Train Journey spells 'Rape and Murder' for a young girl!
by Elizabeth Menon

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Train Journey spells 'Rape and Murder' for a young girl!

‘Hang Our Heads In Shame'
: Soumya, 23 year old girl, dies at a hospital in Trissur, in spite of expert treatment by the doctors -- she was attacked and raped while travelling by train to her home in Shornur. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident – atrocities like this in various forms take place almost every day in our homes, streets, buses, hotels and trains. It’s not enough just to ask, “Why such barbaric incidents happen in our society” -- it’s our duty to make sure that the authorities implement the required safety measures and punish those found guilty!

The only thing left for Malayalees to do now is to "Hang our heads in shame' and then it's time to wake up and do everything in our power to stop this kind of atrocities in our land. Any amount of money or sympathy would never bring this young girl back to life! There is no real meaning in offering money for the victims or visiting them at the hospitals – situations like this could have been avoided, only if the authorities had implemented the recommendations by various organizations -- moving the ladies compartments to the middle part of the train, police protection and more railway guards in the train, etc.

A situation where women and children (Below 18 years, they are children!) needing protection from men should not happen any part of the world, and least of all in 'God's own Country' -- it just shows lack of morality and self-respect! People forget their civic sense -- civic sense also includes respect towards fellow being, irrespective of their colour, gender or creed, and the willingness to help those in need! It's very sad, but moral decline is rampant in Kerala, and it's about time that we woke up to that fact and act on it, in stead of being laid back, calling our land, "God's own country'! Malayalees are proud of their heritage and culture -- songs and poems have been written about the virtues and beauty of women and the love and respect bestowed on them, but what happens in real life is something totally different! Somehow some men in our society fail to show this respect for women and children, and the ‘Socially accepted kind of love and affection’ for women of all ages -- they forget that any one of them is somebody’s daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother or even great grandmother – even the elderly women are not spared!

In an ideal world, women should feel free to travel anywhere, any time of day or night. But we are not living in an ideal world and therefore, I feel that women and children should take more care, if at all that’s possible, especially now, when the morality is at its lowest! But when one is travelling in a train or bus, one expects safety and it’s the responsibility of the authorities to maintain the safety of the passengers, especially the women and children! This is the twenty first century and women are at the forefront, holding jobs at the top levels in all walks of life, having to travel day and night and it’s about time that men accept this fact and learn to treat them with respect – I am not saying this, forgetting the ones who do treat women well!

Women and children have to be protected by the authorities till such time when the civic sense of our people improves, to respect fellow beings and help them, especially women and children and to stop looking at women of all ages as sex objects! Children should be taught this at home and at school so that when they grow into adults they know how to respect women and children and protect them when the need arises. We should be spending our time and effort to bring this change of attitude in society, hoping for a world where women and children can travel in safety -- till then, the guilty must be punished severely, irrespective of their status in society!

My heart felt prayers are with Somya’s family. "May her soul rest in peace"

© E Menon



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