India is a huge democratic country with a total population of 1.27 billion as on 2014. Our Constitution has been made with an effort to keep all the interests and rights of individuals regardless of gender. Would it be too greedy for a human to ask for right to live in peace. Our ears buzz with the 9 pm news of molestation and rape. Our eyes are tired of seeing such events happening to closed ones and family. If man cannot acknowledge a woman with respect in this modern world when will he?
What is molestation? An act of crime to annoy, persecute or disturb with hostile intent or injurious effect as defined under law. This can be done by man or women towards the opposite sex or same sex violating their privacy. It includes sexual crime regardless of age. The act of molestation against men by men/women is a small percentage to the order of men against women. So inspecting the larger ratio, India houses an estimated 615 million females out of which 449 million resides in villages and the rest of 166 million in urban areas.
Rural India has a population of 449 million females. The literacy rate of rural India is 68% as on 2014.Though two out of every 3 females are literate in India such a ratio doesn't hold good in parts of Bihar, UP ,Rajasthan and North east. Though the overall literacy rate has increased in Rural India over time the percentage of women sent for higher education is less. Having less educational background these women have less or no voice or confidence of their own to stand up for themselves when an event of rape or molestation occurs. Over here the term public place may hold little meaning when the exposure to the females is restricted to village well and their houses. The existence of parallel government of Khap panchayats doesn't help the case of females. Molestation or rape attempts are rarely reported to the police in the area. The matter is usually taken up by the elders. Women are kept tightly under the control of men showing the uber male motive of dominance. Where females are married off at a young age, sold in exchange of goods, beat senseless by their drunken husbands or forced to practise polygamy in vision of the swindling sex ratio the rural females had to bear the brunt of the highly corrupt society. All these are examples of molestation in various forms and faces. The recent Badaun case in which two teenagers were raped and hanged reflects the same.
Urban India has a population of 166 million females. Housing nuclear families of mixed origin and culture we can see heterogeneous population in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore etc. Here females have better access to education, health and security. They are sent to pursue careers .Their voices are respected and heard. Public place molestation cases are hence frequent and 90% of them are reported in which accused are caught and punished. The term public places include the bus stops, schools, colleges, trains and a horde of places where a female can be alone or with company. It doesn't dissuade a psycho to eve tease or physically abuse a female. The recent events of child molestation in Bangalore school proves it. The Nirbhaya rape case shocked the entire nation for the brutal manner of assault in a metro city like Delhi.
Crimes of molestation against men by men/women that have happened in India are of a ratio of 0.25% out of the total cases reported. In such cases the harassed men were children and those who oppressed them were their own family or teachers. In the episode of Satyamev Jayate Season- 1 several cases of child molestation have come forward motivating others to fight molestation happening in the privacy of their households.
Laying out the problems of molestation in public places in the rural and urban India was easy. The hard part is to see how to combat them. Solution lies in the mind set of the society. Our Vedas and religion uphold female as powerful equivalent to gods. Our country is called Bharat Mata. The rivers and natures symbolically feminine. Thus surrounded by the beauty and purity of the meaning of feminine power why is the male dominant society hampering it. The way a child is nurtured to uphold the values and morals is important the way he/she will behave in the future not only towards their relations but also to a complete stranger.
Apart from this vow, the law against molesters can be made more stringent. The khap panchayats should be removed from their position of power. Rural population must be given more access to education, health and security.
Women should learn to speak up for self defence. This will increase their confidence to pursue their life without the fear of the unknown. They must report the cases of molestation as hiding them would only encourage the law breakers to commit more crimes.
Everyone in this world is should be committed to protect and respect their fellow human beings. It's a deed surpassing all virtues.
Karthiayani Sugunan Nair
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