Haryana is one of the states in India that is known for having a sex ratio that is highly skewed in favor of the male child. The culture here is such that a boy child is always preferred irrespective of the reasons, and even though the situation for a girl child may not be as dire as in some other states in India, it is still far from ideal. The problem is especially acute in the rural areas where the levels of education, and consequently awareness, are less. The state is also known for several instances of crime against women, especially rape and pre-natal sex determination.
Eve teasing is one menace that is rearing its ugly head and posing some uncomfortable questions for the womenfolk and girls in the state. The impact of such instances and actions on the victim are really saddening. There have been some instances where the girl in question has been forced to commit suicide. In another instance, in a village, the local government authorities have deemed it fit to stop the girls from coming to school after repeated instances of eve teasing. Both these happenings project a rather poor picture of the law and order situation in the state in general, especially as far as women are concerned, and also reflect the general psyche of the people and overall thought process and culture of the state.
In the first instance it could have been that the girl had no one to turn to and even if she had a support structure in her life there was no assurance that they would be able to save her from any harm from the assailants. It may have also been possible, considering the general psyche of the people in this part of India that her family members may have asked to brush off the incident. Secondly, in such incidents it is also known that the girl may have asked the authorities for help but to no avail. In any case, she had nothing to fall back on and that was why she took such a drastic step and in the process a life was lost.
In the second instance, the reaction of the village elders was atypical of individuals who belong to such strata. Thanks to centuries of ignorance towards education and new value systems, which are generally regarded as corrupting influences, such knee-jerk reactions are commonplace in such cases. While it would have been logical to take punitive action against the criminals, the panchayat thought otherwise and restrained the victims from coming to the school, thus denying their basic rights the right to be educated. They had already been violated once and now they were deprived.
It is strange as to why no action could be taken against the ones who perpetrated such a crime. May be, it would have been a contravention of the village norms. It is in such a scenario that the government needs to play a much more forceful role and dole out harsh punishment to ensure such acts of crime are not repeated in the future. In certain situations harsh steps need to be taken and this is one such step.