t is no news that people in power couldn’t care less about the problems you face. At the same time, if they are to continue exploiting your votes for fun and profit, they must at least pretend to be doing something, so that they can later claim they tried and failed.
Seeing as how most of these people are chauvinistic pigs, it is no surprise that it is to their advantage that women get no real protection from rapists. After all, what would they do themselves, if raping became too difficult? Such people, with as much humanity as rabid dogs are increasingly caging women in, limiting their scope as humans, as professionals – which is something that they grudge anyway – in a pretense of protection.
The recent gangrape of a woman who worked in a pub has provided the Gurgaon administration with the opportunity to take state state sanctioned misogyny to a whole new low without actually doing anything at all to address the problem. ANYTHING AT ALL.
Here is how:
- The administration has told all malls, commercial establishments and pub owners that they cannot have women employees working beyond 8pm. Are only women employees getting raped? No. But this effectively means that women will earn less, be less likely to get a job if they cannot work for the full duration ANY place in Gurgaon that is open at night works. This will be a big blow to not just women’s earnings and work opportunities, but will have an impact on countless households where working women spend their entire salaries on running the home and caring for children. [Update: Don't just think of this as bar girls and restaurant waitresses. What happens to a woman executive's job if she can't work late on projects in emergencies without "permission from Labour Department"?] What will this achieve that is worth this kind of damage inflicted on these women? ZERO. Women patrons of pubs, bars, cinemas, will still be there late night. Only they will be an even more extreme minority and more likely to be targeted.
- Gurgaon deputy commissioner P C Meena said permission from the labour department would be required for a woman employee to work beyond the stipulated time in these establishments. What is the track record of the Labour Department in addressing the concerns of anyone at all? Apart from a new outlet to bribe, what will this Labour Department do about permissions requested? How can they be verified? How can faking information be prevented? Will women who get permission be allocated security by the Labour Department? No. So what will be achieved other than a hindrance to normal functioning? Again, ZERO.
- For staffers permitted to work after 8pm, the employer would have to provide transportation for them to go home, he said. In case P C Meena hasn’t read the news, the woman who got gangraped WAS in transportation AND accompanied by her brother. Did the kidnappers abduct her because she was using a taxi and not a company car? What dies this guideline achieve? ZERO.
- He directed employers to maintain a log book to record details of vehicles used to transport women employees, their time of departure, name of driver, etc. But tracking her transport was not a problem at all. The taxi driver had in fact approached the Gurgaon Cops for help along with her brother. He is cooperating with the police, he is speaking freely with news media. While this is a good idea anyway – and most people do it, it actually does ZERO to address the problem or PREVENT rapes, because drivers on payroll may not be the ones raping women. In fact, this is a subtle and baseless accusation on drivers.
- Any information about women employees working after 8pm should be sent in advance to the labour department. During inspection, the permission received from the labour department for deploying women beyond the permitted time will have to be produced when asked for by district administration officials,” said Meena. Meena seems to either be unfamilar with pubs or hasn’t bothered to read the case. The woman who got gangraped was not an employee of the pub, but someone who offered to partner men to gain entry into the pub. She was a kind of “freelance” companion on hire. For the purposes of any inspection this moron is planning, she was a client of the pub. What could something like this have done to save her?ZERO.
- Meena directed officials to conduct surprise checks to ensure the order is being implemented. Looking busy is important. Implementing useless orders achieves ZERO. Other than helping the police economy by opening another avenue for bribes.
- Owners of malls, pubs and commercial establishments have been asked to install CCTV cameras at pick-up points near buildings. This has already been asked many times. What is new? ZERO. Did the woman get abducted from near any such potential camera location? Nope. Did this recommendation for CCTV get enforced? Obviously not, or he’d not be telling this again.
- Expressing concern over incidents of eve-teasing, molestation and assault, Meena said it shall be the responsibility of pub and malls owners to ensure that these places are shut within the closing time indicated in their licences. It is perfectly legal to be out on the street all nights. What does closing pubs on time do to prevent rapes? ZERO. If anything, the more people are around, the less likely rapes would be?
- Pub operators have also been asked to maintain records of visitors. They should keep a photocopy of the customers’ identity cards and show these to the area SHO once every 15 days. Are you fucking kidding me? Why the fuck should I be treated as a criminal by default? Do I or do I not have a right to privacy? In any case, what does this do to prevent rapes? ZERO. It only gives the cops a whole new bunch of people to hassle for money.
- Malls have been directed to disconnect electricity connections of pubs that stay open after closing time. What does that achieve to protect women? ZERO. Wait, minus several. Who protects the women patrons from being groped in the dark by assorted drunks?
In other words, none of the actions actually address the problem, though they seem to have been issued as a solution. Not one. Women also get raped in the day. Women get raped or abducted in cars. How about banning cars?
The police are shirking their responsibility by vaguely making it about drivers, about the character of women. For example, Firstpost, challenging the cops breaking law by revealing identities and maligning victims quotes:
Take, for instance, Noida superintendent of police Anant Dev who told reporters that the victim “willingly went” with the accused “because she wanted an alcohol party from the boys,” helpfully adding, “She even mentioned she wanted vodka. She was involved in a physical relationship with more than one of the accused.”
In my view, what is happening here has nothing to do with preventing rape, and everything to do with disclaiming responsibility for maintaining law and order and punishing women for being raped and exposing their lack of law and order.
Why is there no comment on the inability of the police to track down the Maruti 800 used to abduct her in spite of being given its registration number? Why is there not the least apology that the Police van her brother and the taxi driver approached to request for assistance did not pursue the escaping kidnappers?
When Keenan and Reuben were stabbed on the street and onlookers didn’t do anything to help them, there was this hue and cry and massive guilt. There was very clear blame on the onlookers for not helping. When cops are PAID to prevent such crimes and are given the licence number of the car of the criminals and requested for help, and they allow the criminals to escape, in my eyes, the cops are accessories to the crime. It could not be possible without their active acting in contradiction to their duties.
In my eyes, the real guidelines here need to be issued to the police, not citizens. And I think P C Meena should resign, and any pension or money due to him should be distributed to people he is asking to do his job for him. In other words, pay for CCTVs in public places with his salary, for example.
Gurgaon should have a massive Occupy The Night Movement – where women remain out on the street all night, every night as protest – even if they end up simply sleeping on the street, before the police take away the city from them and hand it over to criminals to enjoy.