Sunday, July 20, 2014

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN



With every passing day crimes against women are on the rise. Every day when we open the news paper or turn on a news channel we are brought face to face with news of rape and murder of the rape victim.  
Sita returns to the earth's womb with her mother.
(A Raja Ravi Varma painting, credits Wikipedia)

From the days of the Vedas and the Upanishads women are being violated. Since the society became patriarchal women have been at the receiving end. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata have chronicled the hapless plight of women.

Sita had to prove her chastity in front of all and sundry. Dushashana dragged Draupadi by her hair into the crowded courtroom where the game of dice was being played. Then he tried to disrobe her in front of all the great men of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. No one but Bheema protested against this outrageous act.

Rape and violence against women were there before probably in the same numbers. In India, every second, a woman or a girl child is being violated upon. Some incidents get reported while most remain out of our notice. Fear, trauma and social stigma bar the victim from reporting the crime.

People should be encouraged to come out and report such incidents. These cases need to be handled carefully and with compassion. The trauma, the victim and the family suffer, is immense. It should be taken into consideration while handling these sensitive cases.

Earlier, the media was present only in print form. But now, with the influx of media – both electronic and print – more incidents are being brought forth.
Draupadi's Vastraharan
(A Raja Ravi Verma Painting, Credits Wikipedia)

This increased expansion of the media has also resulted in the women and social rights activists becoming more vocal on the subject. They are coming out and protesting against these heinous acts. As more incidents are being brought to light, the complaints to the concerned authorities have also increased.

People are now becoming more and more aware of their rights and duties. Women are taking an active role in all the spheres of the society.

Empowerment of women is a revolutionary aspect of the society. The government, the media and the powers that be are trying their utmost in disseminating the message of development. Protection of mother and girl child, pre-natal care, neo-natal care, post-natal care, child infanticide are given due importance.  Strict laws and regulations have been framed to protect the girl child. Child marriage has been almost done away with, at least on paper.

Throughout the world “gender in development” and “gender and development” are being made the focus of all developmental programmes. Now there are strict regulations on the practice of dowry in our country. In spite of this, dowry is very much in vogue in the country. The powers that be turn a blind eye to the fact. This practice needs to be eradicated comprehensively.

Crime and violence against women are the most heinous and despicable acts in the world. These can be treated from a sociological aspect. The woman is the most vulnerable member of the family. Whenever anything untoward happens in the family, the woman becomes the most affected of the lot. Either she has to forego her morsel of food or the girl child has to leave her school or college. Similar other deprivations are borne upon the female member of the family. But the same does not happen to the men or the boys. These must be put to an end.

Development and growth is the call of the day.  Poverty need to be eradicated – not only in papers but physically. India has enough natural and agricultural resources and more than adequate cash reserve to see to it that no one goes starved. No one wants to live in poverty. No human being deserves humiliation and denigration.

It is the mother who feeds the family. It is the woman who does the household chores. It is the lady of the house who actually gives education to the whole family and brings up the children.

When one woman is violated upon every individual should think about his mother, sister, daughter and the women folk back home. During these despicable acts the society goes back in time. Development retards. 
Hence the average level of consciousness of the society has to be brought up.

Materialism has led to unrestrained want – want for goods and services beyond one’s means. This has given rise to the habit of downplaying hard work, diligence, camaraderie and fellow feeling. People look down upon those who are not resourceful. In general, disrespect has become a national disease. This results in disrespecting even one’s own kith and kin. Everywhere there is an ambiance of mistrust and hoodwinking. The common people are being fleeced of their money, property and possessions.

Sati Ceremony - A Hindu practice, whereby
a widow immolates herself on the
funeral pyre pf her husband (pix credit, Wikipedia) 
As charity begins at home, crime also begins at home. The rapists and criminals get the first taste of crime within their own family or within the surroundings they inhabit. This calls for a large scale drive to enhance the social consciousness of the society as a whole.

Our country is infected with criminalization of politics. It has been the bane of our society for long. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The political leaders cutting across party lines cater to their vote banks. They therefore fail to take honest, positive and drastic steps to enhance the societal conscious level.

The media and the information network have to take the onus on themselves to spread the message of respect, humanity and the virtues of life. But that again is a tough ask and who should come forth to bell the cat.    

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