In Gurgaon, jobs, safety and roads after 8 pm, reserved for men?

From this it seems Gurgaon pub attendant’s rape could have been prevented by the police,

…the cabbie and the victim’s brother approached a PCR van parked near Sahara Mall. But when a police officer called the victim on her mobile phone, one of the accused snatched her phone and politely told the cops they were dropping her home. And shockingly, the police did not act.

The incident raised serious questions on the effectiveness of police patrolling and setting up road barricades , particularly on MG Road. [Cops called victim, captors said all’s wells]

And how does the administration ensure that such shocking inefficiency is never repeated again?

… the Gurgaon administration on Monday passed an order virtually absolving its responsibility of ensuring women are safe. The administration has told all malls, commercial establishments and pub owners that they cannot have women employees working beyond 8pm. [Read more: Don’t work after 8pm, Gurgaon tells women]

Do you as a citizen find the Gurgaon Administration’s response reassuring?

Would it not have been more reassuring if it was made clear that negligence of duty by the police would not be repeated or excused?

So now, the next time there is a rape, the victim would feel she first needs to convince the police that she wasn’t working after 8 pm – maybe then she won’t report. No reports, no rapes.

For once I agree with something in a comment on TOI article.

Well, what will happen if the criminals start raping girls in the day time…????? WILL THEY ASK WOMEN TO STAY INDOORS ALL THEIR LIFE…????

Are jobs, safety and roads after 8 pm, in Gurgaon, reserved for men?

What if a woman was coming back from a wedding or a hospital or a movie or birthday party or a play, or shopping, a school annual function or a dinner after 8 pm?

Vidyut@Vidyut Restaurants should stop serving food to women at 7:30 or earlier so that they can be home on time #OccupyGurgaonNights

So do Gurgaon roads belong to men and criminals after 8 pm?

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80 thoughts on “In Gurgaon, jobs, safety and roads after 8 pm, reserved for men?

    • ‘Knee jerk solution’ – that’s what i was thinking too. Isn’t it amazing, though, how the reactions are always “You Women get off the streets or you will be raped” and NEVER “You Men don’t rape women otherwise you’ll be lynched for being a threat to society”?

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    • It is not a knee jerk solution. It is not a solution at all. No one designing this can imagine it to be a solution. It is a retaliation on women at large for being victims and making cops look bad. I have a post on my blog about how NONE of the guidelines do ANYTHING to prevent crime or protect women.

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  1. Good post. On International Women’s Day, I did suggest occupation of City centres at night as an activity for feminists. In my town I was happy to see a 12 hour whole night programme in the centre of the town by women, which included seminars, film shows, 2 wheeler rally and writing and putting up posters on city walls. All cities need such programs.

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  2. Dear IHM, the incident adds to the list of many of those cases where we indians are scared to react and respond worried abt the consequences. What we forget is that it can happen to anyone anywhere. Trust me not just, no place is safe for women in India evn in day light. I hav seen it myself whn i met th an accidnt recently when someone hit my car during day time. The people that hit my car was asking compensation and beating my friend in a shopping area where as noone came fwd to help seeing those violent gundas. People will watch, look at you with symapathy and carry on with their lives. Its just like you stay inside if u dont want to get into trouble. Rise to the moment is something i dream of, bt havnt seen yet. This ppl should be punished heavily if we want the system to change.

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  3. Seriously, I wonder if this something new (as in rapes & all) or is it because now this information is more easily available and spreads faster too because of the IT age. My wife seems to share the later opinion. But I want to take the first view- that there is a sudden spurt of such violence. However, in anycase the issue at hand is – are we going to bring a Taliban kind of administration in India as well? The admin obviously cannot just wash their hands off duty!

    This is ridiculous!

    8 pm?
    It gets dark in winter at 5pm, so in winter we will make it 5 pm? Carte blanche ban at 5pm then?
    The folks needs to do some serous re-thinking!!!

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    • Seriously, I wonder if this something new (as in rapes & all) or is it because now this information is more easily available and spreads faster too because of the IT age.

      I think it’s bit of both. And I also think that rape is a power issue. These rapists are miffed off by the increasing independence of women and want to “put them their place.” It’s just like any other hate crime.

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  4. WHAT RUBBISH. The way to make women feel safer is to have MORE women around, all the time, EVERYWHERE, wearing what they want, working where they want, behaving the way they want. The whole place should be TEEMING with women.

