The Nth Room, one of South Korea’s biggest sexual abuse scandal, has been exposed to have had sexually exploited over 76 women- 12 of whom were minors- and is trailblazing the need to protect women in this decade of untraceable technology.

In March 2020, one of South Korea’s biggest digital sex scandals got exposed when Cho Ju-Bin (will further be addressed as Cho in the article) – who went by the alias of ‘Baksa’- got arrested for being the suspected founder of the Nth Room.

 What is the Nth Room?

The Nth Room is a mass digital sex scandal happening in South Korea- arguably one of the largest and most extensive one that the country has ever experienced- using the chat messenger Telegram. Telegram is famous for being untraceable, owing to its extensive security and encoding measure. It is with the help of this app that the 25-year-old Cho Ju-Bin- who is currently being investigated- enabled the business of selling sexual videos to an online community. 

With the help of a tier-ranking, Cho created a number of chat rooms: 1st Room, 2nd Room, 3rd Room… Nth Room, owing to the fact that the exact number of rooms created for the circulation of this terrifying crime is unknown. Users would pay a high amount of money to gain entry to these chat rooms, and the amount of money paid determined the number of the room one could gain access to. 

It is reported that the room with the lowest tier ranking had an entry fee of $80 USD while the users that paid $1,200 USD would get access to the rooms with the highest tier ranking. The lowest-ranked rooms had the ‘least’ abusive videos, and the users who paid the most got access to the room with the ‘most’ abusive videos. Over 260,000 men are said to have joined the Nth Room community, with its clientele including the country’s famous entertainers and artists, athletes, CEOS, etc.

76 female victims have been identified in the scandal, with the primary target being teenagers. 12 of them were minors and the youngest victim has been reported to be around 9 years old.

Trigger Warning: Mentions of extremely disturbing sexual assault

To obtain the videos, Cho worked with “operators”, who would find girls and women for him, steal their personal information and then use it to threaten and blackmail the victims into doing what the operators asked them to do, while other victims were women from low-income backgrounds lured in with offers of money. 

The offers began with requesting for videos of the victims undressing and masturbating, which were then distributed to the “lower tier” rooms. These videos would then be used to blackmail the women into doing increasingly worse requests, which would then be distributed into the “higher-tier” rooms. These included carving the word “slave” on their bodies, putting sharp objects in their genitalia, etc. Some operators even paid other men to rape the victims. It has also been revealed that a client plotted the murder of a girl as revenge against her father but was arrested before the attempt was carried out.

The exposing of the Nth Room scandal has led to the investigation of other similar sexual abuse rings online. A 16-year-old student from South Korea who used to work for Cho is said to have been arrested for running a series of similar chat rooms called the Pacific Expedition, and had distributed sexual content of children and teenagers and had from 8,000 to 20,000 clients.

China is also investigating their own version of these chat rooms reported to have had up to 8.6 million users, with the victims being as young as 4 years old. 

As technology experiences a global boom, the crimes against women shift from a primitive to a digital verse, but the crimes remain as real and horrifying as ever. The excruciating details of the Nth Room scandal are major stressors to exactly why cybersecurity and cyber laws to protect victims of sexual abuse are important, and how people- especially women to an extremely large context- need to be protected when these crimes start spilling onto the cyber verse.

How you can help: Sign the petition to make 80% of the investigation team for the Nth Room women

More information about the Nth Room can be found here.

Featured Image Credits: Hackernoon

Shreya Juyal
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Mardaani 2 which releases on 13th December has created controversy weeks before its release. The controversy revolves around Kota, the city in which Mardaani 2 is based.

Every year during late summers newspapers, billboards and the Internet get flooded with advertisements of coaching classes glorifying their results in Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exams. Every alternate advertisement is from the coaching capital of India, Kota. I am sure many of us would have deliberately or forcibly pondered about the idea of studying in Kota once in life. More than half a lakh students flock to Kota every year to realise their dreams of getting into an IIT or a premier medical college. Lately, it’s in news and unfortunately, not for good reasons.

No, it’s not about the suicide rates which the city is infamous for but, the Rani Mukherjee starrer, Mardaani 2 which is set there. Trailer of the film that released on 14th November has generated substantial amount of controversy even before its theatrical release. The storyline has moved to Kota from Delhi in the second part of this franchise, where Shivani Shivaji Rao, a super cop from Mumbai, is assigned with a new case to catch a 21-year old notorious criminal involved in rape and murder cases of girls in Kota.

