Have you ever had second thoughts about travelling in a bus? Have you looked suspiciously at every man in a bus and imagined how you were going to counter these men if they tried to misbehave with you? I have. And trust me none of those black dots in your display pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and BB are going to help me get over this feeling.
We're all equally outraged with the brutal assault and rape of a 23 year old girl in a moving bus in one of the busiest and most posh areas in Delhi, but sitting in the cozy interiors of your house and changing display pictures is not what is going to help. I have often come across women who ignore eve-teasers because taking them on apparently invites trouble. Sadly, that doesn't do the trick. It only makes their resolve stronger.
When my sister first grabbed a lecherous man by the collar and threatened to drag him to the police station, an elderly passer-by on an evening walk asked my sister to let go of him for her own safety. The lecher apologised called her 'Sister' instead! Those are the morals of an eve-teaser. It is only when you grab them by the collar that you become their family. The elderly man praised my sister for defending herself bravely but he asked her to avoid roughing up men like that. That lecher was a daily wage labourer if I remember correctly.
The 6 men involved in this gangrape incident: Bus driver, conductor, fruit seller etc. I don't understand how we're ever going to educate that class about respecting women. I don't understand how the police are ever going to able to control a segment from committing crimes when most of them derive most of their monthly income from that class. What I understand is, if you're lucky you will come back home alive everyday, unharmed.
Just a couple of days after this incident, about 10 other rape cases were reported from different parts of the country. We've heard buffoons tell us about how women should wear proper clothes, follow the Indian culture and not get out of their homes after dark. It is ridiculous and funny at the same time that we still assume we could be a superpower with such brilliant ideas of preventing rapes. We have a police commissioner who claims hunting down 370 buses was an uphill task and says routine checks are only possible theoretically, calling this case a blind case when he had witnesses. Yes, this is the police that claims to take care of us.
We have no idea who's going to fall prey to another group of men again. What can we do to protect ourselves? We need to be alert, carry pepper sprays, pointed objects, rods and everything that can keep us safe from men. Make-up kits are passé. Before trying to look good, we need to concentrate on being safe and alive. Let us first prevent our lives from being scarred rather than just protecting our faces from them. It is sad, but maybe this is what it has come to.