Achieving a Civilised Society
The plight of Indian women has remained highly unchanged even in the 21st century. From Kashmir to Kerala, Saurashtra to West Bengal, women everywhere are suffering from unbearable pains and agony. Women are being killed, raped and tortured with unfailing regularity. Yes, there are specially enacted laws to protect the women in our country but unfortunately, these laws exist only on paper; few if any women have ever benefited from such laws. There is a separate ministry for women, various NGOs for their empowerment; but nothing is visible on ground. India had elected women in important posts such as President, Prime Minister, etc.; despite all these steps very little has changed regarding the condition of women in the country. Thus, being a woman in India means a life full of pain, torture and agony.
Recently, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has advocated for a change in the marriage act. He made this suggestion as he was unable to prevent dowry deaths in the state. It may sound strange but the fact remains that despite being the most literate state in the country, dowry deaths are rampant there. Literacy, ideology, sensitivity, etc. everything has failed to lessen the plight of women in India. The reason can be ascertained from the fact that on a television programme, state’s women commission’s Chief M. C. Josephine advised a woman to pray, after knowing that armed goons were keeping watch on the house to prevent her from going to the police station. After hue and cry raised against the escapist comment made by the women commission’s chief, she was released from her post, but the disease continues.
From far south to India’s capital Delhi, where honour killing took place in a congested locality without anyone being arrested so far. The couple was married barely a month ago against the will of their respective families and settled in north Delhi, near the Haryana border, their native place. One evening suddenly a number of armed persons entered their room forcibly and killed the man, while the woman was injured. Everyone knows the motive behind the killing apart from the police. As a result, members of both the families are now roaming freely, exposing the inadequacy of our legal system. In Madhya Pradesh, a woman tried to flee from her in-laws’ house due to regular torture and harassment but on being caught by her in-laws, she was beaten in front of the village and was hanged from a tree for hours, until the police rescued her.
There is no need to make the list lengthy as it is unending. Clearly, time is running out. Indians should be taught to respect womankind. Laws should be strictly implemented so that women are not regarded as commodities but people of equal standing and rights. Introspection should be done as to why our anti-dowry law has proven so ineffective. Why rape has become a daily occurrence even stringent provisions in the law after the tragic Nirbhaya incident? Our country needs a mentality change to join civilised society.