Updated: Jul 6, 2020

Gandhiji once said, “When a woman walks in the streets in the midnight, then only it means that we achieved full independence to our country.” Now the guidelines given Mahatma are ridiculed in our society.

Though women are being gradually recognized as important, power­ful, and meaningful contributors to the life of men; but some of the cruel practices thrive even today.

Any woman cannot walk freely in the daylight, even accompanying her father or brother or husband. Women in society have been victims of humiliation, torture, and exploitation for as long as we have written records of social organization and family life.

From time to time, the Legislatures have been bringing new Acts and making amendments to the old laws.

The word ‘safety’ with regard to women has been used far too much — all the women know what this ‘safety’ refers to them, they have heard their parents use it, they have heard their communities, their principals, their wardens use it. Women know what ‘safety’ refers to, it means – You behave yourself. You get back into the house. You don’t dress in a particular way. Do not live by your freedom, and this means that you are safe. A whole range of patriarchal laws and institutions tell them what to do in the guise of keeping them ‘safe’. They reject this entire notion.

If she simply wants to go out at night, if she wants to go out and buy a cigarette or go for a walk on the road, that too during the day time, — is this a crime being committed by her? How many more Nirbhayas will get raped and then will get tapped like the girl in Vizag … We should believe that regardless of whether she is inside or outside, whether it is day or night, for whatever reason, however, she may be dressed — women have a right to freedom. And that freedom without fear is what we need to protect, guard, and respect. But, instead, what do we do?

“Well if she wasn’t dressed like that,” or “she wasn’t drunk and asking for it,” she would not get raped. It was the girl to be blamed. It was all her fault. Chuck this shit. It is never her fault. She never wears a sign stating ‘24×7 ATM facility Available’. But instead, it was the filthy mind of her rapists that harmed her, made her undergo both – physical and mental agony.

And here is the worst part – she gets raped and is told to be quiet, is stopped from registering a complaint. May I ask why?

Alexandr Solgenithzen said, “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface we are implanting it. Thus it will rise up a thousandfold in the future.”

So why should we take cudgels only when wrong happens to us? Why should we remain passive by standards when an act of injustice is being done? We must realize that it is our silence that emboldens the wrongdoer to commit more heinous acts in the future.

I’ll quote a simple example, if a guy is with six girls, his friends call him a ‘stud’ but if a girl is with six guys then she is immediately tagged as a ‘slut’. The need of the hour is to change our own mindset, to take a stand. So arise, vocalize, protest, and be the change you want to see the world to be.

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