New Era or An EyeWash – Anti Rape Bill

Every cloud has a silver lining though sometimes we often wish that some clouds would not have appeared in the first place. Yet practical realities of the world are far from ideal and no matter how much writers try to live in utopia, certain incidents do shake collective conscience of humanity.

Gender Equality

Gender Equality

Once such incident which recently united the country was that related to the Delhi Nirbhaya case which though was not much different from what perhaps happens very often in nearly each nook and corner of India and many more countries, still there was something special in that case, or perhaps that it acted to spark the incinerating flame somewhere lying dormant and waiting to be ignited.

Critics and skeptics might say that apart from the breaking news that it was for a few weeks, nothing much has changed on the ground. Perhaps this could be true to a great degree but then we need to look at the glass even if just 10% filled and 90% empty. Even though it is true that not a single day has passed without any such incidents in part of the nation, still on the other hand, it cannot be overemphasized that the journey of a 1000 miles does begin with a single step.

So though personally I am not one of those optimists who see the recent bill passed by the parliament and finally received presidential consent, as the cure to all evils for crime against women, it is certainly a powerful tool. How effectively the tool is used depends on how well it is implemented at the lowest levels.

Many people are skeptic that such laws often are misused and the actual victims are not much helped by them. They also give example of acts such as the dowry act which has ruined many lives as the same was used to wreck vengeance to settle personal scores.

At the same time it must be remember that women have been given a place of special prominence in our society even in the most ancient times. Most of the Female Goddesses were symbols of strength, wealth, learning and wisdom. It was somewhere between that period and the current era, that gender bias perhaps reached unimaginable degradation and women began to be treated badly and oppressed for various wrong reasons. So the society does owe them to a great extent so even if passing such stringent laws means putting few innocent men at risk, this is a risk worth taking if the fabric of society has to be retained and gender equality has to be reinstated, at par with most developed nations of the globe.

Yet passing a law is just the tip of the iceberg. Changing attitude and perspective towards females is more important. There are multiple factors and challenges in such a direction ranging from social psyche to getting the message in the most remote areas of the country.

Plus there is a need to maintain checks and balances in that the fair treatment is meted out to both sexes, and most importantly to ensure that the misuse of this law is kept to a bare minimum level, since imagining a situation where this would not be misused would be living in an impractical world.

So for everyone out there who is jubilant over the new statue, I don’t intend to sound pessimistic but we need to consider this as just the first small baby step in a journey of thousands of miles. We need to learn, adapt and change in order to make this legislation fully effective in the spirit and not only in the letter. Just like any other battle, this too would require blood, some of the evil and perhaps some of the innocent but as they say – everything is fair in love and war. So when the war is as important as regaining the lost heritage of females in society, this much is acceptable.

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