Two very conflicting articles in Indian Express caught my attention today.
While one article's headline read "Women in IAF, Army should be Permanent", the other one read "Go to HCs with plea to enforce witch-hunting law: SC to NGO". To elaborate, as per the first article, Delhi High Court directed the Indian Army to give Permanent Commission to women officers serving in the Army and Air Force, just like their male counterparts. This move, although looks like it might not be implemented, shows a clear indication of the Court's wish to see gender equality. To suggest such an option is to fight for women's empowerment.
Sadly, on the other hand, the second article claims that the Supreme Court asked an NGO (Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra) fighting for the law against atrocities committed in the name of witch-hunting to be strengthened, to file the case from the respective High Court. Over 1000 rural women from Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Assam, Orissa, Bihar & Rajasthan had their hopes pinned on some help from the Supreme Court which would protect them from the terrible crimes committed under the name of witch hunting. When the NGO pointed out that it couldn't possibly file the PIL from HCs of all 6 states, the SC refused to take the complaint into consideration.
While the law seems to support women on one hand, why does it tire of helping out women who really need protection? Moreover, it is indeed tragical that something as asinine as witch hunting is still a part of modern India. I could write my own thoughts about this, but I found this accurate article which best describes the status quo. Do find some time to read it
Imagine being burnt alive for absolutely no fault of yours. It rains unpredictably, someone's crop gets damaged, a baby is born dead, absolutely any calamity. Some random woman is held responsible, paraded naked, beaten black and blue and ultimately killed. And nobody raises a finger to save her. All in the name of faith. The mind boggles. Worse than that, this post is absolutely useless because no one practising these terrible things is going to read it. What is the solution really? Strengthening the Anti-WitchCraft Act? It has to be enlightenment of people in backward villages. Where do we start from though?