In the Holy land of India, the Devi Sukta hymn of Rig Veda, a scripture of Hinduism, declares feminine energy as the essence of the universe, the one who creates all matter and consciousness, the eterl and infinite, the metaphysical and empirical reality (Brahman), the soul (supreme self) of everything. The woman is celebrated as the most powerful and the empowering force in the Upanishads, the Sastras and the Puras, particularly the Devi Upanishad, the Devi Mahatmya and the Devi Bhagavata Pura.
But in spite of such honours, the female section of India — so called Goddess Lakshmi — are still in continuing degree becoming the victim of the power of masculinity since decades, which is a really unfortute. Male violence and atrocities against women have become a worldwide phenomenon. This might not be faced by every woman but the fear of violence exists and prevails amidst all. The problem of violence and atrocities against women in India is a burning issue today, which cannot be ignored at all.
Our society is male domited, and since decades women have been the victims of humiliation, physical torture, exploitation, rape, both physical and mental harassment etc, which has been in record. In Indian society, still to a large extent, the thought process on the concept of women is just of a child bearing machine, a house maker and thing of kinds of perception have resulted today in emergence of various social customs and practices and all sorts of illegal activities.
In the current scerio, though women are being gradually showered with honour and their importance of the meaningful role they play in the society is recognized, still some of the cruel practices thrive in the society. In spite of the legislative measures adopted in favour of women in our society after Independence, the spread of education and women’s gradual economic independence, countless women still continue to be victims of violence and extreme cruelty. Crimes like acid throwing, dowry killings, child marriage, domestic violence, and female infanticide, honor killings, accusations of witchcraft, rape, sexual harassment, trafficking etc are most relevant, and out of those, rapes are statistically in the higher range of the graph.
Rape in India has been described as one of India’s most common crimes against women, and by the UN’s human rights chief as a “tiol problem”. In our daily newspapers, rape rears its ugly façade almost every day. Sometimes, it is a brutal rape and murder by a stranger, gang rape of a girl by her acquaintances, or in many cases rape of a girl by her own father or elderly relatives!
In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in ratio of rape in India. It is becoming such a common thing in our newspapers that we are apt to not even pay any remarkable attention. These are the cases that are registered in police stations while a vast majority of the cases go unreported. There is one observation by a study that only five per cent of women-related crimes reach police stations in villages, and even in that little percentage, only 30 per cent cases are registered by police and actions are taken against the accused.
Another danger in India is that Indian law does not differentiate between major and minor rape. In every ten rape cases, six are of minor girls. In every seven minutes a crime is committed against women in India. Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. Every 34 minutes a rape takes place. Every 42 minutes a sexual harassment incident occurs. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidpped. And every 93 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry. One-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 but the vast majority are never reported. Although the pelty is severe, convictions are rare.
Today, in the current scerio of such startling situation, one particular thought that hovers around us is the reason of the increasing crimil and barbaric trends in Indian youths. One vital point is that as the country is pacing rapidly toward globalization and westernization, the ratio of such crimes is increasing, going higher and higher day in and day out.
Globalization has caused a significant change in the Indian culture, society and scerio. Late night party culture, discos, dating clubs, fashion shows and beauty contests have increased in numbers in the past 10 years. Satellite and cable TV channels have grown and are almost uncensored by any organized authority. Also, this decade has witnessed a huge increase in pornography materials, both in CDs and on Internet. The Indian entertainment industry (tiol and regiol) and media which have access nearly to every house, present bold scenes and nudity as fashion and symbol of higher lifestyle. The youths are heavily getting addicted to drugs and other intoxicant stuffs. The youths are highly influenced by the superficial glitters of the western culture and traditions whereas the good and constructive aspects of western culture such as discipline, hard work, dedication, tolerance, transparency, honesty, incorruptibity etc are neglected.
The term "atrocities against women" refers to as "a cruel and wicked act against a woman which causes her emotiol or physical injury or both".
Its high time to raise voice and fight against atrocities against women. Necessary measures should be taken in order to eradicate violence against women such as proper laws and enforcement of the existing laws that protects women from discrimition and violence, including rape, beatings, verbal abuse, mutilation, torture, honour killing and trafficking.
Fincial support has to be extended to make the female class independent, disadvantages of early and forced marriages have to be sensitized, the value of girls education and women’s participation in the economic development has to be highlighted, encouragement of women to participate in the political process and educate the public about the value of women’s vote should be sustained, introduction of mandatory self defence trainings for girls in the schools and colleges is a major requirment, and raising of awareness about the poor conditions of some women, particularly in rural areas has become a matter of great necessity.India needs to listen to the voices of its women. Though there is growing awareness and reporting of sexual violence, men are not able to accept women's increasing assertiveness, and they use heinous ways to punish them. Until and unless the perception that “women is a thing of enjoyment and a matter of entertainment” is challenged to its core, this epidemic of violence will never cease.
(The writer may be reached at email@example.com)