More than 80 attacks and cases of moral policing have been reported from all over Karnataka (Bangalore, Mangalore,..) in the last six months. Women are facing physical attacks by gangs of strangers. There's been a growing lawlessness in the State - a situation where people can attack women and walk free.
These women, without the slightest provocation - unless exercising your rights as a free citizen of India by travelling, driving a car, or walking on the street as all of us have the right to do - can be counted as a provocation - were threatened, intimidated, cursed, and beaten.
Women have been or are being unfortunately targeted in the name of morality, culture and "public decency". In Bangalore, the reasons for the attacks have been on similar lines - during the attacks, the girls were insulted for wearing jeans, sleeveless shirts and speaking English.
They are part of a series of attacks inflicted on women in the name of 'morality', attacks that are escalating as women resist and fight back. Some women will be traumatized for life; others will be afraid to walk the streets of their own cities again.
These attacks are nothing less than a dastardly attempt to circumscribe the freedom of movement of women. Two women have committed suicide after humiliation. These attacks are crimes against women. They are legal offences. They are neither isolated events nor trivial incidents of 'eve-teasing'.
The attacks in Bangalore are a continuation of those that took place in Mangalore and coastal Karnataka regions. Women across class barriers - from paurakarmikas (civic workers) to garment factory workers to students and young professionals in the corporate sector - have today become vulnerable targets on the streets of Karnataka.
Even if one does not approve / endorse the pub culture personally one doesn't have any right to take the law into his/her own hands. No one has the right to enforce the dress code by taking the law into his/her own hands. It is the core responsibility of the state and city police to ensure that public spaces are kept safe for all.
Punitive legal action may please be taken to ensure that the/these attackers/miscreants are brought to justice and punished by the law. Preventive legal action may please be taken to ensure that no more women are attacked in Karnataka. Streets and public spaces may please be made safe for all to use. The right to walk our own cities without any fear and the threat of assault may please be restored.
Edited by tanveer.indian - 07 March 2009 at 5:45pm