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(Imaging: Shivam Agrawal)[/caption]
here has been a recent rise in rape cases or sexual assault by cab drivers in India. At the root of the issue, as depicted by several sting operations and media reports, is one common mentality: ‘girl was asking to be raped’.
Things like drinking, late night outing and choice of clothes – that old Indian stereotype has been given a much needed dressing down by the uber-mobile middle class.
a section of society cannot accept the fact that a girl is independent to make her own choices
We live in a free country and irrespective of class, sex or gender we must be free to make our choices, within the confines of law of the land. But as always, a section of society cannot accept the fact that a girl is independent to make her own choices. While another section refuses to give up their freedom of choice and cower in their hole in order to give credence to the regressive bias of some section of society.
While one set of Indians is growing with a different set of thought process, the other is clinging to the what they have known and believed in since ages. And growth does not mean just financial, they have been upwardly mobile across all paradigms: social, cultural, political and economical.This shows that India is at the cusp of transition.
When these two different mindsets are juxtaposed in a society, it is bound to create turbulence.
The Contradiction And The Resultant Friction
People with means and financial resources are used to living by a certain set of thinking (read: regressive) find it difficult to grow out of it. The rate of change of society is way too high for them to cope with it. So they withdraw into their comfort zone of established thinking and become even more regressive in order to defend it.
For one set of people, the rate of change of society is way too high to cope up with
On the other hand, people who are either born in the 90s (open-economy era) or have managed to keep up with the pace of time find it difficult to understand the other side.
For people with slightly lower strata of society, above point holds true too. But in addition, it is an aspiration to live such a life, which they can't afford to. So, they resort to crime whether it is monetary in nature or sexual in nature.
Let the drivers realise how their Quixotic galavanting of sexual prowess or frustration has a direct correlation to the loss of employment
Fear and sex are the most primal feeling among any mammal. Lack of fear is a big factor to satisfy the other primal desire, sex. Bad state of law and order does little to instil fear. Offenders believe that they can get away with the crime.
So, regressive thought, failed aspiration and poor law and order are collectively responsible for this mindset.
That bring us to the question how to deal with it.
1. Short Term
Strong policing. If it requires closing down mobile apps that people are increasingly using for their cab choices, it needs to be implemented. Let the drivers realise how their Quixotic galavanting of sexual prowess or frustration has a direct correlation to the loss of employment.
The government can launch their own taxi service on the same lines of buses. In capital Delhi, Blue Line buses used to be such a menace and private White Line bus services has been banned for good.
2. Mid Term
But with a government taxi service, people can register themselves and it works like an Ola or a Uber or a Taxi For Sure app. But the cabs have to be installed with certain security gadgets with IP-based camera for live streaming, background check of drivers has to be rigorous. And voila, the government has an additional revenue source and the ride becomes safer.
At the same time, start promoting women cab drivers.
3. Long term
Though short-term measures can instill a sense of discipline, in the longer game, fast and stringent justice has to be coupled with education. Sex and gender sensitisation education has to be made mandatory.
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