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August 20, 2009

Honour my dignity

EVERY 30 minutes or so a woman is being raped in this country. Why are some sections of Indian men so intolerant of the other half of the population? Why is it that the women are always at the receiving end? Why am I being looked at and stripped as if I am some kind of brand and commodity? Similar questions have been bothering for long. And each time I hear about the unthinkable crimes being committed against young girl child or a woman, my heart quivers. And at these moments, I honestly feel the loss of not being born a man.

Can we for a minute lay down our obsolete mores, superficial differences of religion, caste and geographic boundaries and think hard about why women in India are not safe, even in their own homes. I would like to question the higher ups, the young force who clearly shone in the recently held general elections? Does the safety for women ever feature as a top priority in their lengthy arguments? India on the one hand is earning international praise for its economic strides, whereas on the other hand, crimes of all kinds, heard and unheard are being perpetrated against women. Incidents such as rape, sexual exploitation, eve teasing, public groping, dowry deaths, mercy killing, trafficking, female foeticide and gender bias: these are what an average Indian woman has to face in India. Of all the crimes, rape is on the rise.

A recently released report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) stated that a total of 20,737 rape cases were registered in 2007 as against 19,384 in 2006, while the figure was 18,359 in 2005 and 18,233 in 2004 against 15,847 in 2003. Last year's report indicated that there were 38,734 cases of sexual molestation. Crime against woman has increased considerably. There has been a jump of 700 per cent since the time the NCRB started keeping records. As per the same report, Delhi reported 29.5 per cent (524 out of 1,775) of total rape cases, 31.8 per cent (1,021 out of 3,207) of the total cases of kidnapping and abduction of women, 15.6 per cent (111 out of 711) of the total cases of dowry deaths, 14.2 per cent (1,711 out of 12,031) of total cases of cruelty by husband and relatives and 21.5 per cent (744 out of 3,463) of total cases of molestation. But the picture is almost the same in Gurgaon, Mumbai, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab or some other nondescript town or village. The fact of the matter is, this country is extremely unsafe for women. What is the root cause behind this behavioral and physical malice? What agitates them to resort to such a violation of dignity?

How can somebody get pleasure by causing pain and suffering to others? Some sections of society are of the opinion that we as woman ask for such crimes by forgetting our morals, wearing dresses that tempt men, by pubbing and by flouting our traditions and culture. This is indeed utter nonsense and nothing but a blinkered opinion. Let us call upon all faith leaders, political heavyweights, self-acclaimed activists and celebrities from the entertainment industry. As you rant and rave in front of the camera on every issue, somewhere some unthinkable crime is being committed against a woman. As a woman I have been forced to feel paranoid about my surroundings and safety. As a citizen, I am deeply frustrated and angry. And I am sure I am not the only one with this feeling.

Why so much hue and cry over Shahrukh's detention?

FOR INDIANS, celebrities from glittering Mumbai film industry and cricketing field are living legends, they are so much infatuated by their achievements that they can’t even take legal action against them in positive stride.

The frisking and subsequent detention of king khan Shahrukh at the Newark airport on August 15, when he was heading for a concert organised to celebrate the 63rd Independence day of India in America had left many Bollywood celebrities high and dry. Even politicians are not sparing any moment to offer their support for Sharukh Khan, who is applauded across the country for his mesmerising acting on silver screen.

Leading Bollywood celebrities like Priyanka Chorpra, Mahesh Bhatt and Irfan Khan have condemned the action taken by American security at the air port against the Dr Shahrukh Khan (He was recently conferred with the honorary doctorate by Bedforde University-England). Hundreds of fans of Shahrukh have also expressed their displeasure at the frisking of their super star.

Minister of state for external affairs Sashi Tharoor also pitched in to express his support for Shahrukh, he said, "To all who asked about SRK, we all found it offensive and have asked the US to look into it." American authorities on the other hand had kept themselves completely away from the entire controversy. One of the spokesmen said that it was an usual security check and there is no point in giving it too much importance.

Why we Indians are feeling offended at Sharukh’s frisking? Every nation has its own law of the land, whatever American security did at the Airport was completely in accordance with the prevailing immigration law. We Indians have to learn lesson from Americans. When it comes to security, no body is above law, be it Sachin or Rahul Gandhi.

Why so much hue and cry over Shahrukh's detention?

FOR INDIANS, celebrities from glittering Mumbai film industry and cricketing field are living legends, they are so much infatuated by their achievements that they can’t even take legal action against them in positive stride.

The frisking and subsequent detention of king khan Shahrukh at the Newark airport on August 15, when he was heading for a concert organised to celebrate the 63rd Independence day of India in America had left many Bollywood celebrities high and dry. Even politicians are not sparing any moment to offer their support for Sharukh Khan, who is applauded across the country for his mesmerising acting on silver screen.

Leading Bollywood celebrities like Priyanka Chorpra, Mahesh Bhatt and Irfan Khan have condemned the action taken by American security at the air port against the Dr Shahrukh Khan (He was recently conferred with the honorary doctorate by Bedforde University-England). Hundreds of fans of Shahrukh have also expressed their displeasure at the frisking of their super star.

Minister of state for external affairs Sashi Tharoor also pitched in to express his support for Shahrukh, he said, "To all who asked about SRK, we all found it offensive and have asked the US to look into it." American authorities on the other hand had kept themselves completely away from the entire controversy. One of the spokesmen said that it was an usual security check and there is no point in giving it too much importance.

Why we Indians are feeling offended at Sharukh’s frisking? Every nation has its own law of the land, whatever American security did at the Airport was completely in accordance with the prevailing immigration law. We Indians have to learn lesson from Americans. When it comes to security, no body is above law, be it Sachin or Rahul Gandhi.