Here are things I need done. Kindly do the needful.
- Quit aping the west on the dehumanization, and instead copy the concept of safe houses. You can’t do shit for women unless you can offer those in trouble a safe place to stay.
- Have special courts for women’s rights abuse. Setting them up will be a statement in itself that you are taking women’s rights seriously. And trust me, we have enough fodder to keep them in business for a long time.
- Get conviction rates happening. in 2008-2009, over 40% of women marring were under 18 years of age. Only 111 complaints happened. Out of that, a pathetic 11 got convicted, and ZERO came to public attention. Go spectacular. Think women’s rights world cup or something. Don’t wait for complaints. Hunt ’em down, prosecute, convict spectacularly. Watch the numbers deflate.
- Same thing for dowry. I have written a post earlier on how to defeat dowry. Take it seriously. Implement it also for child marriages (earlier point). Take the war on their turf – to use a Bushism.
- When a the Minister for Women and Children is caught on camera watching porn in the assembly when another serious human issue of drought is being debated, and when the state is fooling around asking for questions, fucking intervene. Prime Minister, President, whoever. Get these guys unceremoniously sacked and banned from public office. Not asked for explanations and asked to resign, as thought they have a choice, and there are good answers if these people can find them.
- Educate police officers on Human Rights. Soni Sori’s torture is one thing. Last time I called cops to help when the husband got drunk and abusive, they thought I was making a fuss. The husband agreed next morning that he had been unacceptably obnoxious. Cops told his friend to ask me to be reasonable. And yeah, the husband also insulted the cops, for which they did get pissed with him, but not for something minor like domestic abuse. This is how women commit suicide, you know? When they are refused support. I read a recent story of a woman who suffered from domestic abuse and jumped herself and child from the 12th floor and was grateful our windows have fixed grills for my blacker moments.
- Make sexual harassment a non-bailable offense. We really don’t need those creeps out on the streets unless their innocence is proven.
- Up the punishment on rapes, women/children/dalit’s rights abuse [three massive areas of shame] and human rights abuses in general. Keep castration and hanging both on the table for severe crimes and make sure there are at least a few every year. Trust me, we have enough criminals to run short and the lives you save will be more useful than the lives you take. *more on this later. **and more
- Start awards for people who defend women’s rights. Regular citizens who do extraordinary things.
- Media. Make every serious rape conviction mandatory to be reported in media. As in, get some eyeballs on those castrations and hangings. Not the actual executions of the judgments of course, but the fact that they happened. That will do more to prevent rapes than the rest of this entire list.
* I am actually against the death penalty. I believe we should evolve to a place where we can create a safe space in jails for the reform and rehabilitation of criminals and reintegration into society- no matter how severe the crime. To never take away the possibility that honest change can bring forgiveness and a second chance at life – with appropriate monitoring and safeguards, of course. However, on many things, I have come to realize that there is something called ideal – what you work toward, and something that is real – that will give you results in the here and now. Normally, I never recommend compromising the ideal for a quick fix real, but the security of women and children in India is a National Emergency no one cares to declare. I would rather a rapist be denied the possibility of reform than him being relatively unharmed making the consequences of rape “affordable” to many. Not ideal, yes, but I think three rapists hanged making national headlines in the country will do more to reduce rape rates than anything we are doing.
The other thing is that for being anti-capital punishment, there needs to be impeccable other punishment. I don’t know if there is a court in India with a conviction rate of more than 20%. Most cases are lost due to lack of evidence. In such a situation, it is very easy for a criminal to experience impunity. Overburdened cops with entrenched misogynist attitudes and lack of nurture for developing that capacity cannot create the deterrence against breaking law. Then, the only solution is for the very slight risk to be magnified by making it unacceptably high – to have any deterring effect at all.
** Obviously, the criminals getting irreversible punishment (other than psychological and lost time – which is for all) – punishment like castrations or hanging – should happen in absolutely undeniable crime, which is proved with evidence and there is no room for doubt. But there are some kinds of crimes in particular that I think deserve death and no one should have the power to grant mercy except the victim (every victim of that person, if more than one) – not even the president:
- Gang rapes. Hang em all. Seriously.
- Any rapes that result in the victim being hospitalized. Hang ’em. In the case of minors under 16, no one has the right to pardon, since a person under 16 in India isn’t legally capable of consent till 16 years of age. Consensual sex under 16 is also considered rape. Same logic should apply.
Other serious punishments should be considered, like children of rape inheriting rapists entire property at the time of rape. Everything the man has. No matter how rich or poor. Though I suppose his dependents may have to be accommodated – not their fault.
Such things. Come down like a ton of bricks, not this insipid and half hearted way, where mostly the cops and judges act like they would like the woman to shut up. A judge actually recommended rape victims marrying rapists as some kind of solution! This won’t do.
This may seem extreme, but this is an essential. Kidding you not. We are the fourth worst country in the world to be a woman in and the absolute worst to be a girl child in. We are the largest democracy in the world, and among the top largest countries by population. To have bad rape rates is one thing, our size makes us possibly the top contributors to world women’s abuse. If we must run a large country, we must face that to have shoddy human rights makes a massive dent on what humanity is allowed on the planet itself.
We need to get out butts off this list. For ourselves, for the world.