10 December 2019
Is this an Issue?
Monstrous crimes against women in India made it to the front pages of all newspapers last week. The outrage has again brought the burning issue of lack of safety for women in India .Two days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed on the need for an image makeover of the police so that they inspire confidence among all the sections including women and children. He also stressed that effective policing was important to make women feel safe and secure. (Times of India, 8 Dec 2019). PM Narendra Modi, during his first Independence Day address as prime minister, in 2014, had stated- “Parents ask their daughters where they were if they return home late. But, do they do the same with their sons? After all a person perpetrating a heinous crime such as rape is also someone’s son. As parents, have we asked our sons where he is going? While we keep questioning our daughters, why not use same yardstick for sons too?” While Giving away the ‘Nari Shakti’ (Women Power) awards, President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukerjee had said- “The government is equally concerned at the rising rate of violent crimes against women. It is inexcusable that women in India do not feel as secure and safe as they should. Gender biases have no place in modern India where inclusive development is a key objective”.(Asian Age. 9 March 2017).
SARCAJC has conducted a random survey of 175 women in NCR, 100 percent echoed that they feel unsafe. None of them had confidence that police or judiciary will protect them. Parents/relatives/friends of 98% respondents frequently keep calling them on mobile phone to ensure they are all-right. Majority of the respondents expressed fear for their life after Hyderabad and Unnao incident. 80 percent of respondents conceded they dont want to step out of their home after sunset after the Hyderabad, Unnao incident.
The question arises- Why neither a 6 month old girl nor elderly women is safe in India? Insensitive system- corruption, lack of stringent laws, judicial delays.. the list seems endless. The feudal mindset mixed with corrupt system make girls and women in India -an easy prey and now trend is to kill & burn. There seems to be no fear of law. Seven years have passed since court verdict, but still culprits of Nirbhaya have still not been hanged. How sickening all this in a country that worships Goddesses, celebrates Navratras. Strangely, women safety has never been a key issue in any election in India. SARCAJC has been raising this issue since one decade Whom to protest?
SARCAJC has been raising the crucial issue women Insecurity in the National Capital Region. Take a look at the few Newspaper Watch:
10 September 2008
Sachin Tendulkar is not just a hero in the field of cricket but in real life too. He is the only celebrity who has shown concern about insecurity faced by women. Take a clue from what he had to say- ...If you don't respect women then you are not a man. A woman is always somebody's daughter, mother or wife. I am a father so I know. It feels terrible. It has got nothing to do with the city. Rather it has to do with the mindset of people...". (Sachin bats for women. After Hours. DNA).
12 September 2008
Advertisement of Day
The advertisement by the Ministry of Women and Child Development comes with the punch line- " She is the tree of life She creates She nurtures She sustains....Let her 'live'! Save the girl child". This ad features a tree with many leaves of various profession including mother, provider, farmer... (Deccan Chronicle). However the ad did not list any punitive action if one doesn't let 'her' live.
Women per se feel insecure even in the capital city of the largest democracy of the world, what to talk about the declining sex ratio. Hey, someone listening, atleast for the sake of upcoming Commonwealth Games!
4 September 2008
SARCAJC had raised the issue of Women’s Security two days back. Today, Hindustan Times reports that Delhi government is planning to bring a new law to tackle the instances of misbehaviour, sexual harassement with the women on the Delhi streets. This will enable marshals (in plain cloths) to take on who misbehave in public. The senior government officer: “…the city will host commowealth games in 2010. A safe, clean environment for everyone is as much a part of the experience….we would not want women visitors to feel threatened while walking around the city…”
It seems the emphasis here is not on the safety of women in Delhi per se but on safety of women visitors to Delhi during Commonwealth Games. If image building of India is part of the benefit of hosting Commonwealth Games, then the whole point is getting lost. Nevertheless, the Delhi Government is taking some positive steps and needs to be appreciated.
However, what about safety of women in the National Capital region, which includes Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon? Adjorning Delhi, in the city of Ghaziabad, women don’t not feel safe even in a government office like Tehasil. What to talk of women empowerment, their safety is at stake in Tehasil in Ghaziabad. And most deplorable trend is that people don't speak out when they see men misbehaving with a woman.
Why bother about Ghaziabad, since the Commonwealth Games- 2010 will be held in Delhi? But hang on, this city is closest to the upcoming Commonwealth Village, compared to many colonies of power capital of India. It is home to numerous people who everyday commute to Delhi for work, like they do in Gurgaon & Noida. How can one ignore it?
