Do we need to save Constitution of India even after 70 years of Independence?

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Sumit Kumar 

"What were you doing outside the hostel at eight o' clock in the night...? If you get out of the hostel at this hour, obviously boys will molest you". This is the statement of the security in-charge at one of the best universities in India "Banaras Hindu University aka BHU". This is not the first incident of this type at BHU. Earlier as well, there have been instances of boys molesting the girl students in the campus. However this time, girls took a stand, an oath to fight back for their dignity and respect.

BHU is not just one university where girl students have been abused. The condition remains same with other noted universities of India as well. Be it Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University (DU), Jamia Milia Islamia University (JMIU) to Aligharh University (AU), girls have fallen victimised of assault.

Now the question remains that when being given Right to Equality in our Constitution, why girls/women have to fight for their equality, their basic constitutional right, starting from their home to their University campus, to their work places. So, is our society not capable of exercising the constitutional rights in case their own daughters? Is our society not being able to completely follow the Constitution?

The constitution of India provides equal rights for both women and men. Our constitution gives women the right to choose any profession or business. But in practice, women face discrimination both inside the house and outside the house. This discrimination often takes the form of oppression and violence against women. They are subjected to both forms of harassment - mental and physical. Frequent victimization of eve teasing at public places and sexual abuse is a common phenomenon, while sexual harassment at workplaces is very bitter reality in our country.

Economic liberalization has given many job opportunities to educated women. This liberalization has given women a sense of financial security. But at the same time, it has risked their chances of falling prey to sexual abuse at workplace. 

According to the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), cases of crime against women have more than doubled. According to the analysis of IndiaSpend based on data from last decade, at least 2.24 million cases of crime against women have been registered in the last decade. There are 26 cases of crime against women every hour and every two minutes a complaint is filed.

Under Section 498-A of Indian Penal Code (IPC), it is the highest crime in the country to hurt any woman physically or mentally by husbands or relatives. According to the data, 909,713 cases reported under IPC 498A in last ten years, and 10 cases have been reported every hour.

Despite laws being made for women safety, why there is an increase in the crime against women? From workplace to school, college, public places even at home, girls are not safe. So is our society not the sensitized to keep girls safe?

Dalit atrocity: Ambedkar's India in darkness

A report released by National Crime Research Burea(NCRB) on crime committed against Dalits in 2015, says that the total number of crimes committed against Dalits is 45,003, The number of crime that happened in 2014 is 47,064, But the number of crimes committed against Dalits in 2013 is 39,408. Similarly, The national rate of crime per one lakh Dalits population is 22.3 in 2015, 23.4 in 2014, but in 2013 this rate was 19.6. There was the decrement in total crime committed against Dalits in 2015 compared to 2014. But it was significantly higher than 2013.

Article 15, 38, 39 and 46 of the Constitution have been advised not to discriminate on the basis of caste, religion, race, gender, and birthplace and provide protection to the weak sections of SC-ST. For this, legally the Protection of Civil Rights Act (1955) and SC/ ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 is applied.

Under the SC / ST act, there is a provision of strict punishment comparison than IPC. Special courts have been also formed in many states for speedy trial of cases arising under these laws. But statistics show that cases of Dalit atrocity are increasing rather than decreasing.

Now question is that when our constitution has suggested to give rights to the, Dalits and deprived sections, So is our society failing to follow it. Why is our society not following its own constitution? The question is the same, after many years of independence, the constitution which was made to provide rights to the Dalits, deprived, tribal, farmers. Today the ground reality is saying something else. Our society is snatching their rights instead of giving their rights.


                                            SUMIT KUMAR, Freelance Journalist. 

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