IS MY COUNTRY REALLY SO UNSAFE? IS EVERY MAN OUT THERE A RAPIST?
I read your Open Letter to some of the most Influential Men in India asking them to do something “URGENTLY” to protect women of this country. The accounts you shared in your letter are horrific and no girl should go through an experience like that. Easier said than done…I know. I am a woman and I can correlate with the pain but Shenaz I would like to draw your attention towards something that no one today talks about and also urge you to write few more Open Letters after reading mine to you.
You ask a question again and again in your letter. Why was the driver in Uber case let go when he was caught for rape last time? Don’t you think you should ask this question to the woman who compromised the case and he was set free? Don’t you think you should ask this question to many women who are first accusing men of rape or threatening men of rape cases and then later settling those cases either before the FIR or after the FIR or after the man has been in Jail or during the trial by turning hostile? I am not saying all but majority of these cases are settled by financial compensation. I wish to ask you Shenaz, how can pain/crime be bartered with Money? If a rapist can give money and get away, isn’t he getting a license to rape again? Or was it never a Rape?
You seem to have a specific hatred towards Delhi, let me give you some data. I know the premise of your letter is emotional and I should not get into data. But in this age where data is thrown at our face time and again to establish an argument, I think I need to. In an in-depth research by THE HINDU of 1636 rape cases filed in the capital in 2013 (post Nirbhaya), it found that “one-fifth of the cases were wound up because complainant did not appear or turned hostile. Out of the cases fully tried, over 40% dealt with consensual sex, usually involving the elopement of a young couple and girl’s parents subsequently charging boy with rape and another 25% dealt with “breach of promise to marry.” So basically 65% cases were not what we normally believe rape is. While you ask many questions to Men, don’t you think you should also question women who are filing rape cases on promise of marriage or job or promotion or after any kind of promise remains unfulfilled if it is rape? Here’s something a Court in Delhi said – False rape cases behind Delhi’s tag of Rape Capital – Delhi Court). Knowing this, do you still feel Delhi is very UNSAFE?
You said you feel very safe on streets of Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn and not the same in India. I would like to give you some more data Shenaz. The reported rape rate in India is 2.0 per 100000 population while it is 28.6 in US. I think you are intelligent enough to draw conclusions and also consider that this 2.0 is after the kind of cases mentioned above. I must also tell you that anywhere in the world, a false accusation of rape leads to stringent punishment while in my country; you can find eight years of live in relationship turned into rape and there is rarely any punishment given to false accuser. I beg to ask you Shenaz is MY INDIA so UNSAFE?
I am a woman from Delhi NCR. India Gate is one of the most visited places and I have been there several times, pretty late in the night and it’s the safest spots you could ever be at. I urge you to go yourself and check out. I have also been on streets in Bandra late in the night, alone, coming back from work. I did not feel unsafe. Maybe I did not let that unnecessary fear creep in my mind which I am constantly being fed with.
I don’t know if you would read this, but I wish to invite you to meet some people – A young boy who has been labelled a rapist since he broke up with his girlfriend who was cheating on him! The case was filed a year after break up without an iota of medical evidence. Daughter of an old man who hanged himself as he was falsely accused of rape by his tenant when he asked for rent. A family where every man is constantly under threat of rape case by daughter in law as they are in a bitter legal battle! Do you think there pain is any less than that of a woman who is genuinely abused?
Your letter invites sympathy. But sorry Shenaz your powerful call screams of personal prejudice labelling all Men of my Country as Rapists. Yes there are pervert minds – who grope women, who touch women, who beat up women, who abuse women but does it mean that every man of this country is like that? Your letter adds to the cacophony around rape without suggesting any possible solution. We already have laws which are extremely stringent. You asked for death penalty, I wonder if you would really want Men accused of rape in cases like I quoted above to be HANGED? Also you want every man who touches a woman punished….Like Really?
Through this letter, I am asking you to consider drafting an OPEN LETTER AGAIN, not to FAMOUS MEN but MEN AND WOMEN WHO CAN DO SOMETHING –
An Open Letter to Chief Justice of India or the Home Minister asking for Police Reforms and Judicial Reforms – things India desperately needs to dispose of cases early and impart quick justice. We have shortage of workforce in both – Judiciary and Police. There are more than 3 CRORE cases pending in our Courts. Maybe your letter pushes them to do something!
An Open Letter to Police to do fair investigation, not take BRIBE in such cases and punish the wrong doer whether it’s a man who has committed the crime or a woman levelling false allegations!
An Open Letter to – Women who are misusing laws as a tool to settle scores because they feel privileged to do so, Women who engage in a consensual relationship first and later term it rape when promise (whether it was made or not) remains unfulfilled, Women who turn any fight into a molestation case, Women who file such serious cases and later settle it with money!
An Open Letter to those Parents who think their daughters cannot make her choice of a life partner and accuse boyfriend of rape.
An Open Letter to MEDIA that only shows us stories when a case is filed and not when a case is closed and authenticity of that case.
An Open letter to EVERY CITIZEN of India to be a little more HUMAN to each other and treat each other as HUMANS because we have perhaps stopped seeing each other as human beings and are constantly driven by our egos, anger, hate, revenge and negative sides of ourselves.
Crime against women isn’t the only crime happening in India Shenaz. But, yes it is the only crime being discussed. As if there’s nothing else happening! It’s great that you are concerned about safety of women in my country but why doesn’t the rising graph of crime in entire society bother you or for that matter anyone? What you and lot of other people are constantly indulging in – is labelling entire manhood as criminals. It is also expected that every man accepts this label sitting down, even if he is most respectful to women around him because if he argues, he would be given another label – Male Chauvinist. Personally, the number of men I have seen helping women in hour of need or otherwise is much larger in number than the ones who violate them but these men are rarely applauded (who remembers Nirbhaya’s friend now). So this generalization is tad too uncalled for! Moreover the men you have chosen to write to…..No personal comments but many of them have their own share of past with women!
I would end this by urging you to write a FINAL OPEN LETTER – asking women to be BRAVE as the world is TOUGH (I don’t know how many girls are still continuing with those self defense classes that became a rage after Nirbhaya) If I abuse, it would be stupid to think a man would not abuse me just because I am a woman. If we are asking for equality, let it be TRUE EQUALITY and not playing victim card as per convenience. Otherwise the entire cry for equality is a farce. THINK about it before you write the NEXT OPEN LETTER!