SARCAJC appeals to the Chief Ministers of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh for a combined action plan to make Ghaziabad,Noida,Gurgaon and Delhi a safer place for women. And we also appeal to people to speak out and protect woman from misbehaving culprits and not turn a blind eye.
But hang on, Marshalls cannot be everywhere in the NCR region. And many women don’t want to report such instances to the police, who are not very sympathetic. And after media coverage of Aarushi murder case, many feel reluctant in approaching the media too. Solution - a responsive helpline (operated by responsive women) for reporting such instances and marshals also carrying out sting operation on identified culprits/area based on complaints. Further, these culprits must be humiliated in front of the media. And SARCAJC is willing to help to bring these culprits to book...
2 September 2008
An ad has appeared on the last page of Mail Today with a punch line- “ The time has come to strictly deal with the Bl**dy insecurity faced by working women in Noida!” And how? “…come let us swear to change!…” in a Upmarket Mall in Noida. But hang on, are women insecure only in Noida, not elsewhere in the country? What about neighboring capital city of Delhi?
Take a clue from the front page of the same paper which features photograph of a female RJ who was “beaten up with a metal stick by a neighbour in posh East of Kailash colony over a parking issue. The man’s rage leaves the 21-year-old bruised and bleeding as residents watch the tamasha…”. Times of India, page two, reports that father and son were stabbed when they objected to youth’s bid to molest teenage daughter in Delhi. Dainik Jagran reports that a man was beaten to death when he objected to eve teasing in a market and saved a woman in Delhi. Two days ago, the front page of Mail Today decried- “ Flood -Hit women molested in Bihar:” …Is this sign of progress of a trillion dollar economy? All physical infrastructure is being build on a war footing for the upcoming commonwealth Games in Delhi but not a word about curbing this lawlessness which is heading women back to the dark ages? Surprisingly, not even from the women run Non governmental organisations! Hello, Anyone listening?
This fundamental issue of women safety hit the headlines only after brutal death of a young female journalist. Why did the media wait for loss of a life to raise this issue with prominence, which has been so very obvious throughout.
“… The incident has also highlighted that not just public transport, but also traveling in your own vehicle is not safe…” (Shruti Badyal. Asian Age 3/10/08)
“That Delhi is unsafe for women was once again reaffirmed in the wee hours of Tuesday when a women TV journalist was killed while returning from home..” (Medha & Megha. Times of India 3/10/08)
“ Is it truly insensitive when the chief minister of Delhi…implies that the ‘adventurous behaviour’ of a female journalist who was murdered while traveling home from work… was responsible for the crime. Dixit virtually seems to be suggesting that women better stay at home after dark….harassment is not just a late night plague, women and girls are routinely subjected to verbal and physical attacks at all times - in public transport, on roads, in shops and other public places…” (Editorial. Mail-Today. 3/10/08)
If only, the appeal of SARCAJC was taken seriously, Soumya would have been alive today.
3 August 2009: Women Insecure
The front page of Nai Duniya reports that Delhi is number one in the country on account of number of kidnapping of women. The rate of kidnapping in Delhi is 7%, compared to all India figure of 1.8%. It also asserts the Delhi is not all safe for women.
10 August 2009: Women Insecure
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Andhra Pradesh has one of the country's highest rates of crimes against women. While the state has been in the news for a series of acid attacks on women, the state commission for women claims that Andhra tops in sexual harassment cases at the workplace, especially in government offices and the IT sector...K Rajalakshmi, project director of the District Women and Child Development Agency in Hyderabad -which deals in all cases related under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 -- says that alcoholism and the depiction of violence against women in the Telugu film industry compound the problem. "We receive at least three cases a day. Reasons such as alcoholism and dowry demands lead to domestic violence, with women ending up abused and battered." (Indian Express)
14 August 2009:Media Watch
Amandeep Shukla reports that journalists in the largest democracy of the world are hounded for exposing corruption. Take a look -”It is difficult to imagine a graver threat to journalism as a watchdog of democracy than the prosecution of journalist for abetting’ the very crimes they expose. Yet, that is precisely what is happening in a nation that often takes price in the tag of ‘world’s largest democracy..”. Gyanant Singh informs that there is no law to shield investigative scribers. The paper also reporters courts the wrong way (Mail Today). This is not all. Hindustan Times informs that eve-teasers have thrashed Pankaj Doval- a journalist, in Delhi. Imagine- He was chased and beaten in power capital of India. Why- he only protested against passing of lewd remarks by some drunk men at a group of women in different cars. Now, that’s not a crime but a duty of every citizen of planet earth. Times of India has carried Pankaj Doval’s first person account, which is alarming for women and ‘real men’ those who stand up to protect women from eve-teasers. Worst, Pankaj Doval is still waiting for action. Keep going Pankaj, you’re on right track!
