16th December: An opportunity that beckons

Just like in our lives, there are important dates in the history of a nation that define its destiny. For example, 4th July is USA when it gained its independence. In case of India, it’s 15th August and 26th January as Independence day and Republic day respectively, however there is one more date that requires a mention. That is today, 16th December.

This day that year: 16th December BnBNation
This day that year: 16th December

16th December 1971

India and Bangladesh celebrate Vijay diwas on 16th December. Pic credits: ANI News; BnBNation
India and Bangladesh celebrate Vijay diwas on 16th December. Pic credits: ANI News

This day saw the abject surrender of Pakistani forces in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), with 1 lakh prisoners of war, leading to the liberation of Bangladesh under the then PM Indira Gandhi’s leadership. To cut the long story short, the events leading to this war are laced with genocide by Pakistani army in East Pakistan, which led to influx of refugees in India and creation of a humanitarian crisis. Even after repeated attempts by India’s then PM Indira Gandhi at the International level, a peaceful resolution was hard to come by. Thus in 13 days, Indian forces including the Air Force, Para Troopers, Ground Force and Navy, made Dhaka independent.

Isn’t that inspirational!

16th December 2012

In 2012, India woke up to the news of a dastardly gangrape of a 23-year-old in a moving bus in the national capital which was called the Nirbhaya case. The victim died on 29th December while her companion survived after being treated for a few broken ribs. This incident triggered massive protests throughout the country with public protests at India Gate and Raisina Hills. A Judicial committee headed by Former Chief Justice of India JS Verma was constituted by the central government to amend laws that dealt with rape to provide sterner ways to punish such crimes, a lot of Bollywood movies were inspired by the incidents like Pink starring Amitabh Bachchan. Government of India also constituted a Nirbhaya Fund of INR 1000 crore in 2013 to support initiatives that aid in gender sensitization and to ensure safety of women.

December 2012 is counted as one of the most dastardly crimes in Indian history. BnBNation
Nirbhaya Gangrape that ocurred on 16th December 2012 is counted as one of the most dastardly crimes in Indian history.
Impact on Foreign travelers:

The months following the Nirbhaya case saw a 25% drop in inbound foreign travelers from USA, Canada etc. No doubt, since then, there has been a lot of awareness. However, Delhi has been touted as an unsafe city to be in after 9 pm. A lot of countries have issued advisories and caution against visiting Delhi. Additionally, there have been a lot of blogs that give safety tips to the travelers who are visiting India and especially Delhi.

Mariellen Ward is a passionate advocate of India on the global travel circuit
Mariellen Ward is a passionate advocate of India on the global travel circuit

Mariellen Ward, one of my favorite blogger and touted as an India expert all over the world had written a blog on the same: https://breathedreamgo.com/my-top-tips-for-women-travelling-in-india/

In the same vein, registered and verified Bed and Breakfast accommodations that are spread all over India are ideal places for a foreign traveler to visit and stay with an Indian family.

Read our blog on How to stay local in Delhi

 

According to stats, India has earned the limelight for being an unsafe country. However, if you have a look at the criminal stats, many developed countries are unsafe to be in. There are alarming levels of rape in the Developed countries. Having said that, it is important for us to shrug off this negative image through conscious efforts.

Here, lies an opportunity in front of all of us. Can we make our country safer by doing our bit? It may be in the form of respecting the fairer sex. Let us pledge not to make them conscious about how they look and what they wear. Let us pledge to accept a NO for a NO. I think if we could follow this, it would be a good start!

35 thoughts on “16th December: An opportunity that beckons”

  1. Nice, I remember both the relevances that you have mentioned, though one is inspirational the other is equally devastating and I read recently that one same day, yet another girl was gangraped in Delhi

    1. Hi Aditi,
      Such incidents are still happening and i guess that is the saddest part. The objective of this post is to generate awareness and to bring about a change in the mentality which is again a long drawn process. But the change has to start somewhere isn’t it?

