Monday, 6 May 2013

Do women have to live in fear?

In the past few days we have seen a number of atrocities against women. Girls aged five to teenagers and adult women have been molested and gang raped. Rapes have been making the headlines all over and in most cases the victims have not been given justice. This is a huge question mark on the Indian system and a shame to our nation.

The Indian youth raised their voice only after the ‘Delhi Gang Rape case’, where a girl was gang raped by six men on a bus. The whole country mourned and expressed their anger and disgust against the rapists and the government for their laid back attitude. Several different opinions and wants were brought out in the protests. While a few demanded justice for the girl, others insisted for a change in the law. “Death penalty for rapists,” was the slogan that rang loud.

Victims of rape seldom get justice; the criminals are given a 7 year imprisonment after which they are free. This definitely is not justice for a woman who has gone through psychological, emotional and physical trauma and who will carry the scars of his deed all through her life.

When the media brings to light such cases of rape, it becomes hard for the women all over the country to react in any other way apart from showing fear. It’s strange how rapes spread the message that women must take precaution and must stop provoking men rather than bringing a sense of reasoning among the public, especially the men. After all, the law does not specify that men provoked to rape are not rapists and who defines what is provocative to men and what is not. At the end of the day, why must women bear the brunt of the crime a man commits?

When the law starts treating rape as a crime fit to be given capital punishment, the public will change their attitude towards the incident, rapists will think twice before they commit such a brutal act. Rapes have become so common in the recent times, because the culprits do not fear the law. Rapists must be given death penalty, for the torture they put a woman through and for instilling fear in the hearts of several other females.

Human Rights Commission must look into the amount of human rights violation that happens every day when a woman is raped and when an infant is molested. Only when they realise the gravity of the situation will they understand that ‘capital punishment’ will do greater good to the society.

If one individual is living in fear of being manhandled or molested in a free and democratic country like India, it’s a black mark on the nation as a whole.

By demanding death penalty for rapists, India sends out only one message, the time for women to take precaution is over, it’s time to end the atrocities on women. It’s not just justice for one rape victim battling her life, it’s justice for several others who have gone through the same situation and the rest of the women in our country, who would not have to think twice before leaving home or coming late after work or college, it’s justice for every mother who will not be afraid of sending her daughter to school. It’s justice for the female deity India has worshipped for years.

- Sarah Thomas

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