24 August 2009
Shame: No one comes to rescue
Delhi is getting more unsafe. The news that no one came to the rescue of an aged women who was beaten up by a hooligan on road, shook most women today. Why this mad violence, was the assailant mad? Take a clue from news that has appeared on the front page of Times of India- “Told to drive slowly, man thrashes cancer patient”. All Kiran Anand, 58 year old women, did was to asked the driver of a car, who was rash driving, to drive slowly. Guess, what he did, he slapped, beat & dragged the elderly women on the road. This is no simple road rage. It reflects how Delhi is becoming more unsafe for women. It is extremely shameful as well as shocking that despite raising an alarm no one came forward to their rescue. Police can't be everywhere for security. Anyone listening loud?
According to Urvashi Sharma- “The incident where a teenage girl was dragged out of her college by two boys…what is even more shocking is that one man among the many present who saw the incident came forward to help while others just stood watching. No one is safe in Mumbai anymore….Can a young girl even go to college in peace today? Where does this madness stop? ” (Mid Day. 29/10/09).
Yes, now it is officially recognized that Delhi is unsafe for women. Asian Age & Hindu report that United Nations Development fund for Women (UNIFEM) is working with Delhi government to make capital safe for women. But how? Asian Age correspondent informs (5/11/09)- safe transportation for women, improving street light. But is list open ended?
Two of every three Indian women are being verbally or physically abused, reveals survey (Asian Age. 27/10/2009).
14 November 2009: Women Insecure-Update
Yes, Delhi is extremely unsafe for women. This has been proved by a survey conducted by CEQUIN, an NGO, whose co-founder is Sara Pilot, daughter of Union Cabinet Minister and also wife of leading young member of parliament. Take a look at some statistics-“88% women respondents feel that public turnd a blind eye when harassment takes place, 97% of women respondents admitted they have been sexually harassed in a public place, 82% of women respondents feel that buses were most unsafe mode of travel in Delhi. Why is this happening? Hang on, women respondents were not asked a crucial issue- spread of liquor in Delhi and its effects of their safety. CEQUIN has roped in Virendra Sehwag, a leading cricketer as Goodwill ambassador. But he himself has conceded that he did not speak up against eve teasing when he was young! Kavita Chawdhury reports that every second Delhi policemen thinks domestic violence is necessary to run a family”. Good Luck to CEQUIN for trying to make Delhi safe for women before the Commonwealth Games, next year! But till then what will happen to level of insecurity among females in Delhi (read National Capital region, including Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon), is not hard to guess!
12 March 2010
Mohamed Thaver asks on the front page of Free Press Journal- “ What happens when a 76-year-old senior citizen with a fractured hand tries to take up cudgels against a shop owner, who continues with his work relentlessly in spite of it being a nuisance to others?”. The problem gets solved? Nope, the 25 year-old, shopkeeper assaulted her on the very hand that was fractured. Result- she was rushed to the hospital and is still recuperating there. This is not a stand-alone incident that occurred in Mumbai. Many friends of SARCAJC have been bringing forward this prevalent shocking hostility towards women (who complain) stand against injustice, corruption, nuisance, eve-teasing, the list seems endless. Yes, the law & its implementation is not stringent in protecting the vulnerable whistle-blowers -women & senior citizens. It is shame that such incidents are taking place and on official records, they either go down as mere statistics or simply unreported. Is anyone listening.
6 March 2010
The large advertisement by Ministry of Women & Child Development comes with punch line -“Creating pathways for women empowerment”. It informs that today a Women Leadership Summit-2010 will be held in New Delhi. But what is the state at the ground level- will women really get empowered by this summit? Tall talks about empowerment, but at the ground level in Delhi, basic women safety is at stake. High Court of Delhi had to express concern over the rising incidents of eve teasing and molestation in buses in the capital city of India. Harish V Nair reports on page three in Hindustan Times with heading- ‘protect women on buses’. Take a clue from High Court- “The menace of eve-teasing is on rise. Women feel threatened not only by anti-social elements but also the bus crew. Even drivers and conductors are often found themselves indulging in acts of indecency..”. It really is a shame that women in the capital of the largest democracy of the world are not safe even in public transport. Will reservation of 33% seats for women in Indian Parliament make National Capital Region safe for women.
