Friday, 15 July 2011

So, Going Out Tonight??!

The latest rape victim of Delhi, is from my neighborhood. The place where this heinous crime happened is barely 5-min walking distance from my house. Every time there is a report on "Delhi Unsafe for Women", I carefully read through it and hold my breath when I reach the name of the place where the crime happened. And every time it was not my place, I used to breathe easy, because lame as it may sound, it made me feel secure about my neighborhood. Well, i was soon jostled out of this mindless day dream, I am not safe where i thought I was secure the most, home. 

Delhi Police Commissioner is facing serious flak for his comments" Women should not venture out late at nite, be indoors be safe". Yeah rite, how dare he tell us what to do? We are the new, modern, educated, independent women. We live life the way we want to, indifferent to age old social barriers. "YES WE REPRESENT TODAY'S WOMAN". But for a second let’s take a break and, just step aside from this entire hullabaloo over new age feminism, and rethink over what he actually must have meant. Wouldn’t your father say the same thing too? Come on girls, he didn’t say," If women get raped, it’s their fault they need to be careful". Dare he say that, we'll march up to INDIA GATE, and demand his immediate dismissal. But what he asked us is to be careful of where we are and who we are with, because the fact is, yes there will not be a policeman minding your back all the time. True they need to pull up their socks, and do every bit possible to make our city, safer for us. But shouldn’t we be doing out bit too?? The most crowded place in Delhi resembles a graveyard at 2 am. The roads become desolate and lonely. So the same place where in the morning, your one scream would attract the attention of thousands of people, at the same place at night there will be no one to run upto for help.

I was just chalking out a few things that might help us feel safe in the city. Add on your suggestions to it. 

1.       Carry a pepper-spray. Who-says-what and how the twitter tabloids are overflowing with reactions, is a time bound discussion. A new controversy will shift the limelight soon enough. At the end of the day it will be us, on our own, minding our backs. The moment your senses prick up and your brain signals you are being followed, or u sense any unwanted vehicle nearby, it would not take less than a second to reach out for your handbag and “arm” yourself. Even if a false alarm, better safe than repentant.
2.       I hate repeating this for fear of sounding like someone from the 70’s, but maybe for awhile, lets not venture out alone in the middle of the night, if we can help it. This is in the firm hope that soon things will take a good turn and women will roam out till late without any fear of being raped or groped. But till that happens, I think its sensible to take precautions.
3.       One thing I will never understand is, why do “THE MEN” who seemingly think it is their birth right to grope women, everywhere from a crowded bus or metro or a marketplace, make dire threats of killing other men who, lets say ‘accidentally’ touch their wife or sister. Strange isn’t it??! So as we say charity begins at home, I think ‘knocking sense into men should begin at home too’. Talk to your brothers, cousins, male friends about this issue and make them realize raping women is not a solution to satisfying your sexual frustrations nor is it a way to prove ones masculinity. I am not saying your friends or brothers are rapists or lecherous, but all boys do know a few lascivious guys, and if u talk to your brothers, and get them talking to their friends maybe u might end up making a difference. Even if this is just a drop in the ocean, the aim is to sensitize people with respect to rape victims.
4.       In most rape cases, the accused is known to the victim. So PLZ… PLZ.. don’t blindly trust the people around u. Specially be wary of men u have just recently met. Okk now if ur shaking your head and saying” oh plz, all men are not that untrustworthy” then sorry to shatter your dream but “all men are not that trustworthy either”.
5.       I am sure all of u women folk out there have wondered at one point or the other, how men can be stupid enough to think that if they stare at us inappropriately stealthily, we wont know or if they touch us’ accidentally’ we wont be able to make out if it was intentional or not. Well guys here’s some news for u, the moment someone starts staring at us, our beware-of-men radar, sends signals, and we sure as hell know who is leering at us or whether a touch was an accident or not. But ladies here is where we are wrong, we quietly tolerate their confident antics with the fear of creating a scene. True, avoid a scene as much as possible, but not at the cost of losing your self respect. Turn back and give the man a good hard stare or politely warn him to stay away. And if he still doesn’t give up, well then I suggest its time to muster up all your strength, turn around and give him a tight one across the face. If in a metro, press the emergency button summon the driver and get the man arrested or if in a bus inform the conductor and claim your father is the DGP or the DSP ( who is going to cross check) and threaten to note the bus number if the man is not thrown out.

All this might be easier said than done, but if we claim to be no less than men and to be confident, strong women, then we better start acting like one too. Delhi will not change overnight nor will its men. We need to do our bit to change it. Like the 70’s revolution to liberalize women from ‘ghar-ki-chaar-diwari, its time to revolt and break through the last chain-links arresting our independence.