Molestation – Whose fault is it really?

So I live in Bangalore and some would say it’s a smart thing that you organized a house party on New Year’s Eve and didn’t go to MG Road.

And while my reason for not heading out was primarily that I don’t like celebrating New Year with random strangers, I’d like to ask these people who gave me this golden advice, “Why is it smart again? Because I ‘protected’ myself from rowdies on the road?” Yea right! As if women only get molested on New Year’s Eve and the rest of the days, all we need to fear from is ghosts and pimples!

You know, I’ve had many a discussion about feminism and feminists with my friends and I know so many people around me who feel feminism is overrated. But you know what? It’s nice to sometimes acknowledge that there might be something wrong with society somewhere, don’t you think?

Okay, where is all this coming from suddenly? Well, I was listening to Radio Mirchi in the morning and they were holding this campaign called ‘Be Public’ this Republic Day, where they’re asking people to share their molestation stories.

This got me thinking, whose fault is it really? I know a lot of people will say that protecting yourself is the best way to prevent casualties.

So essentially, these well meaning people will say that it is of course not your fault but then you are suffering anyway so be careful.

So just imagine this. When India was not independent, would it be fair to say, “Yea it’s not our fault but let’s keep quiet because that’s safer and won’t get us killed.” Or if an economic slowdown occurs, a company’s CEO says, “It’s not our fault but let’s not change business strategies because this might just hamper our growth even more.”

Now pardon me for making these analogies, but I really can’t seem to find a better way of explaining that sitting at home on New Year’s night to ‘protect’ yourself is really not solving any problem here. It’s just pushing the inevitable to another day.

What we really need to look at, or at least this is what I feel, is to understand what really instigates the perpetrators of these crimes to act the way they do. Why is it so important to grope a random person rather than mind your business? Is that so difficult really, to just do your own thing and not invade another person’s personal space?

See, halfway across the world women’s health is taking a hit but our problem is even more grave here in India. Because it’s our very freedom that’s taking a hit and that does call for some action, surely?

Kudos to Radio Mirchi for initiating this on the day when our Constitution was built on the foundation of secularism and diversity 58 years ago. Let’s hope some good comes out of it.

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