Indian constitution enshrines Women’s Right to Equality including rights over their own bodies. However, despite amendment of Indian Penal Code after the “Nirbhaya” case, providing strict punishment to the rapists, the majority of women in our country still do not feel safe alone on the streets, markets and workplaces. 

With the passage of time, the educated women have managed to mentally cope with their existential anxiety but it does not hold good for most of the women in our country. They still feel unsafe and anxious about their security. The National Crime Record Bureau statistics indicate that “40% of the Rape victims are Minors”. The Women have to remain “in a constant state of vigilance”, like being in a country on a constant “Terrorist alert”. They remain in a constant state of mental anxiety. 

The recent release of the accused in the “Bilkis Bano” case has shamed the country. A case of repeated sexual assault and the brutality involving a pregnant women, and then smashing the head of her child to death in her presence, should make our heads hang in shame. Even hearing about it should cause a deep emotional disorientation to any sensitive human being. One recoiles at the very thought of brutality and barbarity inflicted on Bilkis Bano.

It is indeed shameful that India in a survey has been named as “The Most Dangerous Country in the World” for Women (Thomson Reuters Foundation survey report).

My thoughts today go back to the times of the proud heritage and glory of our ancient culture having gender equality.

By C Pal Singh

President NISSMAT (International)

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