When will women be able to live their life without fear?
Praggya Guptaa | January 4, 2017
It had been only a few days since we remembered Nirbhaya on her fourth death anniversary on December 29, when we heard about the shocking Bengaluru molestation case. A girl was molested just outside her house, few hours past New Year’s eve. The CCTV footage clearly showed that no one came to her rescue. This incident is the nth reminder about the necessity for women security. At the same time, it is also a reminder of how difficult it is for women to get justice in this country.
The journey towards justice itself is as harassing as the incident. Dealing with the police, the judiciary and the society is bone-breaking for the strongest of women. This journey contains roadblocks that lead to insecurity of delayed or denied justice. It starts right from the first step of filing the FIR. In our country, filing an FIR is a herculean task (especially if the case is not highlighted by media). The police will scare you to such an extent that it will shake your confidence enough for you to back out.
If you are strong enough to overcome the horror stories (of getting jailed, threatened, etc.) told by police officers, the next block will be the hours of waiting for the woman officer to come and write down the FIR. (The situation worsens if you are alone in the late hours at night.) Then comes the debate over the sections (of IPC) in which the case is going to be registered.
Getting your family support in these situations is no less harassing. Such is our society that you will be discouraged by your family and relatives to file a complaint and you will be blamed for the incident.
With much courage, even if you are able to go through with the first level, you will have to face the game of thorns with ‘tareek pe tareek’ (numerous dates) by the court. From early mornings to late nights, your phone rings with the police calling for one thing or the other. Whether it is your birthday or a busy day at work, your normal life will be completely disrupted.
No matter how strong you are, there comes a point when you feel like giving up as you don’t want to suffer anymore. The question that keeps pounding me is that when will this all end? When will women be able to live their life without fear? When will they get justice? When will the Indian police and the judiciary system improve?
This case is just another reminder that justice is never delivered on its own. You have to fight for it, living or dead. But, do you think that with so much to bear in these roads to justice, women are able to successfully reach their destination?
If you have a story about your way to justice, please do share with us in the comments column below.
Fire on the Ganges: Life among the Dead in Banaras By Radhika Iyengar 4th Estate / HarperCollins, 348 pages, 599
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