    I learnt that the hard way after being harrassed in a train compartment with only men in my vicinity. No one, not even the TTE was sympathetic or helpful. Another older woman nearby was the one who moved to make place for me. And after I yelled at the TTE, and he shifted me to a part of the bogey with only women, I felt waaaaaay safer.

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    • This is so true. It makes the city more unsafe for the few women who would go out after 8 pm. Now the rapists have more power. And the police can even more conveniently blame the victim. “She was not supposed to be out. So she brought it on herself.” And they can wash their hands of the case.

      It makes me wonder if the majority of the law makers /city administration are women, would they come with such a shitty law?

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  5. Another idea for the Gurgaon admin – in their vein : Men will work at night and women will work during the day in offices!

    Will that solve their problems?

    Come to think of it – no men can be seen in public during the day! Women’s are safe at work, public etc & the sun is taking care of them :P ! !

    All men at work during night (supposedly) And at night women folks will be home safe! Really????
    But, isn’t that their theory too?

    I think the naivety is best summed up – if rapes happen in during the day – so women can’t work during the day too?

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  6. @Anil @Starry – I agree, I would feel safer going to a mall, to movies, to hospitals, metro station, on the streets etc after dark or before dark, where there are both men and women security and staff. Bannning some women from roads/malls/jobs makes it more unsafe for all women.

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    • True!

      Let’s say if their approach is even acceptable, this also means that technically most of the women are now going to be found in the supposed safety of their houses! But that is exactly what makes it even more dangerous! Doesn’t it? Rapes, don’t just happen on the road. What about security there?

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      • The Gurgaon police seems to forget that in the majority of cases, like this one, the rapist/s are known to the victim.

        So women will be raped even at home.

        Research has shown that reduced mobility and sequestration disempowers women even more.

        Perhaps, that is exactly what the police is trying to achieve.

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      • @Anil:
        //Let’s say if their approach is even acceptable, this also means that technically most of the women are now going to be found in the supposed safety of their houses!//

        And some aren’t even safe at home. I don’t remember where but day before yesterday, I read a report where a women and her son hired a goon to rape his(son’s) wife ‘to teach her a lesson’ because she reported to police against both of them for either dowry or domestic violence(I can’t exactly remember what).

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    • THIS, THIS, THIS.

      “WILL THEY ASK WOMEN TO STAY INDOORS ALL THEIR LIFE…????” <– yes. This is exactly the aim, at least in Delhi and the environs. Even when I was there in 2007 the attitude was "Don't go out without a man, don't go out to the stores, order everything via home delivery, that is what it is there for."

      I'd been in Mumbai previously and so upon arriving in Gurgaon my first thought was, "Where are all the women?" They are too afraid to go out – but the lack of women on the streets is still making it even more unsafe for women. Get out on the roads, go shopping, be out there in numbers so that it doesn't seem like an odd thing for a woman to be out, or that a woman being out isn't a target.

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  7. This made me so angry. The whole ‘wrong place, wrong time, wrong dress, wrong profession, wrong choice’ blaming of the victim. And the plain fact is the rapist was in the right place at the right time, and the police WEREN’T in the right place at the right time. Why is the focus off the bas#@@ds? WHY?! Why aren’t the police out there getting these guys?

    In the US, it was commonplace to mistakenly dial 911, when dialling India (Delhi). My neighbour once had police turn up at her front door, her husband assured the police it was a mistake, but they demanded to see her, took her to a private spot, and asked her if she was really okay and whether he had threatened or hit her etc. THAT’S what was needed here by the damned cop who called the victim.

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    • Infact, it happened to me once, but I was advised not to hang the phone in a jiffy because then the police guys will be there thinking that I’m in a kind of emergency
      and wasn’t able to continue the call further. So, just told them – I called by mistake and it was settled there..

      It will take us another life time for the country (not our lifetime) to evolve to such a system. We (to start with) the so called educated class first needs to let go their “chalta hai” attitude and demand and give service too !

      (recently in a upmarket bakery in Hyderabad, when I demanded why they don’t pick up the phone (I called them from my cell right their and saw they won’t pick up) the guy says- I’m busy with customers here, how can I do. I was not able to convince that he should pick the phone if there is one and you put on the cake order slip/bill,etc. The guy is not giving bills/ takes cash to avoid taxes, and all ! )

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  8. We’ve been discussing this at work all day, and most women are veering between two extremes:
    1. You can’t change millions of savages, so you just have to change your own behavior and stay off the roads, cover yourself up more.
    2. All women should be allowed to carry tasers or guns.

    Neither makes sense. Supremely depressing.

