The New Year Celebrations across the world are increasingly ending with mass molestations of women. If it was Cologne in Germany last year, it is Bengaluru – the so-called cosmopolitan South Indian city famous as the Silicon Valley of India. You should watch Bengaluru by night! If it is the new year year eve, women’s worst fears come true. The mass molestations on the Brigad Road and the Mahatma Gandhi Road shatter Bengaluru’s image as a city safe for women. In the presence of 1500-strong police force, the new year revelers-turned-hooligans made the women run with their stilettos in their hands. The irony is that it happened on the road named after India’s tallest leader of the freedom movement Mahatma Gandhi!
If New Delhi is the rape capital of India, Bengaluru is the molestation capital of India.
The police statistics says it all: Bengaluru had 690 cases of sexual harassment and molestation booked under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code in 2014 out of which the accused in 22 are yet to be arrested. In 2015, the city had 714 cases of molestation and 171 of them are still under investigation. In 2016, the police registered 756 cases of sexual harassment and 559 of them are still under investigation. The number is increasing with impunity.
A nation is known by its values and cultural ethos. The political leaders lack maturity and have utter disregard for women. They make uncharitable remarks against women and make the women feel that they are inferior and belong to the ‘weaker sex’. The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is a wife deserter and he leads the pack of misogynists. He puts a ‘price’ on the girl friends of his opponents. He had called the former girl friend and later wife of the Under Secretary General of the United Nations, Shashi Tharoor, Late Sunanda Pushkar as a ‘Rupees Fifty Crore Girlfriend’! in a public rally in Gujarat the western Indian state to which Modi belongs. He was cheered by the crowd for his ‘manly’ remarks. Narendra Modi was not ashamed and he never apologized for the same.
After the Bengaluru mass molestations, political leaders from different political parties, blamed it on women saying women should not go out, their western dresses are responsible etc. The question is who gave the right to men to put their hands in the skirts of women on the road? Why were women groped in public in the presence of cops? The Bengaluru Minister for Home, who is responsible for police, Dr. G. Parameshwara dismissed the episode as ‘such things happen.’ Is this not a tacit encouragement to the molesters? No case was registered for more than a day saying there was no complaint.
There was an outrage on the social media too. Super cop Rema Rajeshwari, Indian Police Service (IPS) who led women protection SHE teams with acclaim was livid about Bengaluru molestations. She expressed her anguish with a remark:
What a Shame!
And we call our country ‘Bharat Mata’!
Bharat Mata is Mother India in Hindi language. The reality is that there is no gender sensitization in India. Women cops are heavily outnumbered. If there are 50 per cent women cops, molestations in public can come down drastically. The United Nations for Women should insist on 50-50 ratio in police and security forces especially in countries like India. Meanwhile, women should teach their sons to keep their pants up and not go skirt chasing! If things do not change soon, a time may come when women decide to squeeze the balls of their molesters to teach them a lesson and keep them at bay. In the words of Indian feminist author and columnist Shobhaa De — Do unto them as they do to you!