The backdrop of movie did not shy away from illustrating Kota in its rawest form, which has invited the wrath of residents and students who come here to study alike. So much so that the Speaker of Lok Sabha and Member of Parliament Om Birla had to intervene in the matter.

Why are Citizens of Kota angry?

The protesters say that the film shows Kota in a bad light. The protesters reserve that Kota, that is a hub for engineering and medical coaching centres, has not witnessed the kind of events shown in film. They demand Kota’s name to be removed from the entire reel of the film.

A geographical land always holds cultural significance for its inhabitants. The fury of Kota residents justifies that. But before succumbing to emotive ethos, let’s look at crime rates of this city.

According to the ‘Crime in India’ data released in 2016, Kota occupied 3rd place all over Rajasthan for rape crimes. With 437 cases registered in one single year, the rape rates were 20% while assault rates were as high as 24.5%.

In 2016, the Kota Police confirmed the existence of a student gang called “Bihari Tigers Force” after their involvement in the murder of a 19-year old medical aspirant. The notorious gang formed around 2008 has been active in moderate to heinous crimes like chain snatching, extortion, harassment etc.

When ‘Delhi Crime’ released on Netflix this year, no such controversy was seen around. Based on the 2012 Nirbhaya Rape Case, the show stigmatised the national capital on crime against women that is evidently prevalent here. But for Delhi it’s not a new blot. Every now and media has scolded Delhi for the same. It might be that we have internalised Delhi’s ill habit. Maybe seeing a filmmaker reflect the issues of Kota has made their citizen uncomfortable, but that’s necessary for anyone who wishes to rectify the problems prevalent in their surroundings.

Featured Image Credits: Zee News


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On 17 September 2019, a girl studying in University of Delhi was raped by a rickshawala who attempted to kidnap her in his auto. The accused has been put behind bars. Read on to find out more.

You Dutt Sharma, a 23-year-old man was arrested on 26th October after a DU student filed an FIR against him accusing him of molesting her and trying to kidnap her in his auto. The incident took place on 17 September 2019. After the FIR, the police summoned the man and after questioning, it was found out that he had allegedly raped the student.

With the help of CCTV footage and technical surveillance, Delhi Police was able to track down the accused and put him behind bars. He confessed that he had harassed about 50 girls in the past. Provoked with suspicion, the authorities questioned him and subsequently matched the details of the case with the rape case. Apart from this, the accused had various cases of larceny filed against his name. 

“On October 21, a DU student said she was going towards a Metro station when an auto driver asked if she wanted a drop. When she refused, the driver tried to pull her inside the auto. She managed to escape after raising an alarm… the accused also fled,” said a senior police officer.

Gargi Tyagi, treasurer of Women’s Development Cell, Motilal Nehru College said, “Watching these things happen to students and that too so frequently makes me realise anyone of us could be the next victim and that thought petrifies me and sends me into a panic. It’s really frustrating and anxious to live with the fear that I could be next. Girls come from different corners of the country to study here and when things like these happen, parents also tend to refrain from sending their daughters outside their home state, where they could receive higher and better education. I hope the authorities do something about this and increase security around the campus.”

“The minor girl was called and she identified the accused. The accused initially tried to mislead the police, but he finally admitted to his crime. He disclosed that the girl boarded his share auto… his associates were in the vehicle, posing as passengers. The accused then took her to an isolated area and allegedly raped her. The girl was scared and did not tell her parents, as he had threatened her with dire consequences. She finally told her mother, who informed the police,” the officer said. 

Feature Image Credits: ThinkProgress

Avni Dhawan

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An audio was circulated on WhatsApp amongst the students of Delhi University (DU) on 11th October narrating an alleged case of hypnotism followed by a brutal rape. 

An audio was circulated on WhatsApp on 11th October 2019 which narrated that a girl was allegedly touched inappropriately by an individual who later hypnotised her outside the streets of Kamala Nehru College (KNC), Green Park. The victim apparently did not return home and had no memory of the previous day.  A month later she went for a checkup post missing her menstrual cycle, and was found pregnant. Medical reports claimed that she was gang-raped by six men.

Many questioned the authenticity of the said audio.  However, the entire premise of hypnotism and rape left students in a state of fear and perplexion. We tried contacting the person who sent the audio, however, they haven’t reverted yet. The whereabouts of the victim are still unheard of. Amongst several rumours and assumptions, the authenticity of the crime still remains under suspicion.