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  9. There has been news about women getting burnt while making lunch in the forenoon. From today, none shall light fire before 12 noon. Lunch to be prepared only after 12 to avoid women getting burnt.

    Children are tripping over some loose stones in the pavement on their way to school in the mornings. It is proposed that the timings of school be changed to noon to avoid children falling and hurting themselves.

    Most men have been found cutting their chins while shaving in the morning between 6 and 8 a.m.. To save men from such nicks and cuts , all shaving has to be done before 6 a.m.

    Maximum number of coconut tree climbers are found to be falling trees and injuring themselves during day time. Henceforth, to avoid injury to climbers, coconut tree climbing can be done only after sunset till sunrise.

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  10. Have women safe zones, ear mark places where only women can go .GEnder curfews…
    Like in Germany build awall… Women one side.. Men on the other…

    I dont believe this police called and when they said all is fine.. The believe. Shame. Here if by mistake you call police and put the fone down police has to do a physical observation where the call came from.. No second thoughts of it..

    Govt needs to be sacked..

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  11. Does this mean btw, Women police also won’t work at night??

    On a separate note :
    You know I have a better suggestion (and this is a serious one) . Remove all Men folks from the Police department. Let the women take charge of the whole security. I ‘m pretty convinced that this will solve the problem. And it will really take the balls out of the rapists & the ilk.. literally!

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    • I would say… remove men from all positions of power like the city administration, police, judges, etc.

      Then there won’t such ass-backwards laws.

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  12. Females who work in IT where clients have meeting after 8PM, what they will do? should they tell the same thing to the clients..that our such big Police force is not capable of keeping law and order. So please don’t keep meeting after 8. LOL
    What image we are creating in front of world..

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  13. Finally, there’s another addition to the list of absurd comments and measures that are being shoved down our throats by supposedly credible sources like, police officers and, politicians, in order to thwart rape and other sexual violence against women. No matter how much I try to avoid getting infuriated, I always get riled up when somebody suggests that it’s a woman’s responsibility to prevent rape, instead of putting the blame on the perpetrators. Why should women have to hide behind the walls of their homes because some perverse minds think they are entitled to rape women? Is there a guarantee that women will remain completely secure in the confines of their own homes considering the prevalence of acquaintance rape, child sexual abuse, marital rape and domestic violence? Why, not enough emphasis is ever put on finding these rapists, harassers and assailants and putting them behind bars? Why so much of time is disproportionately spent on teaching women on how not to get raped, instead of teaching men about respect and equality and telling them how not to rape women or perpetrate any kind of violence against them ever?
    I guess a culture of entitlement, silence and protection lies behind all of the above. A clear message needs to be sent to the whole of India and the world that “People aren’t assaulted because they invited it or enticed others to it by looking a certain way; by being in a certain place, at a certain time; by being a part of a certain profession or by being in a certain state- drunk or sober, alone or with certain people. They’re assaulted because somebody chose to assault them.”
    Sane women and men need to shatter the silence. “We need people to truly try and imagine — once and for all — what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered.” (I read this line somewhere, but I am not sure where). If we don’t do that, we’ll be encouraging a perverse culture, the youth and the coming generations of the nation will continue to internalize the rape culture that is so prevalent right now.

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  14. Why can’t the govt say women can go out round the clock?Then we will have more women even at the midnight fearlessly walking around as they will have other women for company;just like the daytime.If a ban comes making the women get inside the home by 7pm,then I don’t think it will be a solution to the problems happening around.I would say it will become more difficult to the women working late.

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  15. This is just a way of shrugging off responsibility! Its stupid to ask women not to step out of their house after 8 p.m! And comment from TOI hits the nail, what will happen if women are raped in the broad day light!? This is not even a temporary solution, can’t believe this is what they have to say to stop rapes from happening! Appalling to say the least.

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  16. Once again we are witness to the truly appalling inefficiency and insensitivity of our law enforcement agencies. The diktat is absolutely unjustifiable and unconscionable in a country which deigns to portray itself as a liberal democracy.

    I am deeply ashamed that I live in a country where the cellular phone of a politician’s son can be located minutes after it is stolen, but where a sexual assault simply results in further restrictions upon women.

    Why is the police paid at all? Why should we, as taxpayers, fund an organization that openly washes its hands off its responsibilities?

