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2017 New Year’s Eve: How secure will Namma Bengaluru be then?

What Namma city needs is for men to show solidarity with women, for women to not remain silent anymore and for the state’s security apparatus to respond to this raging issue.

The recent spate of molestation horrors in Bengaluru has forced citizens to question the State Government and city police’s capability to provide world-class safety and security measures not just for women, but for all citizens. Thousands of citizens who registered their protest on Saturday by joining a silent human chain along Brigade Road (where the New Year’s Eve shocker took place) is testimony to the fact that Bengaluru has had enough – enough of being taken for granted at the hands of the Government.
What Namma city needs is for men to show solidarity with women, for women to not remain silent anymore and for the state’s security apparatus to respond to this raging issue, which if ignored could put Bengaluru on the map of unsafe cities in the world.

Is that something you want? Is that something Bengaluru or for that matter any other city deserves?

State government needs to increase surveillance capacity

In the past, several molestation cases have been reported on Brigade Road and MG Road during the time of New Year. Not just that, the city has also witnessed other dreadful cases of rape and sexual harassment. Year after year, the number is only skyrocketing, with the government sadly taking no concrete measures to prevent such occurrences.

It may also be recalled that the 2014 blast at Church Street too left us all shell-shocked. And despite such an outrageous attempt to dismantle the city’s security apparatus, the least the government should have done is to up the surveillance capacity across the city. It’s really bewildering to see that none of the CCTVs on MG Road and Brigade road saw what the media photographers were able to shoot. It begs a very important question on our preparedness to thwart or even solve any future attempts like the Church Street bomb attack.

From functional CCTV cameras to round-the-clock police personnel stationed in prime localities – the government must be more proactive to ensure citizens are protected from all types of crime.

Remarks by Home Minister ‘deplorable’

Home Minister G Parameshwara’s comment, “Youngsters try to copy westerners not only in mindset, but even the dressing, so some disturbance like girls getting harassed are kind of things that happen,” only added more fuel to the fire.

Inhuman. Ridiculous. Appalling. We may fall short of adjectives to describe such remarks, but this kind of thought process among those who lead our city will only plunge Bengaluru into further chaos. The minister later clarified “Women have equal rights. I have stressed on women and child safety. City police following leads and will take necessary action suo moto.” But this came a little too late and immediately he went onto allege a conspiracy to defame Bengaluru. Such diversionary tactics don’t bode well. We need to acknowledge the issue we have at hand and deal with it firmly. The elected government of the day is duty bound to uphold the constitution and provide security to all its citizens.

How safe will next year’s celebrations be?

What Bengaluru needs is for the leadership to chalk out a way forward to ensure such horrors do not recur. What Bengaluru needs is for the police to step up and find a practical solution to tackle issues related to sexual harassment. Above all, what Bengaluru needs is for citizens to stand by each other and register their concerns with those who are expected to not just make the law, but also protect it.

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