Alerts have been circulated by several departments in and around KNC and other Delhi University colleges. Students are being warned to steer clear of strangers and avoid making eye-contacts or even talking to them. A similar incident was reported in Noida where a delivery boy was accused of hypnotising a woman and later attempting to rape her.

Image Caption: Screenshot of a story uploaded on Instagram, warning students to stay safe Image Image Credits: Screenshot by Anandi Sen

A member of the Students’ Union of Kamala Nehru College refuted any such incident of hypnotism and shunned them as a mere mockery of public’s common sense. “It seems unbelievable and implies that none of it is true. If any such incident has truly happened, someone must be knowing the same. I have also heard that this incident did not happen in or around Kamala Nehru College, the authenticity of this incident is highly questionable and should be probed into.”  

Several other Cells and individuals have refused to comment or chosen to hide their identity. Similar cases of crime are being reported around the Green Park area, though. An incident was narrated by an individual who chose not to identify.

Image Caption: A student narrating a similar incident, who chose to remain anonymous

With rising cases of hypnotism, theft, mugging and harassment, University students need to remain all the more careful and alert. 

Feature Image Credits: College Duniya

Anandi Sen

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The discourse on rape of men has never shaped up in a society where irrespective of the sexes “consent” and “no” are considered redundant words.

Wikipedia defines rape as, “A type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent.” Notice the use of the word “person” that should naturally include women, men, transgender, and all other recognized or unrecognized genders. But unfortunately, the law of the land has devoid consideration of men as victims of rape crimes. In August 2014, 4 men in Muzzafarnagar, Uttar Pradesh were booked for sodomizing a 16-year-old boy in a government-run protection home. A year later, in April 2015 a Madarsa teacher was booked for attempting to sodomize a male student in the same town. We use the word sodomy (anal intercourse) instead of rape here, which no longer is a criminal offence after the Supreme Court amended the language of Section 377 of IPC in September 2018 to decriminalize same-sex relations.

It was a landmark decision that freed the LGBTQ community to come out of the closet without facing the fear of legal scrutiny.  But at the same time, it abridged adult men of their only legal remedy in case of forceful anal penetration. The rape laws in our country treat men only as perpetrators and not as victims. According to Section 375 of the IPC only a man can commit rape on a woman without her consent, or with consent but under the fear of death, or with consent but under false pretences. It makes no mention of rape as a crime against men and leaves section 377 to cover that.

“A huge contributor to the social stigma around male victims of sexual assault is the lack of a functioning legal framework for them to back on,” writes Mardaangi, an Instagram page with around 3000 likes that uploads stories and mentions of sexual assaults on men.

A 2nd-year law student at Delhi University, talking about the discriminative rape laws in our country, on a condition of anonymity says, “As a welfare state our laws are more concerned towards the upliftment of downtrodden section of the society. Women and children due to historic injustice have always been given special protection under the law.” He added, “Men, on the other hand, have always been considered to be the dominating members as they are mostly in the position of power.”

Lack of consent remains an indispensable factor that naturally should make cases of unwilling sodomy come within the ambit of rape. Despite that, not only the legal framework of our country but the social conditioning too makes it tremendously tough for men to report rape crimes and avail a timely justice. The common notion that men are not vulnerable and that they always crave for sex has diluted the conversation around rape of men. Friends, peers and even the authority will likely deride a male victim and label the incident redundant leaving him traumatized.

Rape laws in India have developed over time. The law whose genesis can be traced in Macaulay’s Indian Penal Code of 1860 got amended many times before reaching its current stage. Changes include the inclusion of custodial rape, which criminalized rape by a public servant in 1983 and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 followed by the Nirbhaya rape case. In 2012, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act or POCSO was passed which made rape against a child under the age of 16 a criminal offence and laid provisions for the investigation of the crime in a manner that the child doesn’t get traumatized. This law is gender-neutral and treats male children as victims as well. A legal framework for the protection of adult males can be a next step in the evolution of rape laws.

Feature Image credit: themileage.org


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Various University of Delhi (DU) Student Organisations gathered to protest against the planned attack on the Unnao rape victim. Read on to know more. 

Student organisations of DU held a joint protest in front of the Faculty of Arts, North Campus, on 1st August 2019, to show their dismay over the lack of protection provided to the Unnao rape victim, and the delayed actions taken by the Supreme Court and the Government with respect to this incident. They also condemned the BJP Government, especially Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, for being complicit with the accused.

