“Need for physical empowerment”- 11 February 2015.

The media reports keep coming in torrent about rape of women and their torture at home or harassment at workplace or second-grade treatment in the society. No matter the insistence of social thinkers and good-natured do-gooders on making stricter laws, it is more than clear that many of us seem to miss an important point — about what constitutes a real empowerment of women. For, most of us believe that stricter laws would bring about the desired change. Unfortunately, this is a terribly mistaken impression which we have been carrying in our hearts as a society.

The difficulty in this approach is that we do not even look at a negative possibility that unimplemented laws or good laws in bad law enforcement system make no sense at all in the real world. In spite of the fact that countless laws are heavily loaded in favour of women, real empowerment of the female of species has not take place, thanks to the overall social apathy towards the issue.
This apathy has created a political indifference towards the issues related to women, which in turn has led to the law enforcement agencies like the Police becoming slack about one of their basic duties of affording women full protection at any cost.
This leaves us to no other option than seeking a physically stronger woman. The only answer to the problem of continued regime of rape that the Indian society witnesses all the while is for the women themselves to seek greater physical fitness and mental toughness that would help them stand taller and stronger than the wrong-doers at any place. For this to happen, the women do not have to be hefty or hulky. All they need to achieve is a physical and mental preparedness to face any eventuality in a Kiran-Bedi style courage.
If the families guide its girls to develop stronger muscle and tougher mind right from childhood, the issue of protecting the women would get sorted out to a great extent in a few years. If the girl is subjected to an appropriate exercise regimen the moment she attains the age of five years, then she would start developing strong muscles and tough mind in a couple of years. It would be much better if she is allowed to participate in sports along with boys from early years, then things would be still better. And if the girls are introduced to unarmed self-defence by the age of 10 years, that would be the most desirable thing to happen. And if she is taught how to use a knife in self-defence by the age of 12 years, her real empowerment will take place to give her ability to protect herself from any crime against her.
Of course, such a language would appear raucous to many. Yet, looking at the continued crime against women in the Indian society, I feel strongly that there is no need to seek stricter laws alone. What would make the critical difference will be physically stronger and mentally tougher woman.
Experience has shown that the woman loses her will to fight back when a goon tries to mess up with her. If she does not lose her heart and fights back with all the power at her command, half the crimes against women would be taken care of. And if the society decided to train its girls in physical fitness, mental toughness, and unarmed and armed self defence, then a great stride would be made in the area of empowerment of women in the Indian society.
May this writing not be taken as an incitement to violence. On the contrary, this may be a good prescription to sort out the social malaise of violence against women in any form.
My interpretation of US President Barack Obama’s insistence upon appropriate status to women is that a physically stronger woman is always better for herself and for the society.
This is not a tall order at all. In fact, this is one area in which success rate could be very high in just a few years. If a woman learns to protect herself she does not need to depend on anyone. She would take care of her own safety. This is the real empowerment that young girls of today’s India needs.

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