This is an open letter to Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition Lok Sabha, by Another (Indian) Girl.
Women in position of power, like yourself, have the opportunity to finally do something concrete to improve the plight of women and young girls in India. Please don’t stop at demanding a flat and a job for Nirbhaya’s family members, do something about the problem at large. Nation’s mood and the youth power are with you.
As per National Crime Records Bureau’s 2011 figures, every 22 minutes a girl gets raped in India, every 15 minutes a girl is kidnapped, every 12 minutes a girl is molested, every 5 minutes a women is abused by her husband or some relative.
These figures are horrifying. And they haven’t seen the peak yet. The rate at which crime against women is rising in India is alarming. Recent gang-rape and murder of 23 yr old (called Nirbhaya by TOI) is a grim reflection of the society we live in. All women in India, we bet without any exception, will tell you that they have faced sexual harassment of some sort in their lives.
It’s a problem that’s deep rooted in our patriarchal society. A society that sees women as a species somehow inferior to men – a human form that deserves no or a limited supply of free air – a breed that’s meant to be a subservient subordinate to men. When we demand justice we are seen as rebellious brats or some ignorable “dented and painted” (a reference to a recent outrageous remark by none other than Indian President’s son) women.
We don’t expect that the attitude towards us will change overnight. We don’t expect any quick solutions either. Honestly, we don’t even expect a complete solution. What we are expecting and seeking are some baby steps, some really doable things, towards the safety and security of women in this country. Some small concrete changes that are well within your capacity as a leader of opposition, who’s also a woman herself.
Let’s start with public transport. Let’s make buses safer for women.
Boarding a public bus, for a woman in India, is the most horrific experience. It’s like walking into some sex starved herd of wolfs – waiting to pounce upon you with tongues out.
Government is talking about having guards in the buses. Yes, we need them. Why not also start special buses for women only, and have women driver driving them? If we can have woman coaches in metros and local trains – why not women only buses at least in the cities?
Knowing how, and how much, the police have protected the women, it’s difficult to accept bus guards as a solution to this sick problem. Please demand special buses for women. Please prevent more women from meeting Nirbhaya’s fate. Please do.
Just Another Girl!