On the second of January, we woke up to screaming headlines about how women had been groped, grabbed and molested in Bengaluru to usher in the New Year.
I couldn't understand what the brouhaha was all about. This has been happening for the last three decades (that I know of), so what was new? Ah yes! Technology!
Earlier there were no efficient CCTV cameras to record this outrage, so it was easy to sweep it under the carpet and pretend that it never happened. This year I had hoped, however, that it would be different. And I am sure many, many women felt like I did. That the roads of Bangalore would be safe to walk on as there were 12,000 policemen deployed to take care of us, to ensure that we could dance in the New Year, or WALK in the New Year, confident it was safe to do so.
But alas! To be or not to be is never a choice for us women. We are never allowed to wear what we please, walk if we please, eat and drink as we please. The guardians of our morality have ensured this! And so, before bringing the offenders to book, our netas were screaming themselves hoarse about how "these things happen in crowded places" because we women consider "nudity fashion", and how we defy "Indian culture " when we don't step out "with family".
Many of the women who were molested were with their partners or husbands who I presume do not fit into their definition of "family " When will this commodification of women end? Is it likely to end at all?
After all we have been brought up in a conditioning of Eve wearing the fig leaf to hide her "shame", Sita walking through fire to prove she had no "shame" to hide, and Draupadi's saree continuing to unfold so that her "shame" would not be revealed.
So what is the solution? Since "deconditioning" the mind from viewing woman as commodity is sure to be an impossible process, it is time the guardians of our morality put stringent, punitive measures in place so that the offenders will be frightened out of their wits to violate women! Flog them on the spot! Then the damsel will not be in distress and will not need to be rescued! Since demonetisation is the flavour of the season, it is time to demonetise the post-truth: Woman = Object.
Note: Views expressed are the personal opinions of the author.