All India Students’ Association (AISA), All India Students’ Federation (AISF), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), Pinjra Tod, Students’ Federation of India (SFI), etc., were some of the student parties that had joined the protest.

Shreya Singh, a member of the All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO) said, “This protest is not only for the Unnao rape victim, but for the lack of safety provided by the Government to girls and women in the country. This protest is against patriarchy. It is for true equality and real freedom for women.”

In the shadow of the Unnao Rape Case, Siddhant Raj, a member of the Progressive Democratic Students’ Federation (PDSF) questioned the Government, the police, and the Supreme Court’s capabilities to protect the girls and women in the country. Many present also condemned the BJP Government’s hypocrisy with respect to the status of women in the country. Harish Gautam, a member of KYS said, “The BJP MLAs go around chanting slogans of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and promote themselves by clicking selfies in front of campaigns like this, but when it actually comes to it, they do nothing to protect the girls in the country. Right from the beginning, the Unnao rape survivor was being threatened but the BJP Government failed to provide her with any security.” Shreya Banerjee, a member of AISA agreed to this and said, “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao has been murdered.”

On 28th July 2019, the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer were critically injured and the rape victim’s relatives killed in a car accident in Rae Bareli, allegedly planned by the BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the main accused in the rape.


Feature Image Credits: Juhi Bhargava for DU Beat


Juhi Bhargava

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TRIGGER WARNING- A certain video is discussed in this article which might be disturbing for some.


On 30th April, a video showing just another instance of judgemental remarks based on sexism and misogyny went viral. The video was shared by Shivani Gupta, on her Instagram, showing an elderly lady saying that she (Gupta) will get raped if she continues wearing short skirts. When Shivani’s two friends arrived at the scene to their friend’s rescue, the lady went on to say that these two also might get raped just for being rebellious.

These are the parts that the woke and conscious side of the internet shared mostly. However, towards the end, we also see the young women yelling at this lady, asking her ‘Have you been raped?’.

A few hours later, Instagram took this video down and this is what went down amongst people.

One school of thought feels that sharing this video online was the right move, and this would embarrass the ‘bullying’ woman, and set an example for people. Yes, misogyny is ingrained in Indian society but now it’s high time we get done with it.

On the other hand, there are also people who feel this was an extreme move and they are troubled with the latter parts of the video. They say ‘Bullying the bully isn’t the right thing to do’.

Yes, I do condemn that messaging mean texts to that elderly lady and commenting remarks like “You yourself should get raped.” However, staying silent and having the normalised attitude isn’t going to help anyone.

This instance isn’t in solitude. It can be attached to tons of other incidents where women in India have been subjected to mean public remarks. Yes, the video might be nothing new as such casual sexism is common. Still, does that mean we should just see this incident as nothing and turn a blind eye towards it?

Today, I, being in the capital city, being a student at the University of Delhi, can have opinions on anything and everything in our country. I can even talk on problems that rural women face but I can hardly do much, from my privileged safe space in this city. However, I can still be vocal about the indecent behaviour that the inhabitants of my city are facing. Sometimes, being calm just does not help.

If people are sharing this video, they aren’t just sharing it for the sake of it. They are sharing it to show that this is a part of the bigger picture and we all need to collectively condemn this negative picture. It irks me when I see friends and peers pass comments like “The girl is just an attention seeker” and “yeh toh hota rehta hai” (Such things keep on happening) when such cases are brought in the mainstream. Unfortunately, I cannot even call them out right now as that will be categorised as unethical journalism.

There have been viewers of the video, who are somewhere on the middle ground, too. “I agree, the aggression and the boldness are required so that no one can come to a woman and tell her that she should get raped. At the same time, we need to think twice before we reveal someone’s identity, body shame them and potentially ruin their life,” says Shania Mohapatra, a student from Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC).

While yes, hatred should not be propagated, but people should also understand that we can’t stay silent with our thoughts bottled up like we’re living in an Orwellian society. After some stubbornness, even I agree that the lady’s face could have been blurred before uploading the video. In the video itself, one can hear the girls saying that the ‘problematic aunty’ deserves to be raped in those kapde (clothes) itself, which again is equally rude and problematic.

One day later, mainstream publications shared the video obviously as it’s news now. And it does sicken me when people are posting comments like “Yes, these girls deserve to be taught a lesson. If we don’t check, they’ll dress in bras in public.” At the same time, I finally gave up my stubbornness and had a gloomy look as I read comments from the other side, comments like “Someone should attack the aunty just for that double chin and eye bags.”

