Guest post by Priyanjana:
I am an out-station student who studied in Delhi and would like to pen my opinion. Sir, there are hardly any woman I know who has not been subject to harassment at least once. Finding someone who has been harassed just once will be the ‘rarest of the rare’ case, as you would call it.
Sir, what is happening in Delhi today is a collective frustration of every girl who feels helpless and they are protesting against the ineffective laws that render them helpless and vulnerable. I have grown up hearing how unsafe Delhi is for women and I don’t want my next generation to grow up hearing the same thing and accepting it as a part of their culture and social taboo.
I have seen it is very convenient for people to blame it on one word- provoking. I fail to understand what exactly is provocative to men? Whether it’s the clothes that were provoking or the time at which they were out in the street that was provoking or the fact that her character is loose that provoked them. I clearly do not understand what provokes men, even if she is a sex worker, she has the right not to get raped. So, your men who think they can get away with such excuses should clearly be made to think again, sir.
How difficult is it, sir, to ensure effective policing?
I heard your interview the other day and it is disheartening to hear the Delhi Police commissioner saying that girls must not be out post 3 am in the night. A promise to ensure safety at any hour in the night would have been really satisfying to hear. By a promise, I do not mean an empty promise but a promise that you would work towards and make happen.
Sir, when so many students are protesting and want to voice their opinion, why is it necessary to shell out tear gases and use water cannons? Why can the opinions not be voiced, the problems of the people not considered and safety be ensured? Sir, are we supposed to carry on being submissive and not be taken care of because men get provoked? As the Police Commissioner, Sir, it is expected from you to break this myth, to change the mindset, to not allow any more injustice to happen, to take up the responsibility of the city, to never let history repeat, to implement the laws effectively and strictly so that next time a man thinks of harassing any woman he is forced to change the way he thinks, to ensure a safer future and set an example.
I would not dive into the statistics and wait for more rapes to happen so that the number gets stronger so that it becomes important enough for the matter to be taken seriously.
Let Delhi set an example and other cities will follow.
Sir, on behalf of all the women, I urge you to take effective steps, to increase police patrols in the dark stretches of Delhi, to tighten security in the night, ensure all the helplines are working, to make sure every metro and every bus has a guard, to ensure every police man is gender sensitized and to entrust safety with regular follow ups.
This is what we simply want, promise us this and then you can roll your tear gases bombs back.