Modi, Kovind urged to end silence over hate crimes against Muslim women 

New Delhi, January 20, 2022 (PPI-OT):Alumni of various prominent Indian educational institutions have written to President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Members of Parliament, drawing their attention to rising incidents of crime against Muslim women across India, and have called upon them, to condemn such actions and initiate steps to protect rights and dignity of all women.

The letter has been written in the backdrop of recent incidents like Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai by alumni of Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) joined by alumni of other prominent institutions including Lady Shri Ram College, IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Bombay, National Institute of Design (NID), XLRI and Miranda House.

“They are manifestations of the culture that target women, for daring to have a voice of their own,” the letter Said. It said that there are increasing instances of intimidation and harassment of women across various spaces.

The letter emphasises that women in India have never been more unsafe both online and offline spaces, the threat of physical harm, sexual violence and outright violation of dignity and rights in online spaces seems to have become commonplace enough for our political leaders to not notice anymore. There is a constriction of the spaces for expression and participation of women, especially from minority groups, Dalit women and girls, it adds.

The letter urges the leaders to break their silence and apathy towards the issue of women’s safety. “In this atmosphere of silence not only do the perpetrators of such crimes often go scot-free, they are getting emboldened by the increasing atmosphere of hate and divisiveness in the country and barely show any remorse for hate filled misogynistic crimes,” it says.

The letter demands that steps should be taken including, action against perpetrators when such cases are reported, condemnation of such hate-driven actions/speeches at the highest levels of the government, working with IT and media companies to ensure their accountability in keeping their channels safe for women and engaging with young girls and boys around issues of positive masculinity, gender, and gender socialization from an early age through school curriculum. The open letter initiated by a group of alumni from IRMA was soon joined by over likeminded alumni from prominent institutions across the country, and has over 250 signatures.

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