Our Bharat is a country with an elaborated, lengthiest and bulkiest constitution. These features of our constitution gives us a notion that the framers had done a wonderful job and tried to respect the presence of diversity in Bharat by encompassing it with the number of provisions while considering all the religions, race, caste and sex. As we all know that this constitution has given equal rights to all along with certain provisos for providing special status to weaker sections of society. No doubt the Governments are taking time but still framing new laws day by day to curb exploitation in society either on basis of religion, race, caste and sex but the main point of concern is whether we the people of Bharat are really behaving in a responsible way; whether we ourselves showing respect towards the existence of others. Let’s talk about gender equality first. Yes we are claiming it right from the time of independence. Today we have several Constitutional provisions providing to females not only rights equal to males but it comprises of certain special rights also in favour of females and moreover we have number of legislations also for protecting woman from various crimes and exploitations. But these written materials are nothing if we still behaving in society with a sick mentality. On the positive side, this gender equality has given opportunity to female to make her educated, confident and to move one step ahead from male. On the negative side, this gender equality has accelerated certain crimes against woman also. Rapes, acid attacks and sexual exploitation at work places are common among such crimes. Yes we want that today’s woman should be educated, should come out from four walls, and should be self dependent but had we changed our mentality to tolerate an educated, confident and self reliant woman. No, we are not accepting her New Avatar in real senses. That is why she is more prone not only to above named crimes but also to the harassment which includes molestation, eve teasing, and torture. Women and girls are subject to both physical and mental harassment in the streets and public places such as running buses, trains, and places of entertainment, parks, railway platforms, bus stands, and markets, campus of educational institutions, crowded places during fair and festivals. Our governmental organs are playing their respective roles in framing, executing, interpreting the female laws as similar as they are playing their roles in case of other laws. Loop holes in their performances are no doubt is also another matter of concern but firstly we have to look at ourselves only and we have to be clean hands before blaming others for today’s situation.On one hand we are proudly saying that we are living in an era of globalization on the other hand we are blaming the short clothes and late night outings of woman for the crimes against woman. Not the rape victim but her clothes and her late night timings become the main matter of discussion. Sorry to say but a female’s body is not safe even in full covered salwar kameez and the devil can do this act even under the four walls of house also. Friends, nothing else but only the vision or mentality of society is totally responsible for all the crimes. At every stage in the life cycle, the female body is both the objects of desire and of control.
Today the women is trying to play perfect roles almost in every field according to their level of education, even performing the proud roles in uniform services also but the gossip on her figure, dresses, talks about illicit relationships with seniors without any reasonable ground are also raising at its peak. So, if a woman is confident in dealings with the opposite sexes, has a good sense of dressing which is the demand of today’s hour she will become the target of gossips not even in groups of her male fellows but will be targeted by her female fellows also. Still we talk about the fact that females are equal to males in our society and always looking at the government to frame laws for her protection. If we achieved the gender equality then why there arises a need even more than earlier to frame laws for protecting women. I thought the need is not of any law but the need is to enhance some values among ourselves and to broaden our own views and thinking. Earlier she was prone to social evils like no education to her, early child marriages, honour killings. Even though the whole country is not free from such diseases still few societies in India are attempting to make it free from such evils. Now, the main problem is that the education, modernization, self reliance of woman has given birth to number of other challenges to her. Just giving opportunity to her for excelling in all fields is not enough, we have to create the healthy atmosphere also for her survival.Unfortunately there is one more shameful fact is that even the female herself is not tolerating the success or happiness of other female. The poison of jealous is forcing one female either in families or at the work places to exploit other by defaming or by harassing her without any reasonable ground. I will not be wrong if I say that even from earlier societies this concept was moving that basically a woman is herself responsible for the downfall of her own gender. Females in societies had played active role along with males in giving air to some evils like female feticides, dowry deaths, early child marriage, and no education to daughters etc. It is thus concluded that gender equality in papers, in laws mean nothing unless our minds accept this equality, unless we the females respect the dignity of our own gender, unless we the people of India decides to modernise our own minds instead of modernising our accent of language, our clothes and our system of education only. We can and have to take steps to make our Bharat free from at least the violence or crimes against women if we really want to give survival to the concept of gender equality.”
(The author is EVS lecturer at Govt.Higher Secondary School Khellani Doda. Views are his own)