Chandigarh Stalking incident: What makes a city “unsafe”

Chandigarh Stalking
I was supposed to write a fashion blog today. And I had promised myself that I will keep my mouth shut regarding this since I am called a motormouth as it is. But what the hell, right? We all know about the Chandigarh Stalking incident. If you don’t, you have probably been living under a rock.
Anyway, a question that I am constantly being asked in the backdrop of the now imfamous Chandigarh Stalking incident is “We thought ‘your Chandigarh’ was safe”. And I wondered IS “my Chandigarh” safe?
To put things in perspective, I need to begin from the beginning. So let me ask YOU- What makes a city unsafe? The law and order? The people? Their mindset?
Well, Varnika herself lauded the police for their timely response, didn’t she? So the law and order situation seems to be kinda okay, right? Must be the people then. But Chandigarh people are known to be so kindhearted and welcoming.
Well, what about mindset then? I was at a traffic signal yesterday where an ambulance fast approached. The side having the green light stopped to let the other side make way for the ambulance. This unspoken understanding between hundreds of people in one go makes me think that our mindset too seems to be in the right place.
So what makes my city unsafe? What makes any city unsafe?
Let’s look at Delhi. Delhi is called the rape capital of India. But I spent a month in that city 2-3 years ago and except for a few lecherous men in the metro, I had a pleasant experience. Never for once did I feel “unsafe”.
Chandigarh Stalking
Varnika Kundu, a DJ, was stalked by two men late at night. One of the accused is the son of a BJP leader
The point I am trying to make here is- no matter where you live, any person, be it a man or a woman, cannot be 100% safe. Why? Because we don’t use “anti-society elements” security check system before letting them inside our cities. (Seriously though, there is no such thing.)
You will find all kinds of people everywhere and that includes stalkers, rapists, murderers, thieves and what not. But that doesn’t make a city safe or unsafe. It just means that in this day and age, we have the power to bring such incidents to the forefront and take them to their logical conclusion.
Imagine if it were not for Facebook and the media, would this incident have gained as much steam as it has now? Probably not. Would that BJP leader been forced to take back his girls-should-not-go-out-late comment had it not been for our collective backlash? I don’t think so.
These are minor victories on the path to a long drawn war against such regressive mindsets.
Chandigarh Stalking
And as far as the issue regarding the same in Panjab University is concerned, I really think it is so shameful that some political parties are using it to further their electoral agenda. If you really care for the safety of women- show it, don’t just shout slogans and create ruckus on national television. More so when is about the safety of women, more specifically the Chandigarh Stalking incident. The youth of the country is better than that and we owe it to ourselves to walk the talk.
-Mrinaal Datt
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