    When I lived in Toronto, high-profile assaults usually led to the police making hurried pronouncements about doing their best to bring the perpetrators to justice. It was precisely the same in Stockholm and London.
    It is not the same in Delhi.
    When a woman is sexually assaulted in Delhi, the police force does not promise to catch the criminals. Instead, it makes lofty comments about “licensing norms for commercial establishments”, “strict rules for pubs and alcohol” and labor laws and Western Culture and night shifts. They carry on and on with their moralistic vomit. The criminal does not even get a mention. Instead, working women, as well as small and medium businesses who had nothing to do with the crime, are made to suffer. People, with families to raise, are made to suffer. Freedoms are encroached upon. Rape culture is justified. Women are reminded that they, not rapists, are the problem.

    Months ago, my own firm began the process of shifting their small branch office from Gurgaon to Noida, because of the horrible law and order situation there, as well as issues with public utilities, like electricity and water. I’m aware of more businesses leaving. No one wants the nightmare of running a business in a place where the police blatantly sheds all its responsibility and the government cannot ensure basic safety for everyone.

    Damn them all. I hope this cop realizes what he has done. I hope it lives with him. I hope he knows that if it weren’t for him, a woman wouldn’t have been violated in the worst possible way. I hope, someday, he can get some idea of the pain and trauma of that woman. If I were him, I’d never get another night of peaceful sleep again.

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  17. Here is another brilliant solution – Legalize and make female infanticide mandatory. End of all problems!
    No more girls in the country will give the police infinite time to sip tea in police stations while scratching their pot bellies.

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  18. What I hate about this whole thing is that for a woman to go out in the evening or night, she needs a proper excuse. Like she has an emergency or has a client meeting. If she went out to meet her friends or hang out in a mall in the evening and was raped/ molested, then nobody is going to lend her their ears. She brought it upon herself, is what people would say. I remember IHM blogging about it [about the crocodile/ rapist and the woman who returns home late after meeting her lovers]. In no circumstances should a woman be blamed for getting raped. That should probably be the first change.

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  19. When will the authorities acknowledge that these rapes have nothing to do with where the woman was, what her job was, what time it was. It only has to do with the rapists. Only when the rapists fear being charged for the crime they committed will women be safe. Instead of issuing silly guidelines like this, how about educating the police on how to handle such crimes? But all that is too much work – much easier to just ban women :(

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  20. I think you make too much of a stretch expecting police to act wisely and responsible. It’s like having a wish about something that will take another century to pick up.

    India is a country where sex is one the biggest taboos, so is rape and sexual exploitation. Women are considered weak both physically and mentally, easy to take advantage of, trick and manipulate. A “good” Indian woman is always supposed to see for protection and advice of a man, preferably a father, brother or husband. A daughter-in-law is treated like a doormat. An independent woman is considered a weirdo and thought of as “asking for trouble”. A woman working at night or leaving the house in the evening without “male supervision” is more likely to be considered “careless” and “disobedient”.

    These images are reproduced and enhanced by mass media (sick TV commericals for example) more often and with much greater intensity than are social campaigns raising awareness about gender related problems in India.

    Police are nothing more than an extention of popular social beliefs. In fact I bet the majority of police officers carry the same convictions and images personally, which makes them not only ignorant and judgemental but also professionally unfit and unalert to rape cases.

    Remember that this is (police)men you are talking about. And men in India generally do not stand up to the expectations of today’s times at all, especially in terms of women rights and gender issues.

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  21. So now it isn’t just how she is dressed, her very being is enough to be raped.

    There needs to be severe protests, IHM. Any planned by organizations around? National Capital area and all. Shame!

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  22. What is this? A Circus? Sometimes I feel who are these idiots who pass such orders? How did we elect them and give them so much power ? Boo Gurgaon Administration

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  23. what a knee jerk reaction! i wud give them some credit for the statement if they cud ensure 100% safety till 8PM – but women are raped and harrassed before 8 PM too – what about that – also what about all the men who are mugged, robbed or even shot after 8 PM? that is okay?

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  24. महिला वो रात को माल में घुमने जाती हैं तो वहाँ की महिला गार्ड उनकी बॉडी सर्च कर सकती हैं लेकिन इस कानून के बाद ये अधिकार पुरुष गार्ड का होगा । यानी रेप की जगह मोलेस्टेशन का क़ानूनी अधिकार गुणगाव प्रशासन ने जारी कर दिया हैं । वाह इसे कहते हैं चित्त भी पुरुष की और पट्ट भी पुरुष की , महिला का क्या हैं वो तो काम चला लेगी !!!!!

    http://indianwomanhasarrived.blogspot.in/2012/03/blog-post_14.html

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  25. Since the police seem reluctant to provide basic safety for women who “work after dark”, maybe it’s time to take things into their own hands?

