Thursday, January 03, 2013

Why is India unsafe for tourists?

People are streaming in. The Kumbh mela is just around the corner. Delhi is still burning with the question of what will it do to the six rapists. Opinions are divided – should we hang them? Or should we find some other way to punish them? Should we use chemical castration? Time is passing by speedily.  India stands still, in the midst of a severe cold wave sweeping over north India and other parts of the country. This wind is chilling metaphorically too; it has frozen the hearts of many across the globe. Yes, the capitol of the country can ill afford to show its face to the world and it needs to now hang its head in shame.

75 million people visit China yearly; only 5 million visit India during the winter seasons from other countries. Incredible India, the Government’s Travel wing, travels abroad yearly and sells India as a destination for travel, what with the beach, the mountains, the spiritual/mystical side of India, marketable to the gullible and the ill informed, as of now.

Why not? Only on the 31st night, traveling on Tamilnad Express from Chennai to New Delhi, a Canadian woman, sleeping on the top berth, on the side, was woken up with a rude shock. A man, drunk inside the train, where neither alcohol nor smoking is allowed, had grabbed her private part and was rubbing her, as she slept. She woke up with a start and yelled STOP IT, where upon he disappeared into the toilet or some such place. Passengers and her Canadian companions asked the ticket collector to act; bring in the complaint book, but he refused to do either, asking them to go back to their berths!

This is not unnatural in India. The country touted to be spiritual is hardly one. It might be religious and bigoted, it is certainly not spiritual. Tens of thousands of people will descend on the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, which is now a multi-dollar Event and think they are coming to a country known for its spirituality.

Indeed, India is a palace of illusions! One can be deluded and lose one’s way here, forever!
Renowned writer and poet Abha Iyengar, states in her Facebook profile: “I remember many years ago when I visited Germany and experienced the freedom of being able to lie on the grass, a young woman alone with herself and nature and of course, other scattered foreigners also embracing the sun's winter warmth, how free and delightful it felt. The point is, I was alone and a woman and young and a foreigner and I could lie in the sun on the grass without being stared at or accosted. As a woman in India I have never experienced this freedom. I think even now were I to lie alone on the grass in Lodhi gardens with a book , minding my own business, I would be stared at or accosted. I know I would not be comfortable. When will we women in India have this freedom to just be?”

The answer is never! Unless you wish to take things in your hands!

If you are visiting India, remember, your safety is in your hands! You may travel with your boyfriend, or a group of friends, or even catch an Indian ‘chokda’- Boy guide – while in India, but the woman’s body is not respected at all and do not be surprised if a man thinks and feels that your body is his possession without your permission. After all, he is a man! He is God! He can and will do anything to you as a woman, and you are supposed to lie low and not scream.

Chemical castration cannot make a man impotent. Even a fool knows that! Sex and power trips originate in the mind. How, is India going to castrate its century’s old habit of trying to save the linga, the penis in the head which extends like a canon between his legs? Especially, when women too have been worshiping it?

Therefore, if you are visiting India, do so at your own risk. Also, have no illusions about how long the hideous organ may be (not an orgasmic joy for sure, this one), how much it can take you for granted and how unsafe you can be in a country, better known for arm-chair thinking and lack of will to act. A million reasons may be cited for inaction, lack of implementation, thinking things over, etc., etc, even if it be over someone’s dead body! Even yours!

Take care! Ensure your own safety! Take charge!

Delhi women only cab:
91 931 384 4015
Police across India: Dial 100

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Panchali said...

India is defined by misogyny. Hatred of women is woven so tightly into the fabric of Indian society...nothing can be done!
Is India facing a moral and ethical crisis? Have we as a Nation been unhinged from our values and culture, where women were treated with dignity and respect? Alas, it is heart breaking to see the daily reports screaming out of every newspaper in India, about sexual and gender based violence.
I just hope Indian women unite and make their voices heard, even if it's difficult and dangerous!!
Wonderful article, Julia.

Julia Dutta said...

Thank you Panchali,

Truth was never spoken so well as your comment. We are facing a deep crisis, because, the brainless buffoonery in which our so called custodians of our society have lead us to, is coming apart as new and young people are questioning their belief systems. In an age of globilization, ridiculous beliefs of yesteryears have no place at all.


Jason Martin said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing. There are not so good in welcoming your passage.
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