Opinion Op Ed 05 Jul 2016 Dangers of a liberat ...

Dangers of a liberated age

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jul 5, 2016, 12:36 am IST
Updated Jul 5, 2016, 12:38 am IST
If the warning signs arising out of Swathi’s death are not heeded, we may see more such cases.
24-year-old Chennai techie Swathi (right) and prime accused Ram Kumar (left) (Photo: DC)
 24-year-old Chennai techie Swathi (right) and prime accused Ram Kumar (left) (Photo: DC)

The murder of the techie Swathi on a suburban railway station platform in the heart of Chennai in daylight seems to have been solved quickly enough with the suspected killer caught. The lesson to be learnt from the tragedy of a young professional being hacked to death with a sickle in a case of unrequited love is that even indirect interaction on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter may come with inbuilt dangers, particularly for women. Making friends with strangers on a whim on a Facebook “friend request” can be hazardous, more so if telephone numbers and other personal details are shared. What makes this case even more perverse is it involved stalking, which again is a dangerous thing that can lead to extreme consequences.  

Women must understand that this liberated age, marked by so many freedoms and variety of choices preceding generations did not enjoy, comes with its own threats. The cultural, economic and social divide is also sharper, leading to all kinds of contradictions and clashes, more so for the liberated woman emboldened by the freedoms the age offers.

 

Stalking is a phenomenon that is taken very seriously, both by the judiciary, which freely hands out restraint orders in more evolved societies, and the law enforcing agencies in Western countries. Not only should modern women, who can read the danger signs, do more to protect their privacy, much more must be done to enforce the laws that protect them. If the warning signs arising out of Swathi’s death are not heeded, we may see more such cases.

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