According to the National Crime Bureau Records, 3.9 million crimes against women were reported in 2018. Of these, 59,466 cases were registered in Uttar Pradesh (the main state of Hindi Heartland), where the situation is worst in terms of women’s safety. On the other hand, on September 29, 2020, the Criminal Records Bureau’s Crime in India data disclosed the number of crimes against women in India in 2019 that exceeded 4,10,164. It is a frightening statistic that should make women feel anxious and keen to protect themselves.
In view of the soaring number of incidents of harassment, molestation, and crimes against women,Diksha and Shalini, two girl students of the Asuka Institute of Computer Science in Varanasi, invented a smart knife. The knife can not only prove to be a weapon that can provide women with security on the spot, but also can alert their loved-ones.
Diksha and Shalini said that their invention is not an ordinary knife. A SIM card is installed to protect women in distress from criminals/ miscreants. The steel knife weighs only 70 grams and has been placed in large jewelry. It took a month to make the prototype at the expense of Rs. 1500 only.
HOW IT WORKS
When the woman removes the knife, a call with location details will be forwarded to the three numbers that have been saved it in before. The device works based on Bluetooth technology and radiofrequency. There is a very small button on the knife. Once you press the button in distress, it will connect to the phone via radio-frequency. Even as the family members and the police reach out to help her, the woman could use the knife to defend herself.
This amazing invention by the girls was developed under the leadership of Shyam Chaurasia, who is in charge of the R&D department of Ashoka Institute. Chaurasia said that this smart knife can not only scare creed miscreants but also attract the attention of nearby people and call the police at the same time.There is no doubt that this invention by the girls is remarkable, but without police support, all these kinds of inventions are useless.
If you are a woman in distress, the last thing you need to do is to go to the police station but, what if the police don’t support you?
Therefore, without the support of the police, these inventions would not be able to ensure the safety of girls and women in the worst situation. We know our system is so corrupt. In India, for many rape victims, police are often part of the problems.
Reality of Our System
In numerous rape cases, police spend more time seeking reconciliation between the attacker and the victim than investigating the matters. In addition to this, in many molestation cases, women committed suicide after the police refused for several weeks to arrest the men suspected of gang rape and asked them to marry the rapist. So, several Indian women end up marrying rapists that the police often spend the first few hours and days after women report rape seeking just such a resolution.
Experts say that in general, the police are poorly organized and unable to deal with serious crimes, especially crimes against women.
The reality and the main reason behind this are Indian police officers are few and their salaries are low, and there are few opportunities for promotion, so many police officers rely on bribes to support their families which makes them vulnerable to corruption. Moreover, many low-level officials pay a one-year salary bribe in order to get a job, so from daily traffic violations to major crimes, demanding high pay has become a way of life. This behavior undermines public trust and deteriorates security.
In fact, more than 80% of police officers in India are those who cannot investigate crimes or issue fines. Most are assigned to paramilitary units that have little traditional police work. Although the government announces that it will recruit more female police officers each time, the truth is that so far, only 5% of police officers are women.
Moreover, police reforms have been put forward for decades, but some have been put in place because they rarely involve making officials less susceptible to political interference— something politicians have little incentive to seek.
But even if India is struggling to solve the problem of polarization, a strong force inhibits any fundamental change; a corrupt, vulnerable to political interference, severely masculine, and understaffed police force.
An impermeable police hierarchy is another problem. Topmost heads are taken from the Indian Police Service, an elite core of bureaucrats who nevermore serve in front-line positions.
As another major reason for that lack of support and trust is constant political interference. Police officers have few civil service protections, and leaders or senior politicians can transfer or punish police officers at will.
Due to the widespread connection between police officers and their leaders, it is almost impossible to assault a police officer to the highest position. Conspiracies between politicians and police are well-known. Many people have been shot in police shootings with political connotations, and blatantly political arrests occur frequently.
Of all the issues, even many female advocates point out that cultural traditions are the most difficult to deal with.
It is an unfortunate reality that police are not trusted in India. People without police support, political connections, or money are often ignored.
Therefore, a key reason why rape cases are so poorly investigated and prosecuted in India is due to the political power structures conforming to intensely bureaucratic, submissive, and succumbing to political and monetary power law-and-order system.
