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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

Men! The onus lies on you |Opinion

Public shaming and societal pressures can be a powerful weapon. Northern India has been infamous for crimes against women and now even the culturally-rich south is part of the hall of shame.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2019 22:50 IST
Sunita Aron
Sunita Aron
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Every time there is a particularly gruesome rape, women take to the streets with placards in their hands. Men join in, but in fewer numbers.
Every time there is a particularly gruesome rape, women take to the streets with placards in their hands. Men join in, but in fewer numbers.(STYLE PHOTO SERVICE.)
         

A Facebook post — ‘I am ashamed as I am a man’ — made me empathise with men who must be embarrassed reading the shameful acts of other men.

The manner in which disturbing reports of sexual assaults on women of all age groups –– from a few months old to a few months short of a century — are pouring in from across the country, right-minded men must be bewildered. Men were not born savage. They have been protectors and companions. After all, even their wives and mothers must be telling their daughters not to trust uncles on the street!

Northern India has been infamous for crimes against women and now even the culturally-rich south is part of the hall of shame.

Every time there is a particularly gruesome rape, women take to the streets with placards in their hands. Men join in, but in fewer numbers.

It’s time they took the lead.

Renowned film star and Rajya Sabha member, Jaya Bachchan, in her anger, advocated public lynching of such rapists-murderers. It can’t be supported in a civilised society. But public shaming can be a more a powerful weapon.

Despite fast track courts, the delivery of justice takes time.

The parents of the victim of the December 16, 2012, Delhi gang rape and murder are still waiting for full justice even though the top court had ruled that the accused did not deserve sympathy.

The paramedic student was gang raped in December 2012; the trial court sentenced the four accused to death in 2013. The Delhi high court confirmed the death sentence, which was upheld by the apex court in mid-2017. All the four are still alive as they are using legal options available to them and have filed a review petition.

Some time back, at a conference in Lucknow, senior policemen were asked if they were sure about the safety of their wives and daughters when they ventured out alone and without the trappings of an official car or guard. Or when they travelled in plainclothes and with women members of their family? Their views were perhaps evident in their silence.

It’s time for angry men to come forward to save their own image. The Facebook post exemplifies that sentiment.