When India was rattled by successive scams over the past few years, a strong protest emerged from the society under the likes of Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal who demanded anti-corruption bill to deal with the routine menace in the Indian life.
The country saw enthusiastic masses taking the streets in support of the anti-graft crusaders and the phenomenon was even compared to the mass protest that was led by Jayaprakash Narayan against a mighty Indira Gandhi in the 1970s.
If there can be a movement against corruption, then why not rape?
If corruption as an issue could provoke the aam aadmi of India to such an extent, then why can't rape, a menace more relevant for the ordinary people for it directly touches their lives and also in more numbers.
Shouldn't anti-rape protest be institutionalised?
Instead of taking out candlelight marches or cursing the criminals each time an innocent woman or girl is 'robbed' in the society, can't the women of India put up a institutionalised fight against the crime that is getting stronger with each passing day. In fact, the institutionalisation of the anti-rape movement will have more things to address than just the crime.
The shocking insensitivity of the country's politicians who make all sorts of offending remarks like "dented and painted protesters" or that "rape happens in India not Bharat" or the around-the-season "rape happens because of the provocative dresses that women wear" prove a simple point.
That is: They intentionally make these statements to get a boost for their party in general and for their own publicity in particular. Non-existent ministers and MLAs take full use of these serious issues and the excessive media coverage to make their faces known, even for a day. Even the known political faces can't resist the temptation at times.
No wonder, the administration and the police force working under the direction of these callous politicians succeed little in pacifying the common man's, especially the women's woes. Women are being brutally tortured by perverts, brothers are killed while trying to protect the sisters' modesty and yet we see politicians (even women leaders known for their mass appeal) and officials failing the test of humanity shamelessly.
In this situation, it is very important that an exclusive movement for women's causes grow in this country today, just like what the Hazares and Kejriwals engineered to take on corruption as an institutionalised crime.
May be an Aam Auraat Party
If an Aam Aadmi Party can come up with a noble aim to get the society of corruption and scams, why can't be there an Aam Aurat Party to work on women's safety as its prime agenda? The naming of the party is not important but what is important that like any other issue that has evolved in India through a movement and later assumed a political shape, the voice against rape should also evolve towards an institutionalised form. Bits and pieces protest depending on the media won't sustain in the long term and India's modesty will continue to bleed.
The fight against rape needs to be taken up from the point till which the media can reach at the maximum. The involvement of civilians and evolution of a pan-Indian network and utilisation of the social media and political platforms like what the AAP has been doing can help the anti-rape movement make a good progress.
One shouldn't be surprised if an all-women political party emerges in the future and take on the insensitive political remarks inside the Parliament. It is true that many of the current women parliamentarians feel pained by the continuing violence against women but they are perhaps a far too few to create a pressure on their 'indifferent' male peers.
Group identity matter in India, hence rape can be used to build a strong political community
A unique feature of Indian politics is that only votes count here. Our politics is too political. Group identity is a cornerstone of our democracy where individuals never get highlighted. If women strive towards a new identity politics by means of the anti-rape/women's security movement, then the issue is perhaps going to gain more weight and a reformation of the prevailing mental and social set-up can be expected. It is better to call it 'expected' because it will be a long-drawn process. But can the process be started somewhere? We are already behind time.