We may ignore the world’s view about safety of women in India, but how can we ignore the plea of a helpless father requesting protection from the administration for his four daughters? How can we turn a blind eye when a reputed political leader files a complaint about a social media post that threatened to rape her teenage daughter? How can we forget the fact that one of the most efficient ministers of our country has been trolled on social media for intervening when a couple was harassed, at the passport office, on questions of inter-religion marriage? All these incidents clearly point to the fact that India is not the right place for women. We may have a woman president, prime minister, chief minister, or Speaker. However, the ground reality has not changed. All the words about empowering women in India have failed in yielding any result. Women in India are still facing oppression, torture, and harassment. There is nothing called gender equality in our country.
The reasons for such pathetic state of affairs are not difficult to ascertain. Over the years, we have taken many steps to empower women but these measures were cosmetic in nature. We have never tried to wipe out the problem from its root. As a result, even after seven decades of independence today, we are being accused of being the worst country when it comes to safety of women and empowerment. We may raise questions about the methodology of surveys, which show India in a bad light but raising questions on methodology will not hide the truth. The truth is that women in India are being discriminated. There is no sign of the trend being stopped. Rather, discrimination against women is on the rise every passing day. We will have to check this trend and fight the menace in the right earnest. Otherwise, we will have to face in the coming days many awkward questions, and shame.
India was at the forefront of women empowerment once upon a time. Discrimination against women was unheard of in the country since the Vedic period. Women in India even actively participated in the freedom struggle. We were among the first countries in the world where remarriage of widows became legally acceptable. But it seems that empowerment of women in the country was stopped at that point. Today, even to get their daughters married parents must have to run from pillar to post to meet the demands of the bridegrooms’ family— forget about remarriage of a widow. We may have got rid of the Sati but we are yet to tackle the problem of dowry. With the demand for dowry rising every passing day, female foeticide is rampant in our beloved country. This is affecting the gender ratio of our country. The situation today is such that no parents are willing to send their daughters even to schools and colleges as the fear of being raped or molested is severe. Women in India today are living in fear of rape, molestation, and dowry. We have failed to provide a safe India for women. So, instead of tearing apart the report which highlighted the plight of women in the country, we should introspect. Do the women of our country really deserve such a treatment?