New Year’s Eve began as a horrific attack for many women who were “mass molested” in the city of Bangalore in India. Over 60,000 people were in the streets in celebration of the new year as groups of men ran rampant through the streets terrorizing some of the women. On the night of the attack 1500 policemen were sent to try to control the madness, but the aggression continued with no avail of being stopped.
India has been struggling for having downfalls regarding women’s safety and equality; however, Bangalore is known for its “diversity, scientific attitude and technical prowess.” In addition, it is the tech industry that has a workforce where women make up 30% of it. Young people, especially women, come to this metropolitan area due to its modern feel.
Surprisingly the thoughts after the attack differ from what one would expect. Over recent years India has become more modernized, or “Westernized,” and the indication of culture difference can be understood when reviewing some of the comments made by Indian political leaders and locals. G. Parameshwara, the Home Minister of Karnataka, said that the incident happened because young people “try to copy westerners, not only in their mind-set but also in their dressing.” Parameshwara continued to say that the outcome was “some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kinds of things do happen.” Other young women were interviewed and their answers were that of a similar nature to Minister Parameshwar.
While Bangalore has been changing, the “sex ratio of the city [is] dramatically skewed” a young woman commented. It is this unequal balance of men and women that creates the tension and violence driven by some men. Although the gender ratio in India is a large-scale problem, this does not excuse the behavior that happened on New Year’s Eve.
Women’s personal safety is still a major concern. It is because of the worry of safety that families are resistant to allow their daughters to move away or get jobs due to the distance from home. According to a study done by Breakthrough (NGO): 90% of females in India experience sexual harassment, 86% of women think it is not safe to work evening shifts or late hours, and 62.9% of men and 35.8% of women think women provoke men by the way they dress. The percentages listed above are a concerning look into the status of women in India.
The writer who wrote the piece used to write this article came up with some solutions. Two of the most important components to address the problem are: the government to become more involved and implement harsh punishment to those accused of such crimes.
Since the night of the mass molestation, at least six suspects have been detained. Praveen Sood, the city police commissioner, announced that enough evidence has been submitted to begin an investigation on the events of New Year’s Eve. This violence has sparked an outrage within India and within the world calling for justice to be served.
Hopefully the citizens and political leaders of India will realize that the tragedy that occurred on New Year’s Eve is one that needs to be properly dealt with, and should be prevented from happening again. In addition, women in India should be able to feel safe to venture on their own and not have to worry about being violated.