Rana Das, Bengaluru: Recently two incidents in Kolkata have sparked the social media storm. And both the incidents happened in a span of fifteen days. The first incident in Kolkata metro where in a shocking incident of ‘moral policing’, a young couple were reportedly harassed and thrashed by some of their co-passengers for “being too close” after some elderly co-passengers objected to their “intimacy in public”, leading to a heated argument. And the second incident that took place couple of days back where a man was arrested after he was caught masturbating while making indecent gestures at two young women travelling in a public bus.
Although both the incidents sparked the social media and started trending everywhere but these two incidents are satirical itself. In one incident a couple were thrashed after some elderly co-passengers objected to their “intimacy in public” and in another incident, the college student Priyanka Das did not get any help from her co- passengers who proved to be silent bystanders watching the pervert activity of the hawker in the bus.As soon as the victim shared the video on her social media page of this horrific incident it went viral and a huge social media protest was witnessed.Here lies the questions on women safety on Kolkata streets? Are the women safe in the city of joy? It is heard from many women in the city that their family have strictly instructed them not to stay out late at night.
When I was in Bengaluru for election coverage of Karnataka Assembly Polls I came across the second incident that took place couple of days back. An old colleague of my office, Tanujit Das, broke the news in his current media house where he is employed now.Apart from these two events, there were several other incidents that happened in the night on the streets of Kolkata earlier.Several times question had been raised on the safety of women.That day after learning about this incident, I went to a Bengali restaurant in Indira Nagar, Bengaluru, where I was introduced to a lady named Sonali Sengupta. Since 2001, she resides in Bengaluru.Basically she is hails from Baligaunge Hazra road in Kalighat. And in Bengaluru she runs a Bengali restaurant.After knowing about the incident that happened with the college student Priyanka Das in Kolkata,suddenly I wanted to compare the City of Joy with the silicon valley of India.On asking her Kolkata or Bengaluru which city do you prefer to be safe for women she said,I’m in Bengaluru since 2001. Honestly, I didn’t came across any such hostile situation till date.Everyday I get back home walking alone at night 11am, I have never faced any danger as of now.Even I had never heard any other women facing such situation in this area.Here, women of any age can travel safely at any hour of the night.
Speaking about Kolkata she said , she spent her childhood in Kolkata. But those days Kolkata was not like this how it’s now. Now I hear many gruesome incidents taking place in the City of Joy.Whenever I visit Kolkata my mother orders not to come alone from the airport.Whether it is night or day any of my family member comes to airport to receive me from the airport.This picture clears that Kolkata is no more safe for women. Now it is also risky to stay out till late at night.But you see Bengaluru,it’s a safe city for women. No matters how late it is women can travel safely any time.
After my report published in Kolakta24x7 on Sunday regarding the peaceful vote in Karnataka, a young girl of a Bengaluru based IT firm tried to contact me on social media.Annanya Chowdhury a young girl wrote that she had never seen such a peaceful vote before.After several conversation with her I came to know that she belongs from Barasat, 24 Paraganas North of West Bengal. Eight months ago she has come to Bengaluru for her work purpose.She stays in Bellandur area of Bengaluru, her office is in Whitefield which is 18km away from her house.She said that there is no excitement for election here and I have never noticed violence here.She also added by herself that this Silicon City is much safe for women than Kolkata.What Annanya said was really strange, She is in IT firm and hence she has shifting duty for which sometimes she had to log off late from office.Sometimes she gets off at the wee hours of the night 2am.She office cabs are available as it is time consuming so she rides her own scooty. Everyday she travels 18km in her scooty and on the days when she gets off at late night she also ride the scooty at that time. This gives a clear picture about how safe is the Bengaluru city for women.
Annanya perhaps understood that on hearing this I was in shock. So she explained me more about this , she said that it’s been eight months that she is traveling alone through the empty streets at the dead of night. And her parents in Barasat are quite aware of this.But she didn’t face any dangerous situation as off now. This is a great example of women Safety In Bengaluru. She also added that this cannot be expected in Kolkata. It is very risky for a woman to travel in Kolkata alone.
Not only these two Bengali women from Kolkata, In these four-five days I personally also had experienced thst Bengaluru is really a safe city.May 12th, the day of Karnataka Assembly polls we went to the Media Center to collect information about the voting.There was no car parking arrangement there. As a result, our car was kept quite a few miles away from the Infantry Road.Thinking that it will not take enough time I left all the important equipments in the car along with my Macbook and other expensive things. Coming near the car after an hour I found out that the driver slept off leaving the windows open in the car. After calling him several times he woke up and there I was shocked to find out that all our belongings were in the same condition like we left them. This is only possible in Bengaluru, If it was Kolkata I guess I had to rush to the Lal Bazaar police headquater.
It is not possible to judge with just two different incidents, Bengaluru is much safer than Kolkata. Without the data-statistics report, it is hard to say about anything.Keeping this in mind I started to find out the statistics and an amazing fact came out from this.The Silicon Valley dwellers can say with pride, that yes we are safe from you ‘ Tilotama’. When it comes on women safety we are leading in that case. According to the data from the 2014 National Crime Record Bureau of India, among every one lakh women only two and half women had been raped in Bengaluru.This report also reveals an intriguing fact, in 2013-2014 among every one lakh only one woman was raped in Kolkata.This report from the National Crime Record Bureau of India is actually proving Kolkata to be safer than Bengaluru.However, if the report is analyzed, it can be seen that the graph of atrocity against women in Kolkata is rising high.As it turns out,in 2013 total 36 rape cases were reported in Kolkata.On the other hand, at the same time 104 cases of rape were reported in Bengaluru.In 2014, 75 rape cases were registered in Kolkata.During this period, 80 rape cases were registered in Bengaluru.In this duration rape cases in Kolkata gradually became doubled while on the other hand cases of rape decreased by 20 in Bengaluru.In the crime ratio Kolkata has put Bengaluru back.This was only the comparison with Kolkata and Bengaluru. If we compare West Bengal and Karnataka, the statistics are horrific.If we analyse the ‘Rape map’ published by the Union Home Ministry will get a crystal clear image.According to the statistics,till 2011,approximately 2,363 rape cases were registered in Bengal.Whereas there were only 636 rape cases registered in Karnataka at the same time.This graph shows that women are four times more secure in Karnataka than in Bengal.A survey made by country’s leading news paper ‘The Hindu’ shows Bengaluru is more secured for women than Kolkata.This news agency has published the list of the country’s top ten crime prone cities.And Gurgaon leads in top in the list.Then there are other cities in the list like Indore, Noida, Delhi, Navi Mumbai, Kanpur, Madurai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Lucknow.But the Silicon City excludes from the list.This survey list shows the crime index of Kolkata is 50.66%.The safety index is 49.44%.In general terms it can be said that Kolkata is equally safe as well as dangerous for women.Based on information, statistics and general public opinion, Bengaluru is much more secure for women than Kolkata.A survey by a news agency Awaaz Nation has mentioned ten cities of the country.Where it has shown how safe and secure are some cities on the basis of living and work purpose.In this list, Modi’s city Surat in Gujarat leads first.Thereafter, follows some other cities like Jaipur, Chennai, Mussoorie, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad.In this list Bengaluru has beaten Kolkata.And perhaps this is why most of the techies from around the globe resides here.Nearly one million techies from different states of our country and around the globe resides in Bengaluru. According to the reports of Awaaz Nation, Bengaluru is the most friendly city in India.We Bengali’s boast around – “ What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow.”But when it comes on women safety, what Bengaluru can think why can’t Bengal think that?