Sunday, 25 August 2013

What Has Gone Wrong With The City I Love?

Mumbai has enjoyed the title of ‘Maximum City’ for decades now. It has always been a city that lets women be. In fact, it is one of the things that make it such a great place, particularly for working women. Despite anything, it was always safe for women. Women lived their lives freely, traveled at odd times, and still felt safe. But not anymore. That reputation is beginning to fray. Recently, cases of rape have increased on a disgusting note. The frequency of such sexual crimes against women have shocked the conscience of Mumbai. 

There are still shameless maniacs in our society, and they are only getting bolder. Their actions are completely unacceptable and unforgivable. Did they forget about the national outrage over the Delhi gang rape that happened just a few months ago? If all the noise and stringent laws were passed at that time, it would have deterred this new incident. This crime has become a disease, with the criminal being a carrier. Although politicians and law enforcers mouth insipid platitudes, citizens are in a state of introspection of their security. Even if the survivor recovers from physical wounds, what about the emotional trauma it brings?

How does one justify why this is happening? Huge migrant population? Growing gap between haves and have not’s? Role of mass media and internet? The feudal mindset of men who consider women a property? Or our law system, where there is no certainty of punishment or its severity?? Such people should be dealt with sternest possible measure. No one should ever dare to repeat such atrocity.

Women continue to be assaulted in trains, raped when on work. How can this change? Am I safe in the city I love? What is responsible for such decay in society? Drugs? Alcoholism? Unemployment? I hate our disgusting hypocrisy, where on one side we worship women and the next moment this behavior. Only hope that remains is judiciary.

The power of the harasser, the abuser, the rapist depends all on the silence of women. Simply a law cannot change the society. It is a battle. Neither is the fast tracked decision assuring in our country, as one third of the judges' posts are vacant across our country's high courts.

While we express our outrage, it is extremely important to empower women and exert pressure on the law enforcers to do their duty and the guilty be booked for exemplary punishment for their heinous deed. And maybe punished publicly or even chemical castration! Safety is not a favor! Yes, Mumbai is still better than Delhi. But that is not enough. It is time we restore the trust that women once had in the city. More police personnel, better street lighting and public transportation are the required elements for discouraging such crimes against women.

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