    How about female condoms that hurt a raper incredibly/needs doctor’s intervention afterwards, like the south African ones? Maybe the occupy campaign could distribute these?

    How about strong mace that debilitates wanna-be rapists for more than an hour? Maybe a temporary neurotoxin that paralyses or something? (not sure if it even exists, but I’m rather scared that pepper spray will only infuriate rapists and lead the victim to suffer more violence)

    How about Rapist shaming? Is that even allowed? Make a hall-of-shame for known rapists/molesters and publicly “spoil their honor”? Is that illegal now with all the internet and media policing?

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    • Thumbelina,

      Having been in a bunch of (largely peaceful, and all of them legal!) protests in my younger days, I can personally testify that pepper spray is more than sufficient! Full-on skin exposure to a lachrymatory agents (OC and such) will usually leave 99.99% people unable to do pretty much anything except moan for 20-30 minutes at the very least. Disorientation is total. There is a very sharp burning sensation on all your mucous membranes, everything starts to water and your eyes will refuse to open for a while (even when they do, they water enough to make you want to keep them shut). It is bad enough to cause some people to have panic attacks. The best comparison I can give you is rubbing copious amounts of chili powder into your eyes, nose and the skin on your face, and it is actually a bit worse than that.

      In India, it is completely legal to own and use such agents in self-defense, although it does require a background check. The household variety, such as the now-famous “Mace”, is a bit weaker than what the police uses (even though it is generally the same reagent – OC), but it should be enough to easily decapitate any rapist, infuriated or not. I remember that my brother-in-law used to carry around the Indian version of it (known as Cobra or something like that), to protect himself against attempted muggings and such when he visited dingy mining towns in the Bihar/Jharkhand hinterland as part of his job.

      Neurotoxins would really be a bit too extreme, not to mention extremely hazardous to carry and keep around the house.

      I’d never heard about the anti-rape condoms. Still, wouldn’t the victim already feel utterly violated by the time such a device kicked in? Besides, not all rape is penile-vaginal (although Indian law does define it that way).

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    • The rape prevention condoms have been criticized as promoting a sense of victimization and fear in the wearers. And also increasing the probability of more violence towards abused women because of the pain they inflict on the rapist.
      Mace is an excellent idea, but only works if the abuser is not drunk, because otherwise they won’t really feel the pain.
      And we also need a sex offender registry like many western countries. Once the abusers have their faces on the registry for anyone to look up, that will be a huge deterrent to future criminals.

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      • PGW,

        I’m sure the intentions behind the sex offender registry are the best possible, but in my humble opinion, the registry in the US at least, is a complete disaster.

        You literally have thousands of people put on a sex-offender registry for life, for crimes that certainly do not deserve such treatment. There are people on the list, who committed crimes such as statutory rape when they were nineteen – that is, they had consensual sex with a sixteen year old, which is a crime because age of consent in the US is eighteen and the age difference is greater than two years. Frankly, I do not want or need notifications of such a supposed “pedophile” moving into my neighborhood. Nor do I think it is fair to deny such a person any chance at secure employment beyond minimum wage.

        There are entire settlements of registered “sex offenders” in the US, who have no proper housing and/or access to commercial activities and rehabilitation facilities. There is even a sort of black market which exploits these people by giving them jobs at wages below the minimum wage, making use of the fact that it is nearly impossible for them to get a job elsewhere, even in good economic times, let alone recessions.

        Moreover, the registry wastes the time and resources of the law enforcement system by forcing it to keep close tabs on thousands of people, the majority of which have not committed the kind of serious crimes that warrant such attention and expense.

        It is never a good idea to have a system which is touted as protection for citizens but in fact serves to provide an added layer of punishment to the convicted person over and above the one which is meted out by state law. People must not be punished twice for the same crime.
        Studies have borne out the fact that the deterrent effect of such a registry has a mild deterrent effect on sex offenses committed by non-registered offenders, but at the cost of drastically increased recidivism (repeat offenses) by registered offenders. This is because a person who has already been socially and economically exiled from society has very little incentive to not indulge in anti-social behavior. There is also a noticeable increase in violence against sex offense victims, because criminals feel more motivated to destroy evidence (by killing the victim).

