With the middle class again in arms against the ruling government and its administrative machinery, it is time for the TV news media to work overtime again. Plus with social media being as accessible as it is, everyone, including the writer, who has an opinion (or even if he/she does not have one), has a point to make. Rapists should be given capital punishment, there should be fast track courts set up for trying rape and sexual assault cases, there should be more police patrol vehicles and of course more police on the road, impounding vehicles with tints on, asking buses to drive around with interior lights on at night. A few among us also talk about the more important issue of creating the much sensitivity in society about the rights of woman, which, in case there are any doubts, the same as that of a man.
An important point to be noted is that when this incident took place
i. The order to remove dark tints (in fact any tints) from vehicle glass panes was already in force for more than a month
ii. The bus was running in clear disregard to the rules of contract carriage.
iii. The bus passed through multiple police check points while the ghastly act was taking place
So, as you see, had existing rules and laws been implemented in spirit, the probability of such an incident going undetected while it was happening would have been much lesser. Maybe so less that the culprits would have been too scared to even commit the crime.
In an ideal world, our average citizen is well educated to know that one of his prime duties as a citizen is to follow the law of the land. However, considering these are not ideal times neither are we in Utopia, we should realize that before we start respecting the law, we will need to start fearing it. That would not happen unless we see better policing, water tight chargesheets, a senstive and sensitized administrative machinery and higher conviction rates.
To all the measures being taken by all the government arms after the Delhi rape incident, my question is "Why now? Why not earlier?". Were rapes not happening before this one shook the conscience of the nation? Or have be become shameless enough to start categorizing even rapes as important and not-so-important. We need to ask the steps being taken by governments in other states to ensure something like this does not happen in their state.
To ensure that rapes and sexual assault in our society do not become acceptable as "that thing which happens to other people", we need to start asking for a cogent policy to strengthen a woman's confidence as she moves about in society doing her usual business.
It is sad that it took a brutally assaulted girl left half dead to bring something as important as woman's safety (and even citizen's safety) back on the discussion table.