Dress Sense

While watching the above very well-made BBC documentary this evening, I could not but look back at the last few days I was in India’s capital city, New Delhi when I travelled its length and breath in the Metro, among other modes of transport.
Not only did I see police extremely alert and prepared to detain eve-teasers and ‘roadside romeos’, there was also a marked sense of caution among women and young girls in the metropolis. But for one single instance of an obnoxiously-dressed ‘student’ on the Metro, everyone was decently dressed, sporting modern clothes with grace.Indian women travel inside a ‘women only’ metro train compartment in Delhi
Experiencing this, after the horrific rape and murder of a medical student almost a year ago in a moving public bus on the streets of the capital, made me think about safety of women. The incident not only sparked outrage all over the country and the world, it also instilled in people a safety consciousness not seen before.
The public (and media) outcry also made the police more alert and responsive, which has certainly helped in many ways.
Coming to the lass on the Metro, not only did she invite stares of disgust from everyone around, it also prompted a couple of elderly senior citizens to tell each other about their discomfort. After all, where was the need for her to dress as such when I could not see any other woman on the train (or anywhere else) in that state.
Indecent-dressing-1True, women are free to dress the way they want and go where they want – that is their right in a free nation. But, they should also be responsible citizens and dress non-provocatively, for we have a culture different from most of the world, where sex is acceptable only among legally married couples and hence in short supply to majority of men. There are countless ways women can wear modern clothes without exposing their body and can still remain trendy and smart.
Women (in India) have to do their bit to protect themselves from such untoward incidents. Society is now more aware and alert and, hopefully, with tighter laws in place, the situation in the country will improve over time.
How long it will take is anybody’s guess but we as responsible citizens, have to play our part.

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