A certain heart-wrenching and gruesome event that happened very recently and the subsequent findings by the police / investigation agencies (read here: //timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/accused-returned-to-spot-to-ensure-body-was-burnt/articleshow/72323219.cms will touch the hearts of any good person (of whichever country / religion / caste / creed or colour). What is more shocking is that out of the four accused persons, one of them is a minor boy aged about 15 years.

Another 35-year-old woman was also burnt alive and the body found in a couple of days after the above incident and close to the same venue.

It makes me wonder where we are going wrong all the time in preventing tortures and crimes against women. In my opinion, “women at risk” is a topic today than even discussions about mitigating business risks should take a back seat for some time.

Catching the culprits and snuffing out their lives through capital punishment is only momentary solace and will seem quick justice to the parents and loved ones of the deceased. There are and there will be many more offenders lurking for an opportunity to assault women for whatever reasons. This is true because after the shocking “Nirbhaya rape and murder” that shook the nation a couple of years ago, such an incident has happened again.

  • Is it the victim’s fault that she was a good-looking young girl?
  • Is it wrong that she was in a profession that required her to work late evening?
  • Can you lay the blame that she was unaccompanied by a chaperon at that time?
  • Is it right to say that women should never venture out alone after sunset?

Societal and family values play a major factor in bringing in awareness about how and why you should respect women. It might seem that too much advice by parents and teachers will not work with young minds. But just remember the good old days when children had enough attention at home (either parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, etc.). The effect of strong familial values goes a long way into the development of the human psyche.

We are living in a fast-paced society where working parents and nuclear families have little or no time to devote to child development (and I mean all-round development – not just academics and scoring high ranks).  In such a situation, teaching fundamental values of life begins at schools and educational institutions. Parental guidance / counselling on raising children should start at the grassroots at all levels – irrespective of which economic strata they belong to.

We also need to strongly question why some common risk factors are not taken seriously by the Government / local administration and police, such as

  • desolate places without enough lighting,
  • no vigorous night police patrolling at such places,
  • no quick response mechanism or follow-up by the local police when incident is reported,
  • poor enforcement of the law and delayed justice in courts,
  • biased opinions by media based on religion and politics that subverts the very motive of the crime.
We, as responsible citizens, owe it to ourselves to deal with the issue of why women are at risk and what we could do to mitigate the same to prevent such dastardly crimes from happening. There is no use expecting the Government to come to the rescue since this is a fabric woven by the society in which we live and education must start in each and every home.

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