        With the sort of moralistic legislation we have in India, I shudder to think of the kind of things which would make one a sex offender. Sex crimes in India would include watching porn, making “obscene” remarks in public (as subjectively defined by a judge), and engaging in immoral behavior (such as public displays of affection). However, it is not a sex crime to rape one’s wife, or to physically harass a woman in a way that does not involve penetrative sex.

        We need legal and police reform, not sweeping, knee-jerk measures like registries that only work in theory and don’t even make an attempt at rehabilitation. The whole point of a sex-offender registry is that it is supposed to be a civil, non-punitive remedy to ensure public safety. But its very nature, coupled with the mob mentality of most people, makes it punitive in nature, and therefore, violates the basic ex posto facto principle of modern-day jurisprudence.

        Also, pepper spray is a better alternative to mace, because it causes secondary physiological effects which will decapitate drunk people too. You may need a greater amount, because alcohol inreases pain tolerance, but a 5-10 second spray would bring most people to their knees, drunk or not.

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      • PG and PGW, the rationale behind the rape condoms is that when the rapist goes to a doctor to address the “Spines” , the doctor notifies the police. We know exactly how effective THAT would be with the Indian police.

        I still stand by a “hall of shame” for rapists and molesters. The impunity with which thugs manhandle women in public (the video IHM shared, of a NYE road ruckus in Delhi) needs to be challenged. It’s high time we moved the blame and the shame to the rapists from the victims. In a place like India, with the regressive emphasis on “honor”, I wouldn’t be surprised a registry deterred rapes to a large extent. As with every law, there will be victims (disgruntled parents of the girl registering a case against their daughter’s boyfriend etc) but there is a overwhelming need for drastic measures such as this.

        Maybe ads could be taken out for “Mace/pepper spray awareness”. “Molesters will be maced”. I doubt if the general populace even knows of Mace.

        IHM, I’m having issues commenting with my usual email id. :(

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      • Thumbelina,

        In a place like India, with the regressive emphasis on “honor”, I wouldn’t be surprised a registry deterred rapes to a large extent.

        I would be astonished if this happened. It is hoping for the impossible. The regressive emphasis on honor will not change on the basis of some sex offender registry that the Home Ministry decides to implement. Frankly, I don’t think it can really be implemented in India (the necessary resources and monitoring mechanisms are just not there), but even if it is, it will do nothing to change the regressive, misogynistic cultural values that still thrive here.

        As with every law, there will be victims (disgruntled parents of the girl registering a case against their daughter’s boyfriend etc) but there is a overwhelming need for drastic measures such as this.

        I disagree in the strongest possible terms. I am as horrified and appalled by rape as anyone on this forum, but let us maintain a sense of perspective here. This is not global terrorism that we are up against. It is a grievous physical and emotional assault on a person, and must be treated as precisely that.

        The person in your example would arguably suffer worse than a victim of an actual rape. He may not be physically assaulted, but we are talking about a lifetime of poverty, social exclusion to the fringes of mainstream society, utter loss of financial mobility and everything else that goes along with it. A lifetime. And misery for the next generation as well. For what? Why should an innocent be made to suffer? Why should an innocent’s children be made to suffer? What wrong have they done, that the machinery of the state is brought to bear upon them, and makes it torturous for them to live out the only life they get here on Earth? Is there any possible justification?

        The possibility of a mistake in the legal system that endangers innocent individuals MUST be zealously and constantly guarded against. It cannot be treated as routine. It cannot be shrugged off and calmly accepted as an unavoidable part of the justice system for the sake of an imagined greater good that may or may not materialize. Whenever I hear something like, “oh, there will be innocent victims to the law, but…”, every instinct that I possess as a legal professional cries out against it. Even if miscarriages of justice are unavoidable, they must be reduced as much as it is within our power to reduce them. And this includes not passing legislation wide open to frivolous misuse in a regressive society like this one.

        And quite apart from the philosophical arguments, I firmly believe that we do NOT need drastic solutions to what are relatively simple problems (at least from a criminal justice point of view, even if not a socio-cultural point of view). We simply need better implementations of existing solutions. The police simply needs to get off its backside and do the job it is paid to do! And they need to be given the right resources and environment to do their job.
        The penalties for rape in Indian law are more than adequate, and do not need further reinforcement. The main challenge is not that convicts aren’t punished harshly enough, but that there are simply not enough criminals who are caught and brought to court, brought to justice
        for the horrors that they have inflicted upon fellow human beings. That is the need of hour. All the exotic draconian legislation in the world will not do an iota of good, until the rapist is actually caught and FEARS getting caught.

