Last year on 2 nd October itself the ‘first coach in the direction of the moving train ‘ got reserved for
ladies and ‘male passengers were requested not to board this coach of the train’ doing which became a punishable offence…!! An act that was ironically implemented on the day, which, is famously, celebrated as the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi-the man behind our freedom and independence.
On the one hand, the metro marks our entry into a modern world, while on the other hand the women’s coach in the Delhi metro highlights the paradox that runs through our society.
A special coach for women, use of the color pink and flowery designs to mark the position of the reserved coach and a pink table at the checking centre simply show that despite India being a free nation the woman of our nation are still not free.Traditional conventions and patriarchal stereotypes still entrap our modern women.
Today the women are challenging men with as much force as they can muster. Both men and women walk together but despite all this they still travel in different coaches…!!!
There was a time in America when African American men traveled in separate coaches but with the passage of time, the American government became more sensible and understood that a separate coach for ‘blacks’ is racially discriminating but our government, it seems with passage of time, has lost all its senses. In spite of resolving the issues, it is adding on to the list of pending issues: the ‘ladies coach’ being one of them.
Okay I agree the situation isn’t as bad as it was in America and a woman can travel in a general coach also if she wants to but isn’t there a general belief in the minds of some men that a girl travelling in men’s coach is waiting to be raped? I myself being a woman can give a first hand experience of travelling in a general coach: if you travel alone in a general coach the passengers stare at you as if you have committed a murder and they all are deciding the punishment you should receive for transgressing the ”masculine sphere”…!
Have the rapes in Delhi stopped?? Do women feel safer after the introduction of women’s coach in the metro?? I think no …every day at least one woman is raped in the capital. If our government thinks that secluding men from women will make women safer then probably, they should reserve one full state for women…! No men no tension…what can be more simpler than this…??
If men and women can study together, work together, live together then why can they not travel together? Why this whole business of reservation??
If the government really wants to help the women then they should take the incentives of making our women stronger. A country‘s prosperity and growth is measured by measuring the level of independence that the women of that particular country enjoy. Simply reserving a separate coach for them will not change anything.