What can we do to ensure that news like this becomes the norm?

I do believe that anti rape protests will help in ensuring that news like this becomes the norm. What else can we do apart from protesting?

1. First, here’s an initiative, and somebody should tell C C Patil that it’s not rape videos at work, but courses like this that inform and educate about Gender Issues.

‘Gender Sensitisation and People Friendly Police Initiative’

When UNICEF first proposed the project in1987, it found few takers across the country.  ‘A joint commissioner of police in Bangalore, Ajai Kumar Singh, stepped forward … By the end of 2012, 18,000 policemen had been trained in gender sensitivity in Karnataka.’

“Less than 20 per cent of the untrained respondents mentioned protecting women and child rights as one among their priority areas. As against this, nearly 80 per cent of the trained respondents specifically mentioned handling issues pertaining to women and children and protecting their rights as one of their focus areas,” the evaluation reported.

According to UNICEF, the focus of the programme is “attitudinal and behavioural change of police through an understanding of gender, power relations, prevalent patriarchal influences and changing social scenario”.

“The first session that we do in the training is on gender. We try to break prejudices on how women should behave, how children should behave, we try to show how attitudes influence work in the police station and how that impacts the public view of the police,” said the UNICEF coordinator for the project, Rovina Bastian.

“The usual prejudices emerge in these sessions — about how domestic violence is a trivial issue to be sorted out within the family, how victims of rape are more the accused than the victim,” she said. “One real hard-hitting fact that comes out is this whole issue of sexual power and how men are able to play with it and women are still vulnerable to exploitation — that is where they actually start thinking.”

“Even more than the training, we actually monitor what happens on cases. There are instances where cases have not been handled properly and we have contacted senior officers for intervention. Somebody to question practices itself enables checks and balances. We are lucky to have had officers interested in these issues,” said Bastian.

‘UNICEF has so far spent Rs 1.53 crore on the project in Karnataka. The state police which have agreed to take over its ownership has proposed an outlay of Rs 50 lakh per annum.

As an official involved with the programme admitted, there is a long way to go. “It is largely the younger generation of policemen, from constables to sub-inspectors, who are now sensitised. The older generation still make up the bulk of the force and the clear perceptible effect of the training may be evident only a decade or so later,” the official said.’

Not sure this constable in Bangalore had attended this course yet, though.

Who else would benefit from this programme? 

Here’s a rough list, Abu Azmi, Asaram, Mohan Bhagwad,  Kakoli Ghosh DastidarVijayvargiyaVibha RaoEducation Minister T. Thiagarajan and college Principals in Puducherry, BJP minister Kailash VijayvargiyaAnita ShuklaAnisur RehmanAbhijit MukherjeeSushma Swaraj, Andhra Pradesh Police chief Dinesh ReddyC C Patil - and many, many more.

2. And here’s another news. The fact that it is being reported and shared is also a positive and a deterrent, because street sexual harassment should be seen as a punishable crime.

A Jodhpur trial court has sentenced a man for sexually harassing a woman on a volvo bus. The trial has been concluded within a week of the case being filed. [link to the video]

Is it possible that some day such news would not make us glad that the conviction happend, but sad that the crime happened?

10 thoughts on “What can we do to ensure that news like this becomes the norm?

  1. Even the Karnataka Police has a long way to go in tackling such prejudices. Today, dislike of non-kannadigas, particularly North & North-Eastern Indians, has steadily risen to an extent that people advocating hate against such groups have started finding mainstream support.

    Gender bias conveniently gets rehashed into an Us South Indians vs Them North Indians- tussle in Bangalore these days. Blaming North Indian men & women as having looser morals than South Indian folks is so very common these days in Bangalore.

    • It’s not just non-Kannadigas. I have been slapped and punched by a man in the crowd just as the lady from Manipur was last month.

      In Bangalore, I have realised that a woman involved in an accident is blamed for it, no matter whose fault it really was. Driving While Female is often a dangerous activity, especially when the mob turns into the jury and rolls out instand justice by shaming and abusing you.

      Needless to say, the Bangalore Police is only a tiny bit better than their Delhi counterparts.

      There are many unconscious prejudices that we women trigger in men by just going about our daily lives.

      One is that educated, “modern” women driving cars have to be taught a lesson because they have forgotten “their place”. Another is that a woman alone late at night is deliberately asking for trouble. She’s challenging their manhood.

      After the Delhi rape, I’m begginning to understand just how scary a place a man’s mind can be. Iron rods in your body to teach you lesson. Who can forget such lessons?

      • I am from bangalore too. According to the crowd, it is usually the person who is riding in the bigger vehicle or the one that is hurt lesser that is at fault. If the accident is between a car and a scooter it is always the car’s fault and if it is between a scooter and a pedestrian, it is the scooter’s fault. You are clearly simplifying the issue to suit your agenda. And the crowd goes easier on a female than it is on a male.

        • I think she is just talking from her own experience. People say Mumbai is one of the safest cities in India for women, but I am sure any woman who has been molested/raped would not have the same opinion of Mumbai.

  2. Such a hard-hitting question driving home the reality today: “Is it possible that some day such news would not make us glad that the conviction happend, but sad that the crime happened?” Hoping for that day, someday, even though it may be quite some time before that happens. Although, for a start, am glad if at least fast convictions become the norm first.

  3. Why do rapes in India never went noticed all along till this december ?
    1) Because Men dare to do it and they know that in India they will never be arrested . They won’t even be slapped on the wrist. Men will move from performing rape to one women and then the next. And will then boast about it in a drunken slother among his friends !
    On the contrary , women will be arrested by the society for ” just ” being a woman.

    All Rape stories does not have to be news items. The culprits must be punished , so that society will be safer. One who commits rape moves on to commiting murder next . That’s the evolution of a criminal in society .

    CHOW !

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