Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Animals or Men?

I am deeply intrigued by a story that I was following on news in the last week. (A portion of it can be viewed in this Times of India article. In short, a cooking gas delivery guy befriends a young lady who has newly got married six months ago and has shifted from Uttar Pradesh state to Mumbai saying that he too is from the same State and is in Mumbai for livelihood. (In India cooking gas is delivered in cylinders, approximately once a month.) That means he had met her a maximum of five times, by when he comes to know that her husband goes to work and she is alone during the day. On the eventful day he comes with another delivery man mentioning that they have come to check if there is any gas leak, and they want her to get the Gas Delivery Book, where they want to make an entry of their visit. As she gets into their personal room to get the book, the men pounce on her, gag her, rape her and threaten to kill her. She pleads to be left live saying she will not inform any one. And at last they leave the beleaguered woman who passes out. The men loot the house, take valuables and gold, and escape. 

When the woman wakes up she calls her husband and informs him of the ordeal, and he in turn approaches the police.  Both the men are behind bar now. 

Why do people think that any "safe" place is a place to "attack" another? Why do we treat a place that is safe for one is unsafe for another? How can a home that is to be the safest place for a woman become unsafe in the presence of delivery boys? Indian laws need to change. This is not just a rape, but also is using one's official work for the purpose of perpetrating a crime. 

The government is speaking about having security guards and security cameras in all the ATMs to make people feel safe. But we don't need ATMs to feel unsafe. We can just be unsafe at home! The perspective needs to change. It is not the places that perpetrate a crime, it is the criminal mind that nourishes it. Unless we identify such and treat it with effective law enforcement, we might just not change. By the way, I am not sure if this woman is the first victim of these two criminals. May be there are others as well, and victims of such violence need to speak up.

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