Sadly, as women, we take a few steps forward and suddenly like a sharp whack from the middle of nowhere, we are reminded to stay put in our places. This was again reiterated with the recent regressive move the UP government had announced, leaving us baffled. They had banned coaching centres from women attending class after 8.00 pm. The decision was presented as being in favour of our safety. This was a bias and surely felt like a curfew imposed only on one gender, no wonder that the countrywide criticism led the government to revoke its ban.
This is being touted as being taken for the betterment of women. The motive is to reduce crimes committed against women. Totally ignoring that the men must be taught lessons of respectful attitude towards women. This patriarchal agenda of oppression where women are made to appear as the problem, is the real issue for us. The packaging of this decision is being made out to be, as a big brother concern and responsibility towards gender sensitisation. The control is once again on women. She will not have the freedom to be free after 8.00 pm. The perpetrators will continue to enjoy all the freedom. They will be allowed to operate from dawn till the next dawn.
Why Is The Control Once Again On Women?
What rattles is that why aren’t boys being forced to stay indoors after 8.00 pm? They must not be seen in coaching centres so that women can attend classes freely, based on their convenience.
This decision is a clear message of the inability of the authorities to take stricter measures to prevent sexual violence and assault. They can’t teach men strict lessons so they fear ever violating another woman ever.
Hypothetically, if a girl who works during the day in an office and is free to attend class only after finishing her work, chores Etcetc and 8.00 pm is the best time, she must bury her dreams of pursuing her ambition, because her big brother of rules has decided, her safety is in being at home and not controlling the culprits.
Ghaziabad, in Uttar Pradesh, which is also part of the Delhi metropolitan area, tops the list of the ten most dangerous cities in India. In spite of this, yet again women are being targeted to be the caretakers of men’s advances towards her.
Recently a 40-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly murdered after being raped. She was found by her 20-year-old daughter after her body had been chopped off into three pieces in Uttar Pradesh's Banda district.
The accused is absconding and no arrests have been made so far.
Therefore, does the 8.00 pm curfew solve the issue that is so deeply ingrained, of deep hatred towards women, where rape, sodomy and murder, is the answer for her to stay within the patriarchal chains of power?
8.00 pm curfew must be imposed on men instead of women in learning centres. This is the education that may teach men what it feels like for women to not have freedom of choice in 2023.
Mohua Chinappa is an author and runs a podcast called The Mohua Show.