Like many, I always thought that the sexual assaults on Indian women take place because of the lack of education. But no! I was proved wrong. The rapes in India are spread across its extent of demographic diversity. Earlier today the news was out that a UP politician was accused in the rape case of a 21 year old. Few days back, a DIRECTOR of a local educational institute near Pune was accused of raping a 5 year old girl. In my mother's words these people are padhe likhe anpadh.
People are happy at the death sentence verdict for Nirbhaya's rapists. I was against the death sentence, but it has actually helped keep the hopes alive for Indian women. Though there is a lot of uncertainty...but there is a chance. For the girl's family this may mean a lot, but it may not recover for any pain that they had to go through. It would have soothed their thirst for justice, but surely it hasn't reduced their trauma. People say this will help in women empowerment. Call me a cynic, but really will it?
Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, educational, gender, or economic strength of individuals and communities. - Wikipedia
Simply put, empowerment is the delegation of power to the less powerful. As far as Indian women are concerned, in any case, be it spiritual, political, social, educational or economic, the law has not considered a female inferior to men. There is in no way gender bias by the law. Then why do Indian women need to be empowered? In a country political leaders like Sonia Gandhi, social activists like Medha Patkar, education motivators like Shaheen Mistri, why does the woman considered powerless?
It is because the Indian woman herself believes that. She believes that the purpose of her sheer existence is to serve others. The centuries of male-dominance has shattered the self-esteem and self-respect of the Indian woman along with the courage to get it back. So, the empowerment of Indian women actually needs to be done on the psychological front. Women in India have a predefined set of psychological barriers which they think they ought to follow. And men! They have always taken care that she doesn't come out of these barriers. She in turn has taught her sons to keep other females barricaded just to make sure she isn't the only one tortured in the name of culture and religion.
That culture and religion which gets a rational person into doing the most irrational things ever. The culture and religion that blinds people to the extent that they can take a person from rags to riches in the name of God! Asaram Bapu, the preacher of "taali ek haath se nahi bajti", the human face of God for many, a top notch criminal, an assaulter of minor girls and what not, he is an epitome of an Indian's blind-faith in his culture. Its a shame that India has such self-proclaimed saints who think a girl can save herself by calling every assaulter her brother and begging for mercy. Could anyone think of a more disgusting solution! India has people who can stand below the feet of an Idol to whom they pray and dare to molest females. Yaar, these people are nothing but bloody two-faced hypocrites!
The good thing is women have started coming up with complaints. That in itself is a huge step for Indian women. Now I don't know if the changed laws will really help improve the situation. But sometimes a silver lining in the dark is enough to enlighten the path.
Sometimes the mind can't foresee what the hopes can do. Fingers crossed!!!