New Delhi : July 13, 2012 : In a bold and therefore uncharacteristic move, the Indian Government has decided to act against the nuisance of rape and eve teasing allegedly pervading the country.
Briefing reporters after a 15-minute long cabinet meeting in New Delhi last evening, of which 3 minutes were spent watching a tantalizing new cellphone video from Guwahati, Assam, the Home Minister P. Chidambaram declared his ministry’s intention of re-prioritizing its key focus areas. He maintained that saving Ajmal Kasab from the gallows and pushing Maoists into police encounters will continue to be the top priorities of the Home ministry. However, reasonably stern and somewhat timely action against attacks on women will now move up in his ministry’s list of priorities from the 49th spot to the 35th, its biggest leap since women were deemed to be more or less equal citizens.
On being asked by reporters if the Home Minister had watched the Guwahati video of a highly intoxicated and depraved woman, unquestioningly of loose moral character, being bothered by a few dozen seemingly harmless men, Mr. Chidambaram admitted that he had. He added that the best way for the country to effectively deal with such issues was by moving women’s safety up the priority ladder of his ministry. “That, already, is half the battle won. We feel it is now almost as big a problem as open manholes in the country, which, as you know, is already priority number 34,” the minister asserted.
Among the slew of new measures announced, experts feel that the most important one is the complete ban on the police force to deal with women related issues. From now on, female citizens will have to wholly rely on their own cellphone videos to corroborate instances of rape, eve teasing or any other forms of general harassment. This decision has been taken keeping in mind the ease with which MMS and Youtube videos related to female harassment become the nation’s main talking point over tea breaks and news channel panel discussions.
“Justice can only be served through evidence. Everyone has a cellphone in this country. If you are facing a problem of harassment, record the activity on your cellphone. Or you can even ask one of the hangers-on to stop being a mute spectator and film the proceedings instead,” the Home Minister advised.
It is expected that women all across the country will react to the news with a sense of joy and relief. Some government agencies have already thrown their support behind the new decision. “This is a remarkable solution to women’s problems. It is difficult to always rely on the police – after all they have to look after so many things, like VIP movements etc. But with cellphones, I am relieved that now when a woman is getting raped, she can record it on her BlackBerry and then SMS it directly to the Supreme Court,” said Chatur Gobardhan, who heads the National Human Rights Commission, Women’s Chapter.
In a separate statement, Education Minister Kapil Sibal also welcomed the Home Ministry’s initiative. “Whatever people feel about Shri A.Raja, I think his contributions to the cause of women’s safety is exceptional”, Mr Sibal said in his statement. “He made cellphones accessible to the poor and downtrodden. You can’t even put a value to that”, he said.
In a remarkable instance of solidarity, the main opposition party the BJP has also lent its support to the government. Spokesman Brijinder Singh Yadav said, ”All women should carry 2 things – a cell phone and some pepper spray. Once home, they can even use the pepper spray in cooking nice dishes for their husbands”, Mr Yadav added, leading to appreciative applause from his audience of party workers.
Meanwhile, it has been learned from reliable sources that news channels in the country have privately vowed to show all such MMS and Youtube videos in graphic detail repeatedly until they have been viewed by the entire country at least a few dozen times. “Some decisions are not based on TRP, only on doing the right thing for society,” a well known journalist and Managing Director of a leading news channel said on condition of anonymity. “Rest assured, wherever there is a rape, we will be there to film it”, he signed off on a positive note.