I have never been a feminist; in fact quite the opposite. And I am always judgmental about women who are playing the victim or acting like damsels in distress, screaming out to the knight in the shining armour to save them.
Given my liberal upbringing and the complete freedom that a city like Mumbai offers, I have never felt insecure about being a single woman in a big city. I have been fortunate enough to have supportive friends, understanding parents and an independent lifestyle to live my life the way I want to. The only exception has been traveling alone, but that’s more of a mental block rather than anything else.
Unlike the women in other Indian cities, I have not felt claustrophobic, I have never needed a male escort to guide me home after dark and I don’t have to live under constant fear of harassment or molestation. I can breathe easy in a local train even at 11:30 p.m. or walk home alone at night, without being paranoid that some psycho is stalking me. So in my perfect world, cases of women being violated in a public transport or in broad daylight or in a police station are newspaper articles, which shock me, but fades into the background once Virat Kohli scores yet another century.
Until I read this article. While I had read about these isolated incidents before, there is something monstrously graphic about the way it’s written. Moreover, when these different events in different cities are put together, it makes you shudder: Do we really live in a civilized society? Are these people actually around us in the guise of family, friends, neighbours, teachers, acquaintances or even friendly strangers across the road? How can they stoop to such levels when they have mothers/sisters/wives at their own homes?
Today we celebrate Rakhsa Bandhan across the country. But before you tie that rakhi, take a moment and ask yourself, “Who is the person who really requires to be protected here?”
India has been labelled as the worst place for a woman of all the G20 nations, even worse than Saudi Arabia. The reason is not far away, may be even as close as the next door…