To understand this precisely, let us take the example of a woman who said that the police refused to take her rape complaint seriously in South Delhi. When the rapist threatened her 12-year-old daughter, she turned to her brother for help and asked him to call a high-ranking politician. Belatedly, the police sprang into action. Thus, the politicization of the police means justice is available only to the well connected.
When asked about the case, a police officer said that he would check the details, but did not respond a few days later. During that time, the woman had been worried about her husband being killed or children being kidnapped because she knew that the police would not help if that happened.
No doubt, nowadays no one has faith in the police because everyone knows that if you have money or connections, you can get justice. If you don’t, forget it.
Even human rights organizations and lawyers say that for decades, rape victims in India have experienced an archaic, poorly funded, under-resourced, and insensitive criminal justice system that neither cared for them medically nor provided judicial assistance or deliver justice.
Those brave were enough to go to the police face infinite challenges in getting their assailant put behind bars — reporting the rape to hostile police, lack of sympathetic forensic examinations, a lack of consultation, shoddy police investigations, and ineffective court prosecutions.
The number of judges, courts, and prosecutors is severely inadequate, leading to trials that lasted for several years, intimidating victims and witnesses, and many cases were dropped before the verdict.
Besides this, one part of the problem is certainly attitudes. Many government officials, especially the police, allow the negative and destructive stereotyped promiscuity of rape survivors to interfere with their duties.
Therefore, when rape survivors come forward and try to lodge a complaint at the police station, they are usually hostile or suspicious of what they have experienced. In fact, in many rape cases, it is said that the police did not take the victim’s complaint seriously and the victim eventually committed suicide.
Disillusioned by the authorities, Indian society often feels ashamed of raped women, which has led many rape victims to commit suicide, drink pesticides, dousing themselves in kerosene, set fires, or slashing their wrists.
Blame The Victim
In April last year, a survey conducted by one of the famous magazines through the news channel found that more than half of the police officers interviewed were biased -accusing the victim of clothes or going out at night, indicating that she was asking for it.
Senior political and religious leaders have repeatedly shown this blaming the victim mentality towards the rape on many occasions since the Delhi gang-raped incident happened and the police often followed up.
The lawyer said-and senior police officials agreed-the police are usually highly insensitive to female victims of violence.
A senior Delhi police officer who asked not to be named told that the entire police force is not gender-sensitive, but it absolutely needs training and sensitization.
In the police, an average constable rarely meets the woman. You meet your colleagues, they are men. You pick up the accused, most of them are men. You take them to court, and most of them are men. Most of the men brought into prison are men. Therefore, constable’s or police officers interact very little with women every day.
For rape victims, lodging the FIR (first information report) with police is only the first obstacle. For the victims, the subsequent procedures are often more humiliating, grueling, and traumatic.
Justice Delayed, Justice Denied
A far more notable case is the brutal gang rape on a bus in New Delhi a few years ago, and the subsequent death of the victim. The victim’s subsequent death has led to an anguished re-examination of many of the country’s old attitudes towards violence against women in India.
Legal experts say that one of the biggest obstacles to winning justice for rape victims is the long trial period. In general, it may take 5 to 10 years for the court to make a judgment.
India has so far few prosecutors, courts, and judges for its population of over 126 crores. Its per capita number of judges is one-fifth that of the United States, and it has a backlog of millions of cases. This means that long before all the evidence is heard and a judgment is made, the cases are often dropped and the defendant is acquitted.
Victims often feel tired and disillusioned, unable to spend time and money in court hearings, and some people just want to get on with their lives.
Lawyers said that during prolonged trials, the defendant sometimes threatens victims and their witnesses. In some cases, the court has granted bail, even though rape is an unbailable offense.
As a result, victims may be forced to accept illegal out-of-court settlements, such as small cash payments. In more extreme cases, the victim’s family was forced to marry his daughter to the defendant.
India has no witness protection program
In our country, there must be a very brave person as a witness, because you must continue to appear in court, you must face hostile cross-examination, and make you feel like this stupid perpetrator, not the victim of the crime, the famous lawyer said.
In the end, you finally ask yourself: Why should I bother?
Although India has experienced an economic turmoil that has displaced millions of women into urban workplaces, the deep attachment to female sexual virtues is still deeply rooted in the Indians psyche.
Non-corrupt systems, strict laws, and a mindset revolution are the only things that can lead to a better and safe society for women.