Alumni of various prominent institutions have written to President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Members of Parliament, drawing their attention to rising incidents of crime against women in the country, and have called upon the leaders to condemn such actions and initiate steps to protect rights and dignity of all women.
The letter has been written in the backdrop of recent incidents like Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai. “They are manifestations of the culture that target women, for daring to have a voice of their own,” the letter Said.
The letter said that there are increasing instances of intimidation and harassment of women across various spaces. The letter emphasises that women in India have never been more unsafe both online and offline spaces, the threat of physical harm, sexual violence and outright violation of dignity and rights in online spaces seems to have become commonplace enough for our political leaders to not notice anymore.
There is a constriction of the spaces for expression and participation of women, especially from minority groups, dalit women and girls.
The letter urges leaders to break their silence and apathy towards the issue of women’s safety. “In this atmosphere of silence not only do the perpetrators of such crimes often go scot-free, they are getting emboldened by the increasing atmosphere of hate and divisiveness in the country and barely show any remorse for hate filled misogynistic crimes,” it said.
It demanded that steps should be taken including, action against perpetrators when such cases are reported. Condemnation of such hate-driven actions/speeches at the highest levels of the government, working with IT and media companies to ensure their accountability in keeping their channels safe for women. Engaging with young girls and boys around issues of positive masculinity, gender, and gender socialization from an early age through school curriculum.
The Open letter initiated by a group of alumni from IRMA was soon joined by over like minded alumni from prominent institutions across the country, and has over 250 signatures.
The letter has been written by alumni of Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) joined by alumni of other prominent institutions including Lady Shri Ram College, IIT Bombay, National Institute of Design (NID), XLRI, Miranda House.