In a circular, allegedly, released by Chennai's Sri Sairam Engineering College, the restrictions imposed on the girls is rather outrageous.
But again, there are other posts, which specify that the circular is fake. Amid this doldrum, there is one question that is recurrent-the position of women in our society and how it does not change even in the sanctum sanctorum of a holy place like an educational institute. The next question that arises is whether rapes and abuse against women stop if these were implemented?
A hard question to answer
Women have been the topic od contention whenever a case of rape emerges. Forget the politicians, lawyers too have pin pointed that a woman's place is at home and that she should continue bearing child and looking after their families, that they should not be allowed to roam late in the night, party or be accompanied by a boy.
Why? because these lead to rape, as the rapist assumes that she is of a liberal mindset and would not mind the act.
As strange as it sounds, the ideologies are bizarre too. If we remember the 'Expose the Rapists' campaign launched by the famous rape activist Sunitha Krishnan, the victim in one of the videos was wearing a salwar kameez, the Badaun case where two sisters were found hanging or for that matter the children of 4-5 years were not 'indecently' dressed, if we go by the standards of the Indian social system.
The viral circular states instructions that are rather regressive to the extent of hurting one's freedom of thought and life. To list it all:
Is it just a way to show that "we are taking precautions and will not be responsible if a rape or a molestation still happens?".
Instead, shouldn't an institute first train young minds to respect each other, be it a man or a woman? Shouldn't they set an example to the youth of this generation that one's integrity cannot be judged by one's outfit, it lies beneath.
Shouldn't the education system be more open about sex education so that youngsters do not try and explore it themselves out of curiosity? (P.S: The main culprit in the Nirbhaya gangrape case in Delhi was just 16 years old, a juvenile).
Lets get the facts right
According to the figures quoted by Maneka Gandhi, the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, in Lok Sabha, the number of child abuse cases reported in the year 2012, 2013 and 2014 were 8,541, 12,363, and 13,766.
Child rights activist and lawyer Gaurav Bansal provides figures that show the grim face of safety for the girl child, "In Delhi alone there are over 2,500 cases under the POCSO Act. The national data will be huge. The status of trial of these cases of child rape is really worrisome. In the past one year only 12 cases have been disposed out of a total of 200 cases that were registered".
He further added,"There have been several cases in which the father raped the daughter or the uncle was the culprit. There is an urgent need to create awareness among public, teachers and parents about provisions of the POSCO Act. Sex education should be made compulsory, with focus on educating what constitutes abuse. There should be more helplines to report abuse in all major cities, and schools can train the children how to use them."
Bottomline is restriction or no restriction, the situation of women or children would not change unless we teach generations to come why rape is a social evil.