How does a person build an alcohol tolerance?
By drinking more. Seriously.
The more you drink, the more your body gets accustomed to drinking, and the less you are affected per ounce of alcohol. This tolerance amps up pretty quickly; if you start from sobriety, after a week of heavy drinking, you’ll find that while one beer used to get you buzzed, now it takes several to get you mildly tipsy.
So, congratulations, you are now tolerant to alcohol.
– Just like Delhi is now tolerant to the idea of Rape. Yeah, you read that right.
Now, you may be gasping with horror and your reflex reaction to this will be, ‘What is this crap? Hell, this isn’t true.’ … But ask yourself honestly, isn’t it?
Just recently, our beloved bhai, said that he felt like a “raped woman” during training for his upcoming film. Is rape a topic so trivial for us that it can be used in jokes? Have we, as a society, accepted that rape is a common evil, and is it is now acceptable for women to get raped every now and then?
- Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. The number of reported rape cases in India have been steadily rising over the past decade. And the number one city on this list is our very own capital – Delhi.
- According to 2012 statistics, New Delhi has the highest raw number of rape reports among Indian cities. The rape rate per 100,000 women in 2013 was highest in Delhi (20.1).
- The number of rapes in Delhi registered a rise again in 2015, with data suggesting an average of six cases every day.
- As many as 2,095 cases of rape were reported in 2015 till December ‘15, compared to 2,085 cases during the same period in 2014.
- Last year’s statistics are the highest in 15 years. “Most likely, the highest ever,” said an officer, adding he was speaking from experience and had not pored over data prior to 2001.
- When you Google “Rapes in Delhi”, it brings up about 9,30,000 results.
Do we really need more evidence?
When The Levee Broke: A Tragedy of Epic Proportions
All of us remember one particularly grotesque incident – the gang rape of a 23-year-old medical student – India’s daughter on a public bus on 16th December 2012.
The following day, there was an uproar in the Indian parliament over the incident. MPs from both houses had set aside their regular business to discuss the case and demanded the strictest punishment for those involved. Leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, demanded the rapists should be hanged. Thousands of people, mostly young, participated in a massive demonstration on 22 December in protest. Police arrested six men accused.
This was the one incident which caused the nation to take notice. To realize that this problem is serious and we need to do something about it. In view of these widespread protests, the government at the Centre and various states announced several steps to ensure the safety of women.
What The Tragedy Did: Breaking The Taboo
The incident gave rise to hopes for bringing change in India. Yet, the only change till now is that the taboo on discussing rape and sexual violence has been broken. The protests brought debates and discussions to our homes. Moreover, sexual assault climbed out from small Page 6 stories to the front page of newspapers.
But here’s what sucks – Delhi’s streets are still not safe. Not even remotely. Rape cases continue to rise. If you look into what India’s capital has done to protect women 2 years after Nirbhaya, you won’t find any answers. And yet the headlines scream the word “RAPE” to remind us that we need to be scared.
What Has Happened: The Normalcy of Rape
With every new day, and every new incident, we sure cringe a little, but we’ve become so used to these cases, that they fail to leave a mark anymore.
Why does it take a Nirbhaya to scare us, and make us realize that we must do something about the horrendous situation we’re living in?
Yes, a year or two is too little time to undo what patriarchy has done over centuries. It is too embedded in our homes, our institutions, in our laws, and in our heads. And though Delhi’s police may be a little more receptive now, but it is more out of fear of censure than a genuine sense of duty.
What Still Needs To Be Done: A Lot
We still have a long, long way to go. We need to hold onto, and consolidate our anger. We need to demand that our government enforce all the promised changes of its Criminal Law Amendment Act, which changes laws to expand the definition of rape and incorporated new offences including acid attack, sexual harassment, voyeurism and stalking.
Activists need to act in solidarity with other organizations to stop violence against the women and girls of the world. India’s and Delhi’s society needs change.
Delhi must not be rape tolerant anymore.