Kolkata: On June 7, 2013 a 20-year-old college student was abducted, gang-raped and murdered near Barasat, about 20 km from Kolkata.In a similar incident, a 16-year-old was gang-raped on October 26, 2013, near her residence in Madhyam Gram.
These incidents may not have made headlines outside West Bengal, but the recent rape of a 71-year-old nun at Ranaghat, and another rape and murder of a 75-year-old woman in Bardwan district have shocked the whole nation.
There are also cases of molestation of young women in broad daylight in Bowbazaar, in the heart of Kolkata, while a boy was killed after he protested against his sister’s harassment.
A land where Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Raja Rammohan Roy fought for women’s upliftment has suddenly become a place where crime against women has reached an all-time high.
If the current trend continues, soon mothers in West Bengal may feel afraid of giving birth to a girl.
Once a state believed to be safest for women, West Bengal has suddenly become unsafe for them.
Is it political patronage of anti-social elements, a change in mindset or the illegal immigration that is the cause behind this phenomenon?
Though Bengali people talk about women’s empowerment, and their tradition of treating women as equals, the truth remains that in modern West Bengal, women are treated as nothing more than sexual objects.