Why aren’t India’s women and girls safe? Who is responsible for their safety? How should that safety be assured? Since December 2012, these three questions have become a fixture on the national agenda, as has the issue of safety, or more precisely, freedom from violence. The condition of women in India has always been a matter of grave concern, especially in recent times with the incidents of brutal assaults against women in Delhi and Mumbai. Yet, the institutional response to women’s safety in India is not only inadequate, but also fails to address the core of the issue.
The Mumbai gangrape isn’t an indicator of how India, or its cities, are unsafe for women. Rather, it’s an indicator that Indians, as a society, do not have respect for each other. This is my rant, so here goes.
After the Delhi Gang Rape case, there was a huge public outcry about women’s plight in India. People put the blame on various sources from government to police for creating an environment that’s unsafe for women. However, the systemic problem of woman mistreatment goes deeper than that; sexism in India is institutionalized.