The government has bowed down to the opposition pressure. Amidst the din over the rape of Swiss tourist in Madhya Pradesh, the government is set to table the anti rape bill on Monday. The age for concentual sex too has been raised to 18 from the previously suggested 16 after opposition parties raised concern citing moral and ethical reasons.
The other highlights of the bill include sticking to harsher sentences in vake of the Nirbhaya episode. However, the provisions related to stalking have been diluted following objections from Mulayam Singh’s Samajwadi Party.
The all party consensus was not an easy affair as all the political parties smelled rat in Government’s claims and suggested their own remedies to tackle this menace that has been growing at an alarming level lately.
Meanwhile, the image of India has taken a dent internationally following the brutal gang rape of a Swiss tourist who was on a holiday sojourn in Datia in Madhya Pradesh. With the arrest of 6 culprits some strange facts have come to the fore. None of those involved had a criminal history and seem to be guided by the spur of the moment.
This incident also highlights the social fabric degradation in our society as increasing number of cases are being reported on a daily basis. Nothing much has changed since the Nirbhaya incident and increasing number of rape and molestation cases are being reported from all corners of the country, including New Delhi.
Meanwhile, political parties are engaged in a verbal war citing their political ambitions. Trinamool Congress has come up with a suggestion that the states need to be consulted on the provisions of the law to make it more women friendly.
Sharad Yadav of JD (U) feared that the clause of stalking needs to be removed or altered as the same can be misused for various reasons.
However, government has reacted in a cautious manner and has pointed out that it has suggested remedial measures for distinct kind of offenses. To begin with voyeurism will have a sentence varying between one to three years.
Stalking will attract a prison term of three year in the first instance and of five years in case a person does not desist from the action. Congress had come out with a remedial strategy that lowering the age of sex to 16 with the intention of reducing these kind of crimes. However, owing to the noises made by opposition parties, the same had to be raised to 18 years.
Meanwhile, as our elected representatives gather in Lok sabha to raise their concerns on the proposed bill, nothing much seems to change on the ground. Increasing cases of rape and molestation are being reported on a daily basis shattering India’s image locally and globally. The latest Swiss tourist incident has further dented the country’s image. India’s reputation as a country being unsafe for women has sadly been glorified by the latest incident.
As our leaders debate on the viability of the anti rape bill, it is our responsibility to arise to the need of ensuring women safety.