The gruesome gang rape of a 23 year old young woman in Delhi exposes a dangerous and ugly side of our society. This has not just outraged the capital city but people across the country. As a woman who believes that women must get out of the perception trap that makes them diffident, I am simply appalled at this growing rise of atrocities against women. As a society, we have been apathetic for far too long on the subject of sexual assaults against women and child molestation. The growing incidence of these heinous crimes is a sad reflection of the degenerating social ecosystem that echoes the past where women were suppressed for centuries, subjected to gender inequality devoid of any respect they deserved. For some unexplainable reason, even today’s society is averse to a modern, self-assured woman who dares to break the mold of the age old submissive woman.
The Delhi gang rape has caught the attention of youth all across the country and we must act now to ensure women both safety and respect in society. I have always felt safe in Bangalore and I think we should take urgent steps to prevent such atrocities against women in our city. I would like to suggest some measures that we need to take to make Bangalore a safe harbor for women:
A: Legal Reforms as follows:
1: All sexual assault cases to be declared as non bailable serious offences wherein offenders be jailed at the first instance until the case is heard out.
2: A special fast track court for such cases with a mandate to give a ruling in maximum 30 days.
3: Gang rape must be considered a third degree rape with sentences ranging from Life imprisonment to a death penalty in the rarest of rare cases. I also believe that chemical castration should be mandated for any rape involving strangers who assault women.
4: Scope of sexual crimes to be increased to include people who indulge in verbal abuse of women, as that is the starting point. Acid attacks must also carry a grave sentence.
B: Administrative Reforms as follows:
1. All public transport like Metro, Buses etc to have an armed security personnel like Marshalls in the US after 6 pm
2. All public and private transport to be GPS enabled and tracked.
3. Complete ban on dark films and tinted glasses on all vehicles, offending vehicles to be compounded
4. All commercial vehicles license subjected to annual renewal post police verification and GPS capability certification
5. Driving Licenses for commercial drivers to be issued post police verification and all commercial driver licenses to be renewed every year
6. Setting up of 24x7 helplines for women in distress
7. Increase the number of PCR vans in the city after 6 pm
8. Sensitize policemen to take immediate action against such incidents.
9. Penalize the policemen who refuse to file an FIR
These immediate actions will start the process of bringing in positive change.
Last but not the least we need to take a serious view on mending the social fabric, we need to relook and rethink on the moral values that we give to our children. The boys of this country need to be instilled with a sense of respect for all women during their growing up years and schools must start the sensitization process. I think change of mindsets is the biggest challenge that we face today.