Let's help liberate today's woman

THE SAFETY OF WOMEN IN INDIA

The people of a country are its most precious jewels. The safety and security of its women, children and men is of paramount importance.

On the 1st of January, 2017, India woke up to disturbing news; the news of mass molestation in Bangalore on the eve of New Year in public space and also the news of a 19 year old woman who was assaulted and molested by a gang of unruly men. So, what does all this mean? It means that women are not safe in India.  Where does the problem lie? It is time for introspection.

The main reasons and the respective solutions are as follows. In my opinion, the first main cause is a culture of bad parenting in India, which in turn is a result of the dominance of Traditions over Rationality. The male children are given greater importance as compared to their female counterparts. The girl children are taught to do household tasks and taught to allow themselves to be lowly treated by their brothers. Their brothers are told to study hard and secure well paying jobs. This is the true state of affairs in many Indian households.  Parents should promote egalitarianism among children. They should set the standards for their children by promoting free speech and equitable division of labour within their homes.

The second cause, in my opinion is the ineffective supervision of popular art, cinema and literature, where in the name of creative freedom and freedom of expression, obscenity has become the norm. What can be expected from popular songs like, ‘Munni badnam hui’ or ‘Want to be my chamak challo’, which are full of multiple obscene meanings? Whenever the Censor Board is strict and calls for cuts in a movie, it is deplored as being restrictive but then few mechanisms are available to curb the outbreak of deluges of obscenity in art, cinema and literature. There is no ombudsman to curb creative expression promoting vulgarity and obscenity. The public especially the youth are led astray. With the advent of new technologies with each passing day, it is easier than ever for a person to access obscene content. Strict censorship and establishment of regulatory bodies for art and literature is imperative to save the youth of this country.

The third reason for all this gender inequality is the attitude of people, which needs to change. Women should not only be worshiped in temples as Goddesses but ordinary women should be permitted by the members of their society to travel, work and speak freely without fears of backlash. The attitudes of people should become more tolerant.

A lack of gender education in our school syllabus is another constraint. Gender education should become an integral part of primary education.  Equality in treatment of human beings should be inculcated from childhood.

More importantly, even the attitude of women towards other women must be kind and free from jealousy. They should try to promote their cause. Strong women must stand up for the voiceless women; be it at home, educational institution and work place.

Also, Laws to protect women and children should be made stricter and laws should be promptly implemented.

Last but not the least; we must remember the pertinent words of Swami Vivekananda who said, “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already existing in man”.  There is no better way to promote women’s safety than through awareness and education. The above suggestions if properly implemented can go a long way in preventing crimes against women.

Written By- Dr. S.Padmapriya, Thinker and writer, Bengaluru.

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