January 08, 2006

Rape Capital Delhi

An article in a national daily reports that Delhi crime statistics for 2005 have only strengthened the dubious tag Delhi has had to live with for many years -- India's rape capital. There was (the paper reports) an almost 20% spurt in rape cases as compared to 2004. Every day, along with the usual report on Iraq, India's cricketing woes, and bollywood news is the obligatory para or two on another rape case.

Young girl abducted, minor raped, maid raped and most of these are cases of the women being hauled into cars and gang raped while the car roams around the city roads and then the bruised and battered woman is dumped by the road.

And yet, this past week, the top story in media is Brinda Karat's obssession with Swami Ram Dev and his purported usage of animal parts and human parts in the ayurvedic medicines that his organisation / ashram has been dispensing. I am neither for or against Ram Dev and his medications. If he is using human bones, it must be investigated. But what a collosal waste and shame that people in power, especially women, have remained mum or paid mere lip service to this horrific issue. Can we dismiss it by saying, its the responsibility of the Delhi authorities? Shouldn't women, and specially those in power do something about it?

I remember, back in France, in my french class, where the prof encouraged debates which often tended to be political. My classmates often would have scanty knowlede of India and I once proudly pointed out that despite being backward compared to the west and France, we had women in powerful positions including prime minister, chief ministers. Sonia Gandhi, Sheila Dixit, Jaya Jaitley, Jayalalitha, Mamamta Bannerjee, Brinda Karat, Rabri Devi and the scores of others women - celebritiy and film star MLAs & other party functionaries.

I no longer think its something to be proud of. What if women got thier 33% reservation for women in Parliament and State Legislatures. I donot think it will make lives of women any more better or safer than it is today. There will be more discussions on non-issues (not the domain of women alone) with more women now in a position of power, in a position to be heard of, with access to media.

Arm yourself with pepper sprays, learn some form of physical defence, avoid travelling alone, use cars...whatever. Donot expect any help from any of your powerful sister politicos.


JoeinVegas said...

Sounds more like the men need to be educated in what is correct. That is a much more complex issue, and tougher laws don't really address an attitude problem, that women are equal and not things to be used.

Sukanya M said...

Joe, educating men will take time! In the meantime, we need to sit up and recognise that this is a menace. And its happening only around delhi. Every day one new incident. And yet in Mumbai and in my home town calcutta, women roam around unescorted and at all odd hours all by themselves.

rentstrike said...

Actually, the issues of rape of women and abuse of animals are very deeply linked. Look at some of the readings at concerning connections between sexism and speciesism.

erasmus-in-india said...

well, in a way, everything is inter-connected: dowry system, eve teasing, rapes, no premarital sex... I made some research on my blog as well. I m not an Indian but have been in india as exchange student and will be going back soon (my jaan is an indian)... I m not feminist as such but have a hard time accepting the status of women in india.

Sukanya M said...

Erasmus-in-india, thanks for stopping by. U dont hv to be a feminist to denounce rape and dowry!

Read if you will

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