A Queer Nation
A Queer Nation
I remember clearly the day when I was asked in an interview where do you want to see yourself in the future. I had so many recurring thoughts and desires to say that I would want to see myself working for the children, as a teacher or as a professional education counselor or a professor maybe. However, the only thing I could say was- I want to see myself in a society where girls are not raped. The thought was so blatant and inconceivable for the interviewers that they asked me. "Do you believe it would ever happen?" and? "I said No!" The question pinched me for days.
The world was left aghast in 1978 when the news involving kidnapping, rape, and subsequent murder of brother-sister duo Geeta and Sanjay Chopra by Kuljit Singh and Jasbir Singh circulated the outskirts of Delhi. The Ranga-Billa case attracted enormous attention. One of the reasons why this particular case launched a wave of awareness towards children's safety was, perhaps, because an incident of such monstrosity was never registered in Delhi’s history before.
Since that year to today, the Indian society has come a long way. People at higher positions have succeeded in convincing the general audience that WE are progressing. Especially the women's section. After four decades of that hideous instance, the women section has seen appealing upliftment. It is believed that the women section which was earlier living in deplorable conditions has now adapted to challenging roles. Women are proving their mettle in every field. They are participating in matters that have a global impact as a result of their consent. The wave called “Women Empowerment” is flooding the world.
We are accustomed to hearing words like Women Empowerment, Gender Equality, etc. It is what the early 21st century should be remembered for. It appears as if people have accepted that there is a requirement of change in the way women section has been treated. Nations are adopting ways to reflect their improved self.
Although the ground reality is that the rate at which these changes are taking place cannot be supplemented or put in retrospect with the rate of social evils prevalent in India is growing. While almost a majority of countries are consistently bringing such issues at the forefront, India is still struggling to detach itself from problems like superstition. It would be unfair to conclude that the rest of the countries do not have such evils or are completely free of them, but for India, concerns like Rape are still to find equal platforms of discussion.
The amount of time dedicated to talking about religion, politics, sports is far more than what is spent on gender equality or concerns relating to women's respectability and honor. It is either at school assemblies, social media, news or big social events, one gets to actually hear about empowering women, respecting the opposite gender. Moreover, the problem with this phenomenon is that all these events involve only one side participation of the audience. As soon as the speaker finishes his/ her speech, the news anchor reports a few cases of a woman being honored, the public gets zero percent of contribution to have their say.
According to a data initiated by Delhi Police recently- “The number of rapes reported each year in Delhi has tripled over the last five years. Registering an increase of 277% from 572 in 2011 to 2,155 in 2016”.
How can one forget about the Nirbhaya incident in which a 23-year-old paramedical student was raped by a group of men in a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012? The rate of rape cases being registered saw a 132% spike with a sustained 32% increase thereafter. To be specific, 1,636 cases in 2013 were registered and a whooping 2,155 in 2016.
A recent report released by India Spend suggests that “Cases pertaining to ‘assault on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty’ (under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code) have increased by 473% from 727 in 2012 to 4,165 in 2016”.
India is still fighting whether or not women should wear small clothes or not. A country which is counted amongst those having the lowest female birth ratio in the world, It is shameful to say, issues like equality, rape needing our attention do NOT get their deserved enthrallment.
At present, Rape in India is increasingly reaching an appalling Zenith. The cause of beginning this article with an incident taking place in 1978 in Delhi to reveal the horrendous act of inhumanity in 2012 is to reflect upon our so-called “Improved Self”. In India Rape acquires the fourth position in the most common crime against women.
In a country like India where social attitudes are highly conservative, educating boys about Sex is left out of most school curriculums. The experts believe that such topics at the school level could “corrupt” youth and offend traditional values. It is a taboo to say words like penis, vagina, rape, or intercourse. The majority of parents do not give time to their children to talk about such information. Thus, it leads to unsafe intercourse and oftentimes physical imposition on the opposite gender leading to serious crime like rape.
Although the Indian Government has stringent laws against those found guilty and takes measures to curb down criminal activities, it is non-retractable that rape cases recorded nowadays are more than ever. There seems to be a set of personalities present in all the communities all over the world who in the name of curiosity and young energy is falling prey to an unguided path. Our current modern Indian society is slowly inclining towards a state of restlessness and giving birth to a nation that might become inapt in counterfeiting the crime rate.
Unless stricter rules are adopted, the change of scenario can be least expected. One way to advance can be to start by adopting teaching methodology at schools which does not establish gender differences. Cultivating in children the importance of respecting the opposite gender, giving due attention to their requirements and overall development can open doors to an improved society. This might take a few years or more to establish a better community, but an initiation on part of each nation, the state is required.