India is the land of gods and goddesses, and here women are compared to goddesses from ages. I am a woman, but if you ask me if I want to be treated as a goddess … my answer is NO. Just treat me as a human being, is all I want and demand.
Every single day we hear about the crimes that take place in various parts of our country against women – even against 3 year old girls! It may be eve teasing, molestation or rape…. Our day starts with this news and ends with it. We feel bad for a while, feel angry and eventually we get on with our lives. And we girls learn to live with many restrictions because society cannot ensure our safety.
But now people are raising their voices against these crimes, and one such recent incident is of the Jadhavpur University. Students of this university protested strongly against the authorities after a girl was molested. The incident took place on the evening of 28th August 2014, when a second year female student was molested by 10 boys in a boys’ hostel. She was dragged, molested and then beaten up is what the media says. After a few days her father approached the Vice Chancellor, where he was told to wait for a couple of days as the VC was going to New Delhi. But the very next day her father filed a complaint in the police station and sent a letter to the University authorities, upon which an internal inquiry was ordered in the Vice-Chancellor’s absence. An Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) was formed in accordance with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013 to investigate the matter. How did it investigate? Two of its members visited the girl’s home in Bidhannagar, refused to identify themselves and asked questions about her dress on the night of the incident! This led to the girl filing a General Diary with the Bidhannagar police station for “mental harassment”, in which she identified them as professors of the Sanskrit and Women’s Studies Departments of Jadhavpur University.
When no action was taken against the criminals, the students – boys as well as girls – started protesting and demanded an apology from and resignation of the VC. The university authorities took no steps in this direction and instead the girl was blamed for the entire situation. This is what happens in most cases. The students were outraged and the protest became really strong. Instead of taking action, the VC called the police and these unarmed students were lathi charged! Reports also say that female students were harassed and beaten up as well, and many students were arrested. But this too did not stop them from protesting and fighting for justice. Finally the Chief Minister had to ask the VC to resign.
We have a male dominated society and the process to change it may seem really slow, but we will see the results. Yes, I am a woman and am not afraid to fight for my rights, against the injustice this society does to our kind. I am not a goddess … but I am a WOMAN and am proud to be one!