Another women’s day has passed and I wonder how many women around the world has yet again been asked to adhere to codes.
The other day had the opportunity to watch a bit of an open air debate hosted by a Malayalam TV channel. Since the channel was switched on, only towards the end of the discourse, I am not sure of either the subject of the debate or the identity of the main speakers (all females). I started watching when this middle aged woman from amongst the audience (there were only a few females) said something like this. “If this female was the centre of attraction because of her dress, then there needs to be a dress code to avoid harassment, rape etc.” and there was loud clapping from those gathered around. There was only this young man to shout back thus: “We have rape cases from a 3 month old to 70 year old woman and is it because of the lack of a dress code?” Obviously the lady had no proper reply to this valid question.
This was yet another instance where I couldn’t help telling hubby that it is the woman who is the greatest enemy of woman. I maybe wrong since in this case there was no proper representation of women amongst the audience. Hubby was only telling the truth when he said that a dress has nothing to do with losing control; those who lose control want no reason to do so. And today’s news points out that rape conviction are falling down. If rape continues, it is only because there is no proper punishment given to rapists and not because women are not covering up.
In 1973, when the National Crime Records Bureau first published nationwide statistics on rape, 44.28% of perpetrators — almost half — were being convicted by trial courts. In spite of years of hard-fought struggles by women's rights groups, and landmark Supreme Court judgments, the conviction rate has fallen to 26.5% — just about a quarter. The decade-on-decade conviction rate has been in free fall: to 36.83% in 1983, 30.30% in 1993 and 26.12% in 2003.
Then there are some who evoke religion and says that the religious text tells that women ought to be dressed modestly so that men are not tempted to sin. How weak it sounds! If men are such weaklings then is it not better for them to banish every woman from their world and live in a world without them? And why does the onus of protecting such weaklings rest with the so called weak woman? How can the men depend on a weakling like a woman to save them from sinning! The strength of man!
It was only recently in Kerala that a lady standing in queue at the beverages outlet was manhandled. She it seems was forced by her alcoholic husband to do so. But the outraged morality of a few got out of hand and this poor lady along with her husband was beaten. There was none amongst them to protect this woman’s modesty. As for those who were buying the elixir, I am sure most of them are wasting their hard earned money while the families back home keep praying that the nightmare will stop one day. They have no qualms in driving their children and wife to desperation but their depraved sense of morality rises up when they see a woman standing in queue. Should women start drinking along with their men folks to get them thinking in the right path?
Anyway, let me wind up this rambling on Women by wishing the very best to Madhurani Tewatia, the wife of IPS officer Narendra Kumar who was killed by the mining mafia. I hope this nation stands by her in her fight.
“I will ensure it reaches a conclusive end,” Tewatia, a 2008-batch IAS officer, said.