India is one of the few countries where people worship an array of goddesses. India is also one of the places where women who get molested by random men are the ones blamed for their plight.
While both these images of India may seem contradictory, this is what the “modern” India has been reduced to. Women empowerment may have become a façade used to dress up the dark ages Indian women continue to live in.
Mass Molestation Happening Publicly
For every governmental program that looks to assist women to acquire higher education, there is the metropolitan city, where women cannot return from work at night without being groped against their will on the streets. Far from raising awareness on how best to ensure women’s safety, politicians choose to concentrate on reemphasizing chauvinistic agendas.
Especially relevant is a recent example of women’s helplessness observed at the start of the year. An appalling incident of mass molestation happened at a New Year Eve’s party in Bengaluru, a South Indian City.
“All hell broke loose close to midnight as hooligans in the garb of revelers started pawing, molesting and passing lewd remarks on women on the streets, forcing some of them to literally take off their stilettos and run for help,” according to the Bangalore Mirror.
Most people expressed shock and disgust at the open harassment of women. However, some of the male politicians pointed fingers at the women themselves.
Women Who Wear ‘Western’ Clothes Deserve To Get Raped?
Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara cited women’s western-style clothing as the root of the problem. Furthermore, Abu Azmi, the head of the Maharashtra state branch of the Samajwadi Party, echoed such views.
“In this modern era, the more naked a woman is, the more fashionable people say she is,” Azmi told ANI News. “If my sister or daughter goes out to celebrate New Year’s Eve and her brother or husband isn’t with her, then that’s not fine.”
The remark sparked widespread outrage among young men and women on social media. Indian comedian Sonam Mahajan posted a picture of Azmi’s daughter-in-law, actress Ayesha Takia. He captioned her picture on Twitter, clad in skimpy clothing, “Are you trying to say that she deserves a #MassMolestation?”
However, the storm of angry comments and discussions are not the first time in Indian history. It is a repetition of what followed after a medical student died after being brutally gang raped in 2012.
So clearly, the mentality of men in India has not changed. Only the names of women victims.
Which again raises the question: Will anything ever change for women in India? As of now, cows seem to be treated with more respect than women are.