–Nidhi Batra, Sehreeti
How many times in our Delhi -Gurgaon newspapers have we read that the ‘rape’ was committed by a migrant. These migrants who have first time come into a city, from locations – wherever – young with a ticket to freedom.
And then all the middle class and elite begin to look at every migrant with the eye of suspicion and indulge in our drawing room conversations on how Bihari drivers, or the Odia plumber or the Bengali help at home are really are. All of course are the next rapist in line.
I am not denying that many of these crimes might be or are committed by these migrants, but in city like Delhi – who isn’t a migrant!
In my recent trip to Mumbai, I was chatting up with the taxi drivers – only because everyone told me I can take a taxi alone – in wee hours and nothing would happen. I thought let me ask – where these noble men are from – because Delhi for sure can never ever allow a woman late in night hailing a taxi all by herself. Surprisingly – or maybe not so- none of these drivers were from Maharashtra. Yes, they were from Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha – all the same migrants we have in Delhi!
How is it that the ticket to freedom – hasn’t reached their head in Mumbai but has in Delhi? Is it the culture of these migrants to be blamed or really the culture of the city? And who makes the culture of the city?
In another incident, a friend of mine visited from Mumbai – she is an entrepreneur – a successful one – who has globe trotted but until now dint really venture up north. And then we got talking – who in Delhi – somehow women are not taken seriously. She was saying, that never once in Mumbai did anyone ask her marital status or her age. However, in just couple of conversations in Delhi – she was just assumed to be too young to make such big ventures, and of course the fact that she is not married – made many ask – what’s your scene? – That is part of the culture of the city for sure..
Here is more to reflect on: https://hbr.org/2017/05/we-recorded-vcs-conversations-and-analyzed-how-differently-they-talk-about-female-entrepreneurs?utm_campaign=hbr&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social
How about law and order? Police claims that the migrants get a free ticket in the Delhi – Gurgaon – but who is to blame for that? Come to MG Road in Gurgaon, post 11 pm and you can very visibly see how a brothel runs on a street, with multiple police vans parked on the side. An acquaintance who was waiting to pick a friend from Sikanderpur metro station in a car was approached by a pimp with a portfolio of women – in a flashy bounded file – to choose from. That for sure is culture of the city.
So let’s not type cast people on their origins – rather let’s look into how a city can mould itself to be a safe inclusive one – building its culture that respects women.