OPEN LETTER

Restore our faith

INDIA-SOCIETY-CRIME-MOLESTATION A man helps a woman leave as police personnel try to manage crowds during New Year's Eve celebrations in Bengaluru on January 1, 2017 | AFP

Open Letter to Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara on concerns over women's safety in the state

Dear Mr Parameshwara,

The recent events in Bengaluru where women were groped and molested have shattered the morale of the fair sex and a feeling has been gaining ground that the city is no longer safe for women. Your statement that such things happen, and that it is the western attire worn by the women that is the culprit, has only added fuel to the fire.

Bengaluru was always considered a safe city for women and incidents involving crimes against women were few and far between. But, in recent times, the situation has turned topsy-turvy and insensitive comments from misogynists have only hurt the feelings of not just women but all right-thinking men as

well.

As the home minister, you have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of all citizens in the state. Incidents of crimes against women only blot your copybook as you are in breach of your fundamental duty to provide proper security to women at all times. Blaming women for being out on the streets at night or the clothes they wear is all old hat and such inane arguments are flimsy to say the least. The apathy shown towards women who have been sexually harassed should change and the police should be more receptive to complaints.

And above all, you and your government should restore the confidence that has been shattered, and strive to prove that the city is safe for women and will remain so forever.

C.V. Aravind

Bengaluru

…....................................

Talk and act responsibly

Among the capital cities of the five south Indian states, including Pondicherry, Bengaluru—then Bangalore—used to be rated as the most advanced and broadminded city, with its cherished cosmopolitan outlook. This is one of the main reasons why many MNCs and domestic conglomerates preferred to set up their shops there, making it the IT capital of India.

Till recently, thousands of men and women working in those companies, and other housewives had been living in peace in Bengaluru, with the companies and the government assuring them of their safety. Unfortunately, this tranquillity stands strangulated today, with frequently reported instances of molestation and sexual assaults against women, which, in turn, has brought in a fear psychosis in the minds of all women. The latest vicious attack on hapless women during the New Year party is a sordid testimony to the decaying morality of the city as a whole. While this being the sickening situation at present, your comment that such things do happen in Christmas and New Year parties, I am sorry to say, sounds more perverse than the heinous act itself!

As one who is supposed to be the guardian of every citizen and one who is bound to assure safety and security to all, particularly women, you have to be more responsible in your words and deeds. We only expect you to rise to the occasion and see that such attacks on the modesty of women never happen again, and the tranquillity and peace what Bengaluru was in possession of earlier not only returns to it but also stays with it forever.

Anna Mary Yvonne

Chennai

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Protect our dignity

It’s very shameful that such a heinous incident has occurred in our state capital.

Molestation of girls during the New Year eve party is truly a condemnable issue. Your comments on the incident were provocative, too. Our garden city Bengaluru was considered the safest place for residing once upon a time. Being a native of this city, I have known this city for the past four decades. During my school and college days Bengaluru was truly a safe city for women. I had never heard of any untoward incidents which endangered a woman’s modesty. Eve-teasing existed during those days, but there was a limit and the limit was not crossed.

But nowadays, male chauvinism is hurting the modesty and dignity of women, which should condemned and punished. It’s a real shame that once considered a safe city, it is now blacklisted as one of the dangerous cities for women to live in. The revolution in technology, which transformed our garden city into the Silicon Valley of India, and the advent of IT companies has changed the

whole scenario of our city. It's a humble request from the localites of Bengaluru—please safeguard our city from such hideous criminals and save our city from being blacklisted.

Instead of passing provocative comments, make stringent measures to protect the modesty of a woman. A humble suggestion—install SOS signals at every traffic light so that women in distress would be able to access the system and alert the nearest police station. If possible, create a special police force to avoid

such untoward incidents during such gatherings and parties so that women will not become a prey for molesters.

Arathi Raghuveer

Mysore

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Outrun crime and criminals

I know that everybody—from media to common people—is after your life ever since the Bengaluru incidents have been reported and gone viral. Everybody thinks that you have a magic wand, which can make every problem disappear with a whoosh, which is only daydreaming. Because by culling few rabid dogs you cannot eradicate the menace of rabies, which is fast expanding its wings not only in your state but in entire society.

However, by appreciating your situation I am not relieving you of your responsibilities but expecting more stringent measures from your high office. There is no denying that we have all witnessed a recent spur in crimes against women in your state, although, in some cases, women, too, are to be blamed. But the need of the hour is to plug the porous hole through which this devil is sneaking into the society. You have to discover whether it is due to growing number of pubs and bars, or lack of police deployment at night, or soft handling of anti-social elements, or succumbing to the pressure of high and mighty. And since all these factors fall under your domain of responsibility, you cannot be relieved of your commitment towards safety of every individual of the state, not just women.

As I said earlier that you need to develop the vaccine for rabies rather than waiting for a pet to turn rabid. Because, with changing times, the crime and the criminal, too, change, for worse. Hence, to deal with them, we need to modify ourselves, too, through better weaponry. Thus, what everybody expects from you is that you will ensure that crime does not attain a faster pace than law. Please do make the law seated in a faster vehicle than the one crime is in possession of.

Rajneesh Batra

Delhi

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