Nowadays, security for female passengers in public transport has become a matter of serious concern. Whether in an overcrowded public bus or a less-crowded one, women’s free movement has greatly shrunken at every place. Very few matters than a shocking disclosure that more than 30 women were sexually harassed or raped in public transport across the country over a period of two years can make us worried that much. The growing tendency of sexually harassing women signifies our society’s reverse journey towards the medieval age.
In each incident of sexual harassment, rape or rape attempt in public transport, involvement of vehicle drivers, their helpers or other associates — who are mostly or completely uneducated — is worth observing. One may hardly disagree to the fact that these uneducated men, many of whom are also drug addicts, lack moral edification too — meaning their mental faculty is still unopened — for which they are mostly ignorant about the degree of the crime they are committing. Of late, the cheap internet available in smart phones in Bangladesh has opened up a vast window to easily surf vulgar websites which might provoke one to go after women to satisfy one’s ill intent.
On the other hand, we are yet to get out of the culture of impunity and a sluggish trial system, except for in one or two rare cases, i.e the Rupa murder case whose verdict has been given not long ago. The aforementioned statistics also revealed that several cases were not even filed in police stations chiefly because either there was influence of the politically powerful section or the incidents could hardly draw attention of police or media who, in nabbing the criminals in other cases, played the major role. But in each case, fellow passengers’ inaction or no support raises a pertinent question whether we, as a society, are only getting concerned with personal interests. We must not forget that a self-centred society is sure to fall sooner or later.
We should not let it prolong any longer. Laws should be given absolute authority to rule the country where the government will have the responsibility to implement those. In case of any rape or rape attempt, perpetrators must be handed down exemplary punishment giving them no scope to pull political strings to remain beyond the legal reach. Again, a strong mass awareness at every family institution of society is essential. Along with the government, media and political leaders should also play their roles in waging psychological combat against this bad practice against women. A free and secure movement of women must be ensured if we want to be a developed society.