Sheikh Pervez Hameed

A passionate India loving Indian, delighting in its glory yet not blind to its follies, shortcomings and dark side.

Possible Solutions Against Women Violence

Delhi gang rape was inhuman, violent and brutal. It shook the cynical Delhi people to their core. It also revealed that the younger generation, normally dismissed as self-centered, is actually socially aware and willing to stand up and fight when the issues that matter to them, come to the forefront.

But what can be done to make Delhi safe for women? For if we can solve the menace of assault on women in Delhi, then the same model can be extrapolated to the rest of India.

Mood of India

Women in India are looked upon as an easy sport by most men. Men of all ages and from all backgrounds pinch them, grope them, pat them, whistle at them, shriek catcalls at them, unzip their pants and so on and so forth at the first available opportunity.
Since the Delhi gang rape event, I have been asking the women from whom I could ask about their own experience of molestation. It has been a disturbing and surprising revelation. Molestation is endemic.
The biggest reason in my view is that young men in India are starved from sexual gratification. The women are not ready to oblige due to social pressures and the stigma of a loose woman.
But sexual assault is essentially about dominance. This can only be checked by strong laws and their implementation. Over here, I must mention that men are also victim of sexual assault.
One thing has to be made clear. Women have the right to dress as they please, live the lifestyle they want to, go anywhere at any time where they desire. Hence, a woman attired in micro-miniskirt has the right and should be able to visit a nightclub all by herself, using the public transport in any part of India.
In the recent few days, since the occurrence of the Delhi gang rape, I have come across the following disturbing stories of rapes in India.
  • In Uttar Pradesh, an investigating officer of the police rapes the young girl whose case of an earlier rape he is engaged to solve.
  • In Delhi, a young girl is molested by the DTC staff after she boards the bus in the evening. Two young samaritans save her and take her to the nearest police station. There, it is revealed that she had run away from home after nearly 3 years of sexual abuse by her step brother and in desperation had boarded the bus. All this on the same evening when crowds had gathered at Jantar Mantar to protest the Delhi gang rape
  • In West Bengal, a couple is assaulted by a group of around six men. The woman is viciously raped and killed. The man is forcibly made to drink acid, which gives him high degree burns onto his internals.
  • In Allahabad district, a young girl successfully evades rape by a young man. Enraged, later on in the same day's evening, the young man along with his father visit the young girl's home and they set her on fire. Eventually she dies at the hospital.
  • In Haryana, a young girl is abducted and for four days is kept naked at a remote location. 40 men sexually abuse her during this period. She is forced to keep quiet and not report this matter to police under her family pressure.
Every 22 min sees a rape in India. Hard-core rape. Not just molestation.
The law has been changed and it is now mandated that each and every complaint of sexual harassment and assault by a woman has to be registered by the police. This is welcome, but it has been more welcome in the police lines. New source of revenue generation for the police!
It is true that there shall be some unscrupulous women who will make false allegations and exploit this law to the hilt. Even Rahul Gandhi was accused of sexual molestation, but his powerful connections saved him from further exploitation.
Police reforms are required. One major suggestion is to make police accountable to the law and not have MLAs as their masters.
Women who are victims of brutal rape should be given a caring sanctuary by the government. Like a government job and life long exemption from the payment of income tax, to her and her husband. Keep in mind the country could not save her from the grave psychological damage. This affects her career growth and consequently her income. This is the least we can do.
Some musings: (Some of these suggestions have been forwarded to Justice Mehra commission that has been set up to look into women's safety issues)

Long-term solution:

  1. Periodic mandatory psychological tests of the police personnel and of all those bureaucrats who make decisions related to women. The test primarily has to be objective type on the computer,  both for screening new recruits and periodic checks of those already in service. The test is to measure the sensitivity and respect the officers have towards the women and their issues.
  2. These tests can be split into two parts: A lengthy one hour test every three months is the first one and the second can be one question per week that can be answered through mobile phone.
  3. Then counselling sessions as per requirement based on the outcome of the tests.
  4. Similar periodic tests to be the part of the school and college agenda. This will bring up generations of properly educated Indians.
  5. Co-education in schools and colleges be made mandatory.
  6. Chemical castration.
  7. Takeover the properties of the culprit and give it to the victim  in cases of brutal gang rape.

Short-term solution:

a.      Women police force: On the lines of women peacekeeping force in Liberia, which had 103 Indian women soldiers and is a huge success there in bringing down the incidence of rapes and violence against the women. The Ministry of External Affairs will have more information to give.

b.      Fast track courts or special instructions to judiciary to make it mandatory to give a judgement within three months in a rape case. Emphasis is on three months. Police should be ready with the chargesheet within one week's time.

c.      Nominate willing citizens to be bus marshals in the night buses. (7 PM to 7 AM) Bus marshals be given a digital card linked to their registered mobile phone that keeps a track of whether the bus marshal was on the bus or not. A digital sign inside and outside the bus will display the message, whether bus marshal is on the bus or not, so a woman passenger knows beforehand about the presence of the bus marshall, and can decide whether to board the bus or not. Bus marshals should be paid a fee for this service.

d.      Often before the heinous rape crime is committed by the culprits, they commit minor crimes in which the police generally lets  them go off easily. Such culprits be made to take the psychological tests and then ascertain from their answers, whether they are nursing any traits of violence towards women or not. If the answer is yes, then they should be ordered to be periodically counselled over a period of one year. Also, an electronic wristband or an ankle band should be installed on them for one year, both as a reminder to them as well as to keep track of them. Whenever they board a bus or any other public transport or move around near girls college, a signal should go out cautioning the people that a potential misogynist is present around them. This technology can be ported to mobile phones and the girls automatically get a warning SMS and buzz whenever they come within 100 m proximity of such an individual.



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