In Phantom country, it is said that a woman clad in jewels may walk without fear.
- Old Jungle Saying
Traditionalist Indians speak wistfully of a Utopian "Ramrajya" (The rule of Lord Rama) under which peace and perfect justice are said to have reigned. I have nothing but contempt for this concept. That period was precisely when Lord Rama, merely because one of his subjects made a moralistic judgement about Queen Sita having spent time under the roof of another man (when she was abducted!), decided to banish his wife to the jungle! Talk about blaming the victim. If that was Ramrajya, I want no part of it.
A woman can dress any way she chooses (including not wearing any clothes at all) and behave any way she chooses (including being a prostitute), and yet has a right not to be sexually molested.
This is going to be a very hard pill for many to swallow, and there will be many "yes, but" objections. I'm going to stand firm on this. I don't care what standards of morality you think a woman is violating. You may not disregard a human being's right to be left alone.
I quote this incident to demonstrate that Indian men need not all be the callous, misogynistic brutes that the Delhi rape case may make them out to be. It's just that some of them simply haven't learnt enough empathy.
[Of course, empathy need not bear any correlation to formal education. A senior of mine, a graduate of the prestigious IIT and IIM, once told me with a knowing smirk, "There are times when one must not be gentle." I pitied his future wife.]