Satyanarayan Iyer

Covers banks and finance as part of his daily routine. Interests are writing about rural affairs, politics and defence. Likes to stay abreast with current affairs and loves to play tennis.

Satyanarayan Iyer

Not the woman’s fault

| Updated on December 10, 2014 Published on December 10, 2014

The focus must be on putting pressure on the government and police in getting their act together.

In the wake of the latest Delhi rape case, a part of the debate has shifted back again to the oft repeated – the woman made a mistake of being drunk and taking the ride alone. She should have been careful.

She should have been as any other. But should she have paid such a heavy price for getting into a prepaid taxi and going to sleep?

Another argument is that she would have perhaps saved the day had she kept her eyes open or travelled with someone. Conversely put, a sober and accompanied woman has less probability of being raped. As past incidences in our country show, this defies conventional logic. Sober and accompanied woman is as vulnerable to rape as the slightly more adventurous one.

The problem with the “woman should have been careful, knowing that she was in Delhi,” argument is that it shifts the spotlight of blame on the victim – if only for a moment. Now, that is one of the biggest disservice that those in favour of the argument can do to the victim.

“When you are in Rome, be like a Roman,” is a cliché that has been used too often to support the phenomenon. So what if she does not want to dress like a roman…should she be raped?

Given that being drunk is not in our “culture,”…at least not openly accepted, I guess the blame has somewhat been shifted on the woman by the detesters.

This argument is an absolute waste of debating space and time. Instead people must focus on putting pressure on the government and police in getting their act together. The fact that the driver – Shiv Kumar Yadav – threatened a gruesome repeat of the December 16 incident in a bid to silence the victim, speaks volumes of the country’s justice delivery mechanism. He seemed to be inspired by the incident, leave alone abhorring it. The blame for this should rest with the government and the judicial system for not making an example of the incident. This is what we need to focus on.

It also goes without saying that Uber cab service must pay a price for the tardy work they have made of this “ride-sharing” service. It need not be "that it is cheap and, therefore, cannot afford safety", or so goes another argument. They must be asked to put the requisite safety infrastructure in place if they want to operate in India. Safety and cheap rides need not be at the exclusion of the other.

Published on December 10, 2014
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