Emancipation of women

The brutal gang-rape of a girl, eventually leading to death, in a moving bus late last year, has galvanised politicians like very few events have done in the recent past. More than the debate over big ministerial bungalows being taken away. Even more than the proposal to take away the ministerial privilege of blocking traffic for the common man while their entourage moves on the road.

In his usual forthright and utterly meaningless manner, the Finance Minister has sent out a strong message for the emancipation of women in the country.

“We will launch a ‘women only’ bank on the country”, he declared to an awe-struck Parliament while presenting the annual Union Budget. It has long been felt that the absence of a ‘women only’ bank in the country has led to the spate of violent crimes against women but no government has had the vision and foresight to translate it into action as the current FM had done. Even the Opposition was forced to support this move.

In another bold move, once again seen as a direct response to the brutal event quoted above, the central government has proposed that the age of consensual sex be reduced from the present eighteen to sixteen. This far-sighted move is expected to strike terror into the hearts of potential perpetrators, leading to a rapid decline and eventual stamping out of instances of this heinous crime.

It may be recollected that only a few months back, as a safeguard against abuse of children, the age for consensual sex had been raised from sixteen to eighteen. If the proposals are accepted and the age reduced to sixteen, advocates for child security will once again get to do their bit for children by advocating increase of age from sixteen to eighteen.

Thereafter, advocates for emancipation of women will get to, again, propose reduction from eighteen to sixteen. A virtuous circle of improvement will thus be activated. There is no saying how much good will be done to society by these two interest groups by the time they have finished reducing and increasing the age for consensual sex.

As is to be expected in a sane, mature society, nobody is wasting time on issues like parochial male attitudes and parental differentiation between a girl and a boy during upbringing.

A proposal to ensure equal representation of men and women, if not in numbers at least on voting rights, on all decision-making bodies, has been rejected by law-makers on the grounds that they (women) don’t know what is good for them and that the proposal is not being accepted for their own good.

Now who can argue with that?