        Like

      • (Replying to my own post because I can’t see the reply option for PT’s post)
        Well I would definitely want to know if a pedophile moved into my neighborhood (by Sarah’s Law). Maybe you don’t but that law was created to protect children and I hope it will continue to do so.

        Like

      • PT, Rape is not just “a grievous physical and emotional assault on a woman”, as much as I’d like it to be — It is much more, as seen here

        http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/sexual-abuse-victim-thrown-out-of-school-for-being-a-bad-influence-on-other-students/

        I can see Rape in perspective, and treat someone who’s been raped like she’s been in an accident, but will everyone? Or will they shun her, and “protect” their families from being corrupt by associating with the raped woman, like in the above post?

        “a lifetime of poverty, social exclusion to the fringes of mainstream society, utter loss of financial mobility and everything else that goes along with it. A lifetime”

        The girl in the above post is being denied even an opportunity for Education. A basic human right. A lifetime of poverty and ostracizing is what’s in store for this child (unless the NGOs on her case are effective at getting her out of the hellish situation she’s in, fingers crossed) . And we’re defending the right to a normal life of the pig who’s responsible for her plight?

        When society stops treating raped women as social outcasts, I’ll concede that rapists also deserve a second chance (NOT pedophiles, if I had my way, they’d be locked away in a dank cellar for life, and not see daylight, or another human)

        Like

      • Thumbelina,

        I am not defending the right of a rapist to lead a “normal” life. A lifetime in prison without remission is not a normal or particularly pleasant life.

        If you must know, I actually wrote and made several phone calls to the Woman and Child Development Ministry in the case that you mentioned, begging for aid to be given to that child and criminal prosecution to be pursued against the man. An assurance was provided that if the story was true, the girl would always be given admission in a government school if she so wished. A government school cannot deny admission to a student under most circumstances.

        I was also the one who created a petition against the leniency shown to a child abuser in Maharashtra.

        In case I did not make myself clear enough, I reiterate that I am fully in favor of harsh punishment for rape.

        However, I am NOT in favor of laws that make it very easy for some disgruntled parent to mete out that harsh punishment to a man who is innocent of any real crime. My objection to a public registry is that it does nothing truly beneficial, but does much harm. The harm outweighs any good that it does.

        Would your registry prevent people from treating the girl like that? When the man wasn’t even prosecuted properly, how do you think he would have come under the registry? Had he been prosecuted, he would’ve been in jail right now.

        The laws have enough teeth. Where is the implementation? Where is the prosecution? Where are the convictions?

        If repeat offences by CONVICTED rapists (i.e recidivism) was a major problem in India, I may have agreed with your viewpoint that we need more stringent punishment in the form of naming and shaming. But this is simply not the case. Enough rapists simply aren’t convicted!

        It is not the case that rapists do not fear the current punishments if they happen to get caught. What they actually do not fear is getting caught in the first place. They don’t even believe that the rape victim would report the rape, and if statistics are anything to go by, they are right to a large extent. Would a “hall of shame” cure that? No, it would not.
        What would cure that is a broader legal framework for sexual assault (legal, not punitive) and simply better, more sensitive, more effective policing. Remember that punishments in Medieval times were a lot more severe than what is meted out today. Crime was stigmatized then as it is stigmatized now but we are far safer from crimes in this day and age than someone from those times would ever be. Why? Simply because you are far more likely to be caught if you commit a crime today, and because far fewer people feel the NEED to commit a crime in this age of relative plenty.

        That’s all I have to say. This thread is getting far too long, I am starting to repeat myself and I fear that the argument is rather unnecessary in any case, since such a registry would be impossible to implement in India without quantum increases in government monitoring and police resources. We will agree to disagree if you remain unconvinced.

        Cheers.

        Like

      • PT, I hope to be as mature and level-headed someday to see things in perspective like you do — I agree with what you say in essence, I agree that we don’t implement our existing laws well enough for most cases.

        But my blood still boils at the idea of sending a smirking convicted molester like SPS Rathore to prison for less than year for his crimes. How do we stop these sorts from even thinking they can get away with their crimes? What gives them the impunity to think that an entire gender, a whole 50% of the population, is present to gratify their needs? Can we even implement a deterrent strong enough to override the bestial thoughts and actions of these sick minds, to stop them in their tracks as they think “now there’s a nubile girl, she can be my amusement for today”?

        Maybe a more women-friendly media can do the job of a registry. If only they’ll step up to the job.

