Liking and infatuation are common phenomena among youngsters. It is but natural to have a favorable inclination. Another phenomenon is that one can’t get desirable answer for a proposal at every instance. When a girl says a simple soft “no” for a proposal or makes a confession for liking, it doesn’t mean she intends to insult or dishonor the sentiments of the person concerned. It is clear and logical that she doesn’t feel the same without any hidden meaning. At times, such rejections are taken in the wrong way by few dogmatic thinkers.
The situation kindles revenge in terms of vengeance. This tends to make them inflict punishments through various horrifying measures: one such example is the acid spat. Such incidents have been done because of rejections in love. Acid is thrown on women and it is a heinous crime against their dignity. No one gives anyone the right to disfigure anyone’s face or body just because a “NO” was uttered. Male chauvinism and ego of few are the reason behind such retribution. It becomes difficult to accept a negative response. Many such cases have been reported in past in India. Altogether, from January 2002 to October 2010, 153 cases of acid assault were reported in Indian print media while 174 judicial cases were reported for the year of 2000. However, scholars think that this is an underestimation, given that not all attacks are reported in the news, nor do all victims report the crime to police as they feared embarrassment.
Also acid throwing in India, like Bangladesh, has a gendered aspect to it: analyses of news reports revealed at least 72% of reported attacks involved women.
Acid burns their skin, damages underlying tissues and at times, exposes or dissolves bones. It has painful and everlasting after effects; permanent scarring of the area exposed which not only has a physical bearing but also has social and psychological implications.
Globally, at least 1500 people in 20 countries are attacked in this way yearly, 80% of whom are female and somewhere between 40% and 70% under 18 years of age. This is a social stigma which has deep seated roots in our civil society. We can’t let our innocent women to be a victim of such crimes any longer. Men should respect the decision of women and at the same time they should be considerate enough to let women make their choices.
Still the need of the hour is to construct strict laws so as to curb this frenetic offence.
- Written by Dr Aakshi Kalra