“The one thing that is bothering me about the video and the subsequent criticism it received is that the blame of cyberbullying of the “aunty” is being put on the girl who shared the video. Saying that the girl is responsible for the mental harassment of the lady, sounds like victim-blaming,” Niharika Dabral, another CIC student took a different stand. “Besides, in this case, the girls and the aunty had the same power equation,” she adds, “…as they both spoke English and looked like they belonged to the same class, so it’s not as though some powerful person is going after a smaller one.”

Whatever be your viewpoint, this instance can’t be ignored just because it’s normal, as a few are doing. Following the same mentality, we shouldn’t even talk about the innumerable individual cases of creeps staring at women in the metro like it’s their birthright. Why? Because this keeps on happening, right? This isn’t a call for being an extreme vigilante but this is just a call for being vocal.

Whether you feel Instagram made the right decision by removing that video or whether you feel sharing this video with some sense of rebellion was needed, you need to be vocal about it. Yes, almost every social discussion ends up having multiple views but we need to be vocal in discussing these views to come to a solution – if there’s a solution.


Image Credits: sunkissedshitzu


Shaurya Singh Thapa

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Standing against the Police mis-constructions, and in solidarity with the victims, the residents of Gaya and the people protesting nationwide, the JNUSU today protested the Gaya Rape case.

Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) today organised a protest call-out against the inefficiency of the police and government in the two instances of rape and murder of minor girls in Bihar in the last fifteen days. The representatives also burnt the effigy of the Janta Dal United (JDU) and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) alliance- lead by the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, calling them out for the deteriorating law and order system of the state.

The event was the immediate response to the alleged gang-rape of a sixteen-year-old girl in Manpur Patwatoli locality of Gaya District of south Bihar, and the later allegations of Police inactions and pressure-manipulations, falsely calling it an instance of Honour Killing.

The girl was allegedly kidnapped on 28th December 2018. After looking for their daughter for two days, the family finally approached the police on 31st December 2018. However, according to the local accounts and the family’s statements, the Police at the Buniyaadganj station constantly refused to file the FIR, and on the later persistence of the residents and media, finally filed the complaint on 5th January 2019. The dead body of the girl was found on 6th January 2019 in Baksariya Tola, a few hundred metres away from her home, badly mutilated, and the face burned with acid. The Police, in response, arrested the family members, constructing the murder as Honour Killing, allegedly on the basis of the account of the other 5-year-old daughter.

Addressing the crowd here at Sabarmati Dhaba, Ramesh Kumar, a native of Gaya, called the Police Department’s inconsistent constructions as Honour Killing, Horror Killing and Blind Case, insensitive. “The residents have no hope from the local police. The case should be handed over to the CBI,” he said.

Sarika Chaudhary, Vice President of JNUSU, called this cold-blooded murder a link in the bigger chain of caste-based targettings across the nation. “Before the nation goes out to vote this general elections, questions about women’s safety and rights should be asked.”

Picture credits- Nikhil Kumar for DU Beat.

Nikhil Kumar
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The Delhi gang-rape shook the entire country urging people to question themselves on women safety and women empowerment in India. So let’s see how far have we really come along since then.

The horror of Nirbhaya rape case is still fresh in the minds of Indians. Shame, embarrassment and disgust is all one is reminded of when one thinks of the incident. This urged people to come out on the streets in anger and remorse protesting against sexual harassment. It highlighted the degree of danger women need to deal with and more importantly, the need to make the country a safer place for women.

It did have some immediate impacts:  the 2013 Criminal Law Amendment Act, also known as Nirbhaya Law introduced a minimum 20-year-sentence for gang-rape culprits and those who are found guilty could now be given a death penalty. This was a big step taken by the Indian government to ensure adequate punishment to such offenders. The government defined acid attack as a crime with a minimum sentence of 10 years that could be extended to life in the 2013 Amendment Act. Also, the government made acid attack a non-bailable offense with a provision to pay Rs. 3,50,000 to the victims within 15 days.