        Like

  26. Battle between Patriarchy and feminism is a real one happening on the streets of our Country day in and day out. Along with the ideological battle on the internet, feminists should be bold enough to organise mass movements and protests on the streets to win their freedom. It is sad to see no such suggestions are there among all these angry and sarcastic comments. Is it because of the upper class’s characteristic reluctance to muddy their skirts?

    Like

  27. Absurd completely absurd…..these police men are not ashamed to accept that their working style is lofty but blames every other goddamn thing……when i read the srticle todayin tOI, it even said that the police called on the lady’s mobile and one of the rapists answered the phone and said she is safe…..and our ‘innocent as a 3 year old’ Gurgaon police believed it and asked victim’s cousin to go back home!!!!

    For once why don’t they shut down the so called ‘Govt approved drinking places’ which have mushroomed in every corner of Gurgaon!! These joints have even erupted near to office buildings as well and if something bad happens to female employees of these buildings by the hooligans of those joints then again they would blame the BPO or IT industry for late night shifts.

    Have u seen the ‘Premium wine shop’ just next to sahara mall near to Vipul Agora building…..one of our office site operates from that Agora building and in the year 2009 ( new year time) the female employees who were coming out of office premises in office cabs were dragged & molested by mob of drunkards….thus in year 2010 company was more alert and vigilant and asked police help but they merely suggested that all female employees should take a leave on new year day!!!

    Finally company temporarily shifted their w/stations to another site near NH8 for a week as a solution!

    So coming from Gurgaon police this 8 pm curfew is not at all surprising for me!!

    Like

  28. Pingback: India: Do Not Work At Night And You Won’t Be Raped :: Elites TV

  29. This is how systemic discrimination works–keeping poor people poor. Now employers would be even more hesitant to hire women because they have to provide transportation and obtain a permit from the labor department. Most of the folks working in malls or night shifts I presume are from lower economic classes. This diktat will adversely affect these poor women by taking away what little opportunity they have to come out of poverty and gain financial independence.

    Also this diktat makes the streets more unsafe for the few women who go out at night–either because they don’t have choice or because they want to have a fun night out. Put more women out there, Gurgaon, not less, to make the streets safer.

    Great way to perpetuate oppression of women, Gurgaon administration! Do they even think about the wide-ranging consequences of such a rule? They probably don’t. Even if they do, they don’t care about the welfare of women.

    It would be great to have a Occupy-CityName-Nights all over the country in protest against this absurd law. Most cities could use something like that.

    Like

  30. There were protests,

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/need-policing-not-ban-on-work/923936/0

    And I have no idea if these are the exact words of the Admn – but if these are, then the Admn seems to think they ‘can’ allow citizens to work, or ban them from public spaces.

    They can work, but employer must ensure safety: Admn

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/They-can-work–but-employer-must-ensure-safety–Admn/923937/

    //A day after the Gurgaon administration asked malls, shops and pubs to seek permission from the Labour department if they wanted women employees to stay at work after 8 pm, officials on Wednesday clarified they had not asked women to stop working at night.

    The administration said it was enforcing existing rules in a more stringent manner to ensure safety of women.

    “Nowhere did he (Deputy Commissioner) ask the women not to work after 8 pm. Rather he is in favour of promoting women to take up employment,” the administration spokesperson said.

    He said over 15,000 women work in BPOs, IT sector in Gurgaon with permission from the Labour department.//

    Like

    • Surely, he can’t be stupid enough to believe his own nonsense. The administration is “ensuring the safety of women” by… making it much harder to employ them after 8 PM?! How is that supposed to help? Who said all, or even most rapes happen after 8 PM?

      One does not have to make explicit statements telling women not to work after 8 PM. Such a statement would be illegal and is far beyond the scope of a district administration’s powers to make. Not even the most regressive dictators, not even mainline Taliban, openly makes such statements.

      The question is not what he said, but what he did. MNCs may be able to easily afford all the extra expenditure on providing compulsory transport and such, but not all businesses can, and the fact is that they WILL be more reluctant to hire female employees in such an environment. In effect, the administration is saying that they cannot protect anyone after 8, so the responsibility for doing so lies on the individual and their employer. He claims that he is in favor of female employment, but his actions belie his claims.

      And on the TOI comments page, there are many supporters for even this horrendous diktat. As they say in French:

      Un sot trouve toujours un plus sot qui l’admire.

      Like

      • The TOI comments page (and that of many other popular sites like YouTube) is mainly composed of the scum of the earth. Reading it will make any sane person’s blood boil.

        Like

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