Diyar B K Gupta,
Your recent recommendation to women to not go out alone at night stinks of a part of the reason women are not safe at night in Delhi. It is called slutshaming. The idea that the existence of victim invites a crime. We cannot be a society of warriors and gangs and roam around with bodyguards. If we were, we wouldn’t need the police anyway. That the Police Commissioner of the Capital of India recommends this is alarming.
I would like to bring to your attention Delhi’s unique memory of Women’s Day celebrations. A girl got killed outside her college in broad daylight. Women accompanied by another woman, or couples or even men on the streets are not necessarily safe by night, because of the free operations of criminals, and your police force is as much a danger on the streets at night as it is a security measure. Policemen are often drunk on their job, behave lecherously with women and threaten abuse if challenged.
Also, policemen being drunk makes me question their efficiency or interest in preventing crime. I accept that it isn’t most of the police force, but at the same time, it isn’t all men on the streets who are criminals either, is it? If a policeman can know that a colleague is drunk and not raise his voice, then he is as much as problem as the drunk one, because both are a security leak.
Crime in Delhi is rising. It isn’t the women who are the problem on the street, but the rampant criminals. The rising rate speaks of ineffective policing and your statement speaks of a grave misunderstanding of the problem. Rape is a hate crime. Those criminals on the street are intoxicated on their own power and often alcohol and drugs and looking to get kicks by exercising that power to force people to do things against their will. Be it beating up people or raping. As long as there are people, there will never be a shortage of targets. Your recommendation is absurd.
I challenge you to find a woman in India who is over eighteen who hasn’t been harassed on the streets by day or night. Crimes happen inside homes too. Should we just create large bank vaults for women?
Believe it or not, women know well how vulnerable they are. They are reminded of it every day. I don’t think there is a single woman on the streets of Delhi at night who isn’t hyper alert as to threats to her safety. They know well, but they must LIVE. They are a significant part of the country’s population. As such, many of them have absolutely legitimate reasons for being out at night. Be it jobs like media and call centers or doctors on shift duty. Prostitutes. Vegetable vendors buying their produce for selling early in the morning. Cinema and pub goers returning home from leisure activities that are currently legal for women in India.
They cannot dematerialize from one place to another. Most women make arrangements for safety. Most men know the need and are happy to escort, but if you are depending on this to be able to show low crime rates in the city, then you should be distributing your salary to them too. This is a result of the lack of safety that you are asking them to accept as normal, and you feel no shame in speaking this in the form of a lofty recommendation to women. You don’t even realize that you are making recommendations for how people should bear with the messes you are answerable for.
What are the improvements to security that you can claim? How are you even a good source of advice on security if crime is flourishing and you seem to in effect be accepting it as a fact of life that people must work around?
I can understand that you have the right to recommend people safety measures to deal with situations – it is the duty of citizens to support police initiatives for safety. But this is no temporary measure you are requesting. You are recommending an indefinite change to the freedom of a significant number of citizens. Is this constitutional? Do women have or not have or selectively have the right to be safe on the streets in the capital of the country at night? If it is their constitutional right, why are you speaking like a criminal – “you want to be safe, stay inside, or suffer”?
Delhi streets aren’t safe by day or night for men or women, and you, the person recommending that potential victims give up their freedoms in order to keep themselves safe are the person accountable for this lack of safety. You are, in effect conceeding defeat to criminals and saying that nothing can be done of them, and that citizens must hide. I suggest you resign and someone else get the opportunity to tackle this urgent problem.
Pissed off woman.
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