A few days back two teenage girls were walking inside an university campus. A Toyota car halts besides them with three passengers. One person from front seat of passenger side comes down and insists that girls come inside the car. Girls walk away. This was a campus that has round the clock security at entry points. One has to identify themselves at the gate. Where cell phone number and car number plate are recorded. Yet, the boys / men were brazen enough to try to pick up a girl within a campus. They had come to participate in a cricket tournament in the university campus.
Fortunately, it was an university campus. Fortunately, there were people around. Fortunately it was broad daylight. I shudder to think what would have happened if it was dark and if it was outside the campus. Girls were hardly fourteen. Today, their free movement is curtailed by family. They can only walk on certain section of campus. It is not a crime in Haryana that innocence of two young girls, freedom of movement of two teenagers was snatched away..
In Haryana, a girl can be abducted from outside their home and gang raped. This is what happened to another girl, in the city of Gurgaon. She was picked up right outside her residence, and raped for five hours. Brutally raped, mutilated and murdered body was discovered from outskirt of Rohtak town. Girl was raped by seven people. In order to avoid detection, rapists had run a car over her face. The enormity of such savagery cannot be understood by common people.
It appears it is not safe to be born as a girl in Haryana. In this state, birth of a male child is celebrated. A woman child, if not killed in the womb, is frowned upon. Male child is lavished with goodies like luxury car and other gadgets. Education of boys is not a priority. In this part of the country, a girl is not allowed to access a cell phone, let alone talk on it. The cause of women is not helped, when political leaders like Chief minister of the state , proudly proclaims,” if girls want freedom they should walk naked. There is limit to freedom” Chief minister also says, “boys do not look at decently dressed girls.” Another, ex chief minister from a neighbouring state has famously said, “boys make mistake”.
Barely 100 km away, goons in the form cow vigilantes, most owe allegiance to ruling party, beat up an an armed muslim man for transporting cows. The man dies. Strangely, these young men who have no compunction beating an unarmed man minding his business, never get exercised when attempt is made to pick up women from a campus, or when a woman is gang raped and violated in most brutal manner. Most likely, women suffer in this life for their action. But some one must protect cows. I guess, a cow has a better life in Haryana than a woman.
I think, the state of Haryana has to initiate drive in war footing on at leat two fronts. Firstl, families must be educated to value a girl child. Families must educate girl children, and train them to get a job. This will financially empower girls. Boys must be taught to treat girls with respect. Secondly, outside home law enforcement must be strict, and efficient. In most areas police constables may be related to criminals by being from same caste and/or community. So they go slow on cases. Police often do not file FIR. More so if victim is from lower social strata and criminals from higher caste bracket. Policing has to be more efficient. There must be a lot of female police officers at different levels. Cases must be tried at a fast pace, Ideally a judgement must come in a weeks time. Once convicted, penalty must be deterring. Give three life sentences for three consecutive crimes. It does not make any sense, an acid attack victim suffers for rest of her life, while her attacker gets away by serving ten years. This must not happen. Criminal must suffer equally in jail like victim does in her life outside. .