“Man stabs his wife in broad daylight in Delhi.”
“14-year-old boy detained for raping 5-year-old girl, say cops”
“Woman allegedly raped for 2 years in UP”
“Youth rapes minor girl in Dehugaon, Maharashtra.”
“Mumbai: Man gets 10 year in jail for raping 15-year-old daughter.”
These are some of the latest headlines about crimes against women in India.
India has never been a safe land for women. According to a report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there were about 4 lakh criminal cases committed against women in the year 2019.
This vast number has only spiked in the last two years. The report also shows that about 88 rape cases occur in a day on average in India.
The safety of women has been an issue of concern for many years. The heart-wrenching stories of innocent women being raped, murdered and forcibly killed make headlines almost every day.
These stories of excruciating pain and agony are highlighted and are made the talk of the town for a week. But as soon as time elapses, these stories are forgotten, and a new one takes its place.
People comment on these stories, post pictures about the criminals, raise issues about speedy justice and run campaigns supporting women under the umbrella of feminism.
But, the question is, “Does tweeting about a rape case on social media or discussing it on an Instagram page help in providing justice to the victim?”
Well, the answer is NO
The victims have to go through a long process of seeking justice and emotional trauma of grief, regret and pain.
Our police and institutions take years to investigate the case and finally serve justice to the victim.
The Nirbhaya gangrape case is the best example. Nirbhaya, a 23-year-old girl, who was gang-raped in a private bus by six men and died in a hospital in Singapore, had to wait for seven long years to get justice.
Read More: Why Did The British Introduce Segregation Of Genders In Schools When India Never Had That Practice?
Do We Have Existing Laws For Self Defence In India?
Sections 96 and 106 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) explain the laws related to the right to private defence of a person or property.
The law states that a person has the authority to use necessary force against an assailant or wrongdoer to protect one’s own body. In doing so, he’s not answerable to the law for his deeds.
But this law entails proper scrutiny of the killing and demands for solid evidence to support the action of self-defence.
Should Women Have The Right To Kill In Life-Threatening Situations?
Considering the violent cases against women and the failure of our Indian legal institutions to provide speedy justice, “the right to self-defence” should be made legal for every woman to protect herself from life-threatening situations.
Women should be exempted from criminal proceedings and legal action if they accidentally kill their perpetrator during self-defence.
This right will enable women to fight their oppressors and reduce the fear of getting attacked.
To make this a reality, the women of our land should be empowered to fight for themselves and learn self-defence to protect themselves.
Self-defence and self-protection techniques should be taught in the school curriculum at the primary and secondary levels.
Attending self-defence workshops and training should be made mandatory for every woman. Killing should be made a right for self-protection, and every woman should be encouraged to exercise it.
The Issue Of Misuse
Although the right to self-defence can bring about a positive change in women’s lives, its misuse is also essential to be addressed.
This right should be extended to women in a way that it doesn’t get misused. Our legal system can play a significant role in ensuring honesty and integrity while giving women this right to safeguard themselves.
Thus, the “right to self-defence” can prove to be a boon for every woman in India.
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