Women in India

Reema Shaukat

INDIA which claims itself as world’s largest democracy is having worst societal decline which is rarely broadcast on media. It’s not limited to melancholies for minorities living in India, forced acceptance of religion to them or deterioration of human rights in Kashmir but gender based crimes are on rise particularly against women in India. Recently western media reported that Indian police in the western Indian state of Maharashtra have found 19 aborted female foetuses near a hospital.
According to sources police found the foetuses while they were investigating the death of a woman who had undergone an illegal abortion. Human rights activists say the incident proves yet again that female foeticide is widespread in India despite awareness campaigns. They said its horrifying and female foeticide is happening at the scale of a genocide in India and it must be sorted out and those involved should be punished.
In modern India, women are suffering in male dominating society though India asserts itself as one exemplary nation state. It is important to mention that contemporary India is witnessing repeat of two identical tendencies of the past, one of which is that society is massively becoming radicalised under influence of Hinduism. Another reason is due to growing male chauvinist trend for rape, women feel apprehensive and perilous. Rape is becoming one of fastest growing social evil in India. In their distress, not only local Indian women are suffering but foreigners, tourists and Hindu pilgrims from other countries also go through such ordeals. Last year in January, five men were arrested in Kolkata and charged for raping a Japanese tourist.
Statistics by National Crime Records Bureau of India reveals that in India, a crime against a woman is committed after every three minutes and a woman is raped after every 29 minutes. Incidentally, it is often found that in every rape incident, the culprit is fanatic Hindu. Sadly, the crime is perpetrated by gangs of extremists during the communal violence targeting Muslim minority in India which clearly reflects the gruesome mindset of Indian radicalised society. In such a horrific incident, on 14 March 2015, an elderly 71-year-old nun was sexually abused in front of her colleague nuns. Church Father Dominic Emmanuel of Delhi Catholic Archdiocese said in televised comments that” this one becomes even worse because, first of all, she is an old lady and then on top of it, she is a nun. She is a religious (and) has consecrated her life to God and all her life she has remained a virgin.”
Anti-rape and women activists, protested when the Indian government restricted the broadcast of a one of BBC documentary about rape that included comments from one of those men. His comments triggered outrage around the world by blaming the victim and said that the woman “should just be silent and allow the rape.” On the eve of New Year celebrations, Bangalore turned into a “city of rapists” and news of the incident was stormed on social media too. On 18 Feb,2017 a leading Malayalam actress Bhavana was gang-raped in Kerala.
Recently, a German tourist claimed that two men of confined and raped her in southern India just weeks after the rape and murder of an Irish woman in Goa. It was hardly few weeks ago that a 28-year-old Irish woman was raped and murdered in the popular tourist state of Goa. As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data released in August 2016, over 34,600 cases of rape have been reported across the country last year with Madhya Pradesh and Delhi on top of list. It is important to note that in India, where women are suffering from rapes and violence after every few minutes their age varies from six to sixty years.
With such high rate of violence, major reason for increasing cases of rape is attributed to insensitive attitude of Indian Government and political leaders who behave thoughtlessly to ugly crimes against women. Though after incident of 2012 new laws and speedy justice was promised at that time but yet more is to be done. Now many women report crimes against them whereas many go unreported too. One can clearly say that rise in sexual assaults are definitely linked with ignored priorities for women and rising number of rapes are surely related with religious fanaticism, widespread poverty and lack of law enforcement, where improvement in societal setup of India is least preferred.
— The writer works for Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think-tank based in Islamabad.
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