The leading political parties in India are so busy politicising rape, that they have forgotten the issue of women’s welfare altogether. It is as if the plight of Indian women is nothing more than numbers meant to be flung at each other during rallies. Every party wants to showcase the other in a bad light. But no party in 71 years of our independence has taken any concrete measures to curb the menace of sexual crimes against women.

Yesterday, Rahul Gandhi questioned the ruling national party’s stance on sexual crimes against women. He said, “PM doesn’t utter a word when girls are raped in UP and Bihar. It’s a question which arises not only in yours but also in hearts of all women in India. Why are women being raped in BJP ruled states? What happened to women in last 4 years never happened in even 3000 years.”

 Mr Gandhi needs a reminder that sexual crimes are so uncontrollable in today’s India because no concrete efforts have been made to control it in the past.

Stop reducing our agony to a political agenda

The politicians have always reduced the issue of women’s safety to a mere political agenda. Something which must only be dug up during elections from its grave. The dead corpse of political apathy towards women’s safety reeks now of not just of negligence but also tossing the blame to one another.

GROUND REALITIES

  • Political parties in our country treat sexual crimes against women as an agenda.
  • NCRB reports from various years showcase the consistent failure of all ruling parties to plug the menace of sexual assaults against women.
  • What needs to change is the approach of all political parties towards this issue. The parties need to come up with practical solutions and not excuses or blame games.

Has Gandhi forgotten the horrors of Nirbhaya gang rape which happened in 2012?

The nation had burned like never before, demanding strict nationwide measures to be taken for women’s safety. The UPA alliance was in power for one-and-a-half years after that. The cause of our problem isn’t the current NDA government or the previous UPA government. All of them have failed us and data from the National Crime Record Bureau corroborates that.

According to NCRB reports 24,924 incidences of rape were reported in 2012. While the number of rape cases reported in 2016 was 38,947. If we look at data from some previous reports, then the number of reported rape cases was 18,233 in 2004 and 21,467 in 2008. And this is just the data on reported rape cases.

So while both of the leading parties have had multiple chances to form governments at the centre throughout all these years, the rate of crime against women has been on a steady rise.

Attempted rapes, molestation, sexual abuse and harassment are various other forms of sexual crimes which Indian women face. All these crimes have also seen a rise.

What needs to change is the political approach. We have had enough of this blame game. What we want to see now is some commitment and strong strategy from both the parties. Women’s welfare is something which must come out victorious, irrespective of who wins or who loses. It’s about time political parties came up with strategies to counter this wave of sexual crimes. We need assurance that both the parties will try to change the rape mentality, by making efforts to sensitise the aggressive male population of this country. We need practical solutions and not hypothetical claims.

Also Read : Shaming 11-Year-Old Rape Survivor: What Have We Become?

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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