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Introduction: Crime against women are increasing at an alarming rate in India. News of molestation, rape, kidnap, sexual harassment are frequent now a days. Once in every 8 minutes a molestation case is registered which exposes the vulnerability of women. In addition to the emotional and mental stress, the girl is to cope up with social stress also, which, instead of punishing the culprits attributes the behaviour or attire of the girl as responsible and crushes her moral confidence. Although it may sound ridiculous but sometimes the girl has to hear that the incident was simply a pure coincidence. Be it a bus or train, cinema hall or park, school or college, day or night women of all age group are now victims of this daily humiliating gruesome incidents. Recently two sisters fall prey to molesters in broad daylight on a public bus in Haryana which went viral in media.

Magnitude: Molestation is annoying a person with an intent to injure. But in our society females are subjected to male dominance from time immemorial. So molestation has become synonymous to insulting and outraging the modesty of women in our society. Even a 6yr old girl is not safe in her school today. Molestation victims from 6 to 60 establishes the rampant nature of this cruelty. Hardly a day passes when a newspaper or television does not report such incidents.

Data from National Crime Records depicts very gloom picture:


No. of registered cases in 2012

No. of registered cases in 2013

Assault on woman with intent to outrage modesty



Insult to modesty of women



These are only the registered cases and given our social structure we can only imagine the actual number of cases.

Recently an advertisement of a shower company created uproar by showing that bathing using their products helps to minimise the emotional stress inflicted due to molestation. Molestation has become so common that women feel lucky when a day passes without being subjected to this atrocity.Even walking in broad daylight is not safe anymore. Recently uploaded Video of 10 hours of simply walking by a woman in New York and Delhi in Youtube depicts the magnitude of this disturbing menace which is crippling the entire society. Safety and security of women have been rendered a joke. Criminal acts against molestation exists in the Indian penal code like section 354 and 509 which treats the offences as punishable .But police inaction and casual approach of people towards the crimes have rendered the acts toothless.

Molesters: The miscreants are not from a particular age group or region or cast. Every male who does not have proper education, lacks respect for women and decency treats women as commodities. They derive satisfaction in treating the women as unequal and causing them hardship. A 10year old boy found to be passing lewd comments and making obscene gestures is not uncommon today. Bollywood movies depicting molestation as a brave act are to blame a lot for this attitude. Relaxed and unconcerned public also allow the molester to continue his act.

Way forward: Molestation is against the fundamental right of a women because she is subjected to gender discrimination and inequality. Our fundamental duties entrust us to respect women and detest these deplorable crimes.But somehow we have deviated from the path and women had to bear the burnt. In the wake of protecting a girl's right it is high time to address this issue.Although education has been made a fundamental right but proper and valued education are lacking which the government and administration need to take care of. Also the offenders should not be allowed to go scot free. The laws should be strengthened. Non-bailable charges on molestation should be enacted. Civil society has to be vigilant. When a girl is subjected to any humiliation in a public place it is the public who have to come to the rescue of the sufferer. Nonchalant approach has to be shunned away. Security provisions in public places has to be tightened to book the rookies. Women had been silent long enough. Now they are fighting back and are showing courage to report the incident which is encouraging. Women must be vocal to curb this nuisance. Swachh Bharat campaign will remove the dirt from our physical world but the need of the hour is also a campaign to clean up our mind. With proper media coverage, family support and a vigilant civil society the growing problem of molestation has to be curbed.

-Pallabi Chakraborty

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