The stalking incident stigma of Varnika Kundu DJ, a bold daughter of an IAS officer, engraved in red letters on the walls of city beautiful, Chandigarh has not yet vanished that another 22-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped by an auto driver and his two accomplices. Every time the issues are raised, highlighted in media, sympathetic crocodile tears are shed, word war of political statements are fought, but no concrete solutions are provided. This time also the statement of Actor cum politician and a ruling party BJP MP from Chandigarh, Kirron Kher, " The 22-year-old victim woman should not have boarded the vehicle as three men were already sitting inside it", over the incident has raised the temperature of the political and social atmosphere. The statement was strongly criticized on all the platforms.
Congress leader and a former MP from Chandigarh, Pawan Kumar Bansal reacted, "Statement seems like a light take on a serious matter. Instead, she should have said how she is going to make Chandigarh a safer place for women ."
Swati Jaihind, Chairperson Delhi Commission for Women (DCW ) twitted, " Victim shaming & blaming by woman MP, Kirron Kher BJP. Pathetic sorry, but unlike some, survivor may not be able to afford the luxury of a car. So many times, most of us have been stuck without transport and end up sharing vehicles. How does it make one responsible for a wrong act by others ."
Following the bombardment of strong outrage from all corners, ruling party MP Kirron Kher has to clarify her stand and said, "I strongly believe that women safety is an enduring and continuous process in our country. My statement about gang rape in Chandigarh was taken out of context, selectively reported and gravely politicized –all of which distracted from the real message. I wanted to send out the girls, as a woman, as a mother and as their representative in Parliament ."
Now the question arises, why the statement of BJP MP Kirron Kher conveying advice to the victim and other girls to adhere to the safety measures was so much criticized? Could she not give any advice to the women community to be cautious?
A Retd. Banker and a social worker S.C Bhardwaj comments, "As a mother or a woman she can; but being an MP of ruling party, she cannot escape her responsibility only by giving motherly advice.Whatever she says, does not reflect her personal views; these are the views of a ruling party MP and a public representative. So she should have reacted in a serious and mature way and explained her further preventive plans to make the Chandigarh, a safe city ."
Now the society, government and public representatives will have to think over that when we advise a woman to herself take care of her safety, then what for the police, administration and public representatives are being paid from the hard earned public money? Why are we preventing to let out the sheep herd from the hedge instead of controlling the wolf? If we can't, then better we accept the 'Jungle-Raj' theory and allow the little mouse to fell prey to the claws of a stealthy cat.
We may get some lessons from Pope John Paul -11's 1995 observations, " Women have in every time and place suffered abuse, in part because of cultural conditioning, which has been an obstacle to their progress. The time has come to condemn the types of sexual violence, which frequently have women for their object, and to pass laws which effectively defend them from such violence."
So, the government and public representatives will have to frame strict laws without any flaws; police and administration will have to enforce these laws without any laxity and the society will have to inculcate generosity, humanity and quality of excellence in thoughts, manners and behaviour in the male segment of the society.



JAG MOHAN THAKEN- Senior Journalist, Columnist & Political Analyst - Editor Ground Post

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