Men who think that women are fair game may be in for a nasty surprise soon. For they might just find themselves staring down the barrel of a gun. The Indian Ordnance Factories (IOF) has come out with a weapon they think will help women protect themselves against anti-social elements. The IOF’s latest piece in its armoury is a 7.65 mm .32 revolver, ominously named ‘Nirbheek’. Of course, this suggests that women have to train themselves to be quick on the draw but it would be priceless to the see the expression on the faces of would-be molesters when the victim turns the tables.
So at just 500 gms this titanium alloy gun, priced at around Rs. 1.22 lakh, could be the Indian women’s best friend. So, where the mobile apps, pepper sprays, taser guns and even China’s ‘hairy leg stockings’ have failed, the .32 is expected to hit the bulls eye. But we can’t help but feel that at this price, this is more a marketing gimmick than an actual tool to safeguard women. However, it is a nice thought. We have seen how often the villain is stopped in his tracks in the movies, when the heroine pulls out a delicate mother-of-pearl handled pistol from her bag. In the case of the Lara Croft-type of heroine, she pulls out the heavy artillery. However, the women-friendly gun could change gender equations altogether. But given our lads and their inherent tendency to harass women especially in public places, it is quite possible that some shyster manufacturer may design bullet proof vests for them so they can continue their nefarious ways and still survive the bullets that may be fired at them.
There is also the danger of bystanders being hit by women whose aim may be a bit awry. All this points to one thing — that the idea of a gun for women is a stupid one fraught with danger both to the victim and the offender. Which brings us to the question of how best a woman can protect herself — maybe our readers could take a shot at some possible solutions.