Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Law has changed! But how many changes could it bring?

We are in the last month of 2013 where people count on what they achieved the entire year, the losses made and plan and make resolutions of the future. The month of December also reminds me of something else- the fatal gang rape that took place in the same month an year ago in the national capital. As the memory of the dreadful incident flashes my mind, I am forced to think about what we learnt from the incident. Following the horrendous crime, there was national outrage with people protesting vigorously for women's rights, participating in candle marches and forcing the government o bring changes in the existing rape laws. And, considering the grave nature of the crime that occurred, the rape laws were amended or in other words, widened to cover a number of other crimes of a smaller nature that often go unreported or unnoticed.

Statistics of rape cases in 2013

As I read the news everyday, I find at least one news on rape, molestation or sexual assault. In an year where the nation united to fight for the rights of women, an year where the accused of the Delhi gang-rape case were awarded death penalty, the number of rape cases have reportedly gone up by 158 percent! What a shame for the country! As reported by IBN Live on April 23, 2013, the cases of rape all over the country had gone up by 158 percent while those of molestation and eve-teasing by 600 and 700 percent respectively. Alone in the national capital Delhi this year, the number of rape cases have increased from 330 in the last year to 806 this year. The increase is quite sharp and, moreover, shocking even after the law for rape has been amended and redefined, encompassing even crimes such as molestation and passing lewd comments, etc.

Cases that attracted media attention

If we observe and scan the passing year thoroughly, we have some rape cases that caught the attention of media and left the country speechless. The gang rape of a Mumbai-based journalist on assignment, accompanied with a male colleague at Shakti Mills, the gang rape of a female cop carrying the corpse of her sister in Jharkhand and the recent high-profile Tehelka sexual assault case that falls under the bracket of rape is an evidence of what changes have taken place in practicality despite law amendments.

What next?

We Indians need to change our mentality first, men should respect women and their integrity and only then a better for women will be born.