Taking a stance on sexual harassment, the 2013 Women at the Workplace Act has given protection against sexual harassment to all women in the workplace, including those informal industries and domestic workers. Also, stalking or voyeurism crimes are non-bailable which earlier were bailable. The introduction of new laws focusing on women safety and maximum punishment for offenders. These laws try to cover as many ways as possible to minimize the various possible risks and crimes towards women. However, these laws and the rigidity towards the issue seem to have made little impact. Statistical data show that rape cases in India moved up from 24,923 in 2012 to 34,651 in 2015. According to NCRB, conviction rates in Delhi went down from 49.25% in 2012 to 29.37% in 2015. However, Delhi Police released a stat showing that the conviction rate has increased 5.4% from 2012 to 2015.
The Modi government launched the ‘I Feel Safe’ app, a personal safety app which is accessible even without data connection. The app was launched in 2016. The app places automatic call to 100 and tracks the location of the person in distress within 30 seconds. As per a report by Quint, published in 2016, sexual assault cases in Delhi have tripled since 2012.

Even after so many years of debate, discussion, the ‘apparent’ progress, stats reveal that we are nowhere near achieving the goal of women safety. In fact, we are worse off. Highlighting the matter does not mean that the matter is being solved. It can never be solved until it is confined to change of laws and introduction of apps. There will be a difference only when there is a change in our mentality. Yes, such things take time but we need to first move in the right direction. After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Feature Image Credits: The Time Magazine


Karan Singhania
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I live in a PG, close to college, because my house is slightly far and the travel is inconvenient. It took me a lot of explaining and convincing to get my parents to let me live separately. They’ve always been very protective and wary of the how unsafe Delhi is. But over the past month it feels like something has changed. I don’t think they’re wary anymore. I think they’re more scared than they ever were. And somehow its not just them, its everyone. Considering how ruthless people seem to have become, nobody wants to take “risks”. I’m used to traveling alone at night with my girl-friends. But over the past few weeks, every time we talk about it, there’s an eerie, uncomfortable feeling. It’s almost like it’s not the same place anymore. My friends tell me they don’t feel safe traveling anymore, be it by autos, metro or even cabs, even in broad daylight. My mom doesn’t want me traveling alone in the dark, even if it’s by cabs. Everybody’s vehemently talking about justice and the need for safety, autos are coming up with panic buttons and people are actually coming out to protest about the lax cops, the need for severe punishment and upping the security levels.

Amidst all this, there remains a section of our population which will always talk about women’s safety being in their own hands. And don’t mistake this for that section which wants women empowerment through ensuring all women are capable of self defense. I’m referring to the quiet significant number of people in our Indian society who believe that it is up to a girl to not be called fast, keep safe and live a protected life, by following the very norms which socialize Indian girls into subservient dummies who are easily suppressed by their male counterparts.

It’s not uncommon to hear neighborhood aunties talk about how “she’s always wearing provocative clothes” or “always hanging around with boys”, or “goes out at night”, with smug expressions and an unsaid agreement about how the girl is calling for trouble. If “Prevention is better than Cure”, then why does Prevention here, refer to girls following a certain code of conduct in order to not be raped or harassed. Why doesn’t it apply to boys, who need to be brought up respecting women and learning to control their desires. Isn’t that what socialization should be about? Shouldn’t the babas of the world be preaching to the boys to keep it in their pants, rather than telling the girls to fall at their attackers’ feet and appeal to them as her “bhaiyas”. Shouldn’t parents be instilling morals in their sons about how a girl’s clothes are not an index to her availability, rather than telling their daughters how she’s merely going to attract attention by dressing in a way which is even slightly off the conservative Indian code of dressing – cover everything. I’m not saying that every person in our society believes in such unfair notions, but a considerable number do. The city be made safer, rather than the girls be put under curfews and restrictions.

When flipping through the channels on TV while an aunty from the neighbourhood settled herself beside me, I randomly started watching some movie called “Tanu weds Manu”. In a series of scenes where two girls were seen smoking a doobie, and drinking from time to time, aunty-ji had already declared them as being bad girls, jinse “kaun shaadi karega? inke sath sab ek hi cheez karna chahenge.” I don’t mean to advocate smoking or drinking, but I DO know for sure if these were the male actors instead of the female ones, aunty would have hardly even noticed. I wonder how in such a judgmental society, where any deviation from the “correct” code of conduct is an invitation to be violated, how can one even think about equality? We do need a hike in security measures across the city very urgently, but at the same time, we as a society need to rethink the kind of morals and values we are focusing on, and where these restrictions and norms need to be applied. Though the world didn’t end on the 21st of last month, but the utter cruelty of the case that everyone knows I’m talking about makes it look like a part of humanity did. In a culture that constantly seeks to prove itself SO rich in values and SO moralistic, one begins to wonder whether being conservative is actually synonymous with being moralistic, or maybe are we just fooling ourselves.