A large full page advertisement in newspapers inform that Queen’s Baton 2010 Delhi arrives in Delhi today. Himanshi Dhawan informs that three months before the Commonwealth Games, Delhi’s ratings continue to plummet as a city unsafe for women. 67% travellers find Delhi unsafe (Times of India). 25/6/10
SARCAJC's cartoonist made this toon on
9 March 2017
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9 March 2011
SARCAJC has been long pointing to problem of insecurity faced by women. Today headlines of most newspapers reflect the same. Imagine, while going to college a 21 year old girl is shot during broad day light in crowded area and the assailant manages to flees The woman Chief Minister of Delhi echoes what is already known- “It is a matter of shame that women feel insecure in the capital city of the country”. Many friends of SARCAJC point that police cannot station itself at every corner but the public have to come out against these atrocities. The apathy of the crowd is extremely worrisome- why didn’t they catch the lone assailant? This is not an isolated incident when the crowd has remained a mute spectator. Few days back, the Delhi police ran an advertisement to highlight this very apathy. But remember, women felt safe during Commonwealth Games, why cant this be normal feature?
13 February 2011
The front page of Mail Today shouts in bold-" SHAME ON DELHI MEN". The survey by United Nations Development Fund for women (UNIFEM) & Jagori reveals the dark side of Delhi, which woman in Delhi come across every day- 66% of capital's women were molested 2-5 times last year & worst- 70% of men looked the other way when they saw these cases. In the capital city of India, there is no safe public place for women. Women respondents feel most unsafe when in crowded public transport, bus stops, and stations (54%), followed by drunken men (50%) in public places. So, increase alcohol related harmful effects are showing loud and clear. Mahatma Gandhi was spot on about ills of liquor. Any takers? It is indeed a shame that women are not safe in the capital city of largest democracy of the world. A friend of SARCAJC suggests such survey should be done across the country to get a holistic picture of the problem.
12 February 2011
Two years ago on independence day, the Indian Prime Minister had expressed concern regarding female foeticide in Indian society -"It is very sad that in our society, the girl child is being killed even before being born. This is a shame on our society..As soon as possible we have to remove this blot. Our progress will be incomplete till women become equal partners in the growth..". Two years hence, have Indian women become equal partners in growth? Take the clue from Mrs. Salma Ansari, wife of Vice President of India- " My view is that parents should poison their girl child as soon as she is born,”. Zee News felt that -"She was expressing her resentment and helplessness in the way the society is treating girls, especially in view of the rising crimes against them". And rightly so.
To a foreigner who is not familiar how insecure Indian females feel down here, this suggestion by the wife of Vice President will indeed come as a shock & disgust. But Madam Ansari has just given voice to the height of anguish and helplessness felt by Indian females due to rising crime against them- Living in fear, working in fear, traveling in fear...the insecurity list seems endless. Incidentally, the President of India,head of ruling coalition, leader of opposition are all women, but only Madam Ansari had the guts to voice the deep anguish of Indian women. Many female friends of SARCAJC point that given this the level of insecurity faced by half of India's population , India is indeed in dark ages. Did you say emerging economy, but at what cost? A friend of SARCAJC points to findings of latest survey by Labour Bureau which reveals extremely high unemployment rate for females.This is no inclusive growth, and here no tickle-down theory of economic growth will work. But surprisingly none of the leading policy makers/main stream media have bothered to read these disturbing statistics and ponder. The latest update -Chief minister of Delhi feels safety of women is greatest challenge facing her government. What could be a reason for rise in security for women, take a clue from Mahatma Gandhi.
26 March 2011
Women insecure: Page 11 of Delhi Times, supplement of Times of India gives voice to the distressed female- “Where am I not teased?”. Take a clue-“A girl in big city like Delhi may have access to all the luxuries of the world- be it a world class high end mall or a lucrative MNC looking to hire, but what she doesn’t have is one basic thing – security....”. It is indeed a shame that women in largest democracy of the world are not safe in the capital city and adjourning areas. The high growth statistics is no use for them. What to talk about women empowerment? What is the possible remedy, the newspaper has failed to suggest it?
Team SARCAJC has conducted a random survey of women in Delhi & adjourning areas. 100% women respondents very strongly felt that problem of insecurity faced by women is bigger than any other problem /challenge faced by India. The immediate remedy? 100% women respondents very strongly felt that strict security presence adopted during recent Commonwealth Games should be reinforced immediately & any crime against women should be a non-bailable offense with severe punishment in fast track courts. In long term solution, majority suggested curbing liquor consumption, restraint on obscenity in media (including movies/songs/ads) and continuous positive ad campaign for women safety. Is anyone listening?