‘Women should stop relying on father, husband, sons, brothers for protection’

Continuation of patriarchal society is the root cause of crimes against women, feels women's rights activist, Mukta Manohar who has authored book Balatkar: Ek Nagna Satya (Rape: A Naked Truth).

"Our culture is male dominated. Male is the power symbol. Whatever they do is taken as the right thing. That's why even in case of rapes, the first reaction is to blame the girl for her clothing or her being late out at night. Women need to protect themselves instead of relying on father, husband, sons, brothers," said Mukta.

Denouncing the Delhi rape case, Mukta said, "We need to re look the man-woman relation. It has always been complicated. And there is also a taboo on discussing such issues. Schools and colleges should provide an environment where they can interact with each other and talk about various issues together. Instead of segregating the female students, we need to teach them they are equal and have the right to do whatever they want."

Mukta also blamed the popular media for degrading the plight women in this country. "Item songs in movies commoditise women and TV serials glorify victimised 'bharatiya nari. We need a more responsible media that show strong women," said Mukta.

Economical independence of women is a great step towards her empowerment. "In case of domestic violence and harassment, women don't protest because they depend on males in families. But if they are economically secure, they will stand up for themselves," said Mukta.

Saying that stricter punishment is what the society wants, she emphasised that capital punishment was not the solution. "Capital punishment is too easy punishment. We need rapists and sexual offenders to suffer. So severe punishment must be given." Mukta said. "Just punishment won't help as the root of this evil is set deep in our society."

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