    1. Hi there,
      I totally agree that we need to put in effort to make our inbound guests feel safer and more welcome! Let’s hope to see you mingling with an Indian family in an Indian BnB soon!

  2. I feel that after the Nirbhaya case there has been an exaggeration about the lack of women safety in India.I live in Delhi and I walk on the streets at 10 pm.Even though women safety is a huge concern I feel India isn’t as unsafe as people claim it is.

  3. A touching writeup. Indeed 16th December changed a lot of things. I see a lot of posts from people, particularly women asking for safety tips to visit India. While it aches me to tell them that India is indeed unsafe in many ways for women, but, I have to tell the truth. There is a dire need for safe accommodations and safe ways of travel to help the travel industry in India to thrive and along with that a need for a platform which can connect users worldwide to such safer options

    1. Very well said! Registered Bed and Breakfast accommodations have cropped up as a wonderful way to acquaint travelers with Indian culture and values. The platform, BnBNation.com is one such platform where only personally verified and Government registered BnBs are aggregated in order to prevent any mishaps. Thus, they are a safe abode too! Thanks for reading and sharing your views. 🙂

  4. I remember that news about the woman who was raped in the bus. As someone not from India, that really made me cautious to go to India. I am glad to hear though that India is doing something to address the issues.

    1. Hi there,
      I am proud to say that a lot of things have changed following the horrifying incident thanks to the media and active citizenry. However, as Indians, we need to bring about a change in our mental make up and that’s what the post is supposed to deliver on. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  5. The post went from one point to another. 🙂
    While the 1971 incident makes me proud the 2012 incident makes me scared. Just hoping awareness will increase and people will be more responsible in welcoming tourists.

    1. A proud and a horrifying incident on the same day across decades is the most intriguing thought that crossed my mind when i wrote the blog. I am glad you caught it so well. This post is meant to be a wake up call to all of us to pull up our socks and respect each other. Thanks for reading and responding 🙂

  6. Hey, Ambuj! Very well said! The problem with statistics is that it reduces a country to mere numbers. Yes, crimes do happen in India, but it happens everywhere, too. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take this matter seriously. What I want is that people question the news and their own perceptions of what is safe and unsafe. I’ve been to India, and I loved every bit of it that it easily fell under my three favorite countries.

    1. I couldn’t have felt better after reading your comment! I am glad you have said that. Coincidentally I am writing a book on Bed and Breakfast accommodations in India and it contains a chapter that talks about success stories of foreign travelers when they visit India. I would have loved to record your experience and used it in my book with your due permissions. But it has gone for print already and will be out in Jan or feb 2018!
      Let’s keep in touch and thanks for reading the post!

  7. Ambuj, you have presented 2varied points in this post very well. Proud of one and the other makes me shiver. I do hope we are seen again as a safe place to visit, especially for women.

  8. I vividly remember the 2012 incident. That was so terrifying and so sad. It is different being a female traveler and people often tell you all about the scary things, but it isn’t all there is about a country or city or destination. I’m glad that you highlight some safe options for people to stay in India. Great and enlightening post.

  9. Interesting! You’ve really educated me on a topic I knew very little about. What a terrifying thing to happen and the safety of travelers is indeed important. It’s good to be educated on this.

  10. Great post. I have actually never heard of the Nirbhaya case. I have heard that Delhi is not always the safest and it is true that places in developing countries is not always safe as well. Many places in the US for example. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  11. I agree, as a country we need to make sure that such incidents dont happen, but India is way safer for women than other foreign countries like USA, South Africa, Thailand and UK. What happened in 2012 and in other incidents shows there are animals in the guise of humans. Pray for a beautiful and happy world!

  12. This is quite a thought provoking piece you’ve written here, I’ve not actually been to India before myself however I do know a lot of travelers that have and they say – Like most countries there are some rough places but you just have to keep your wits about you. I do take from your points and agree the safety should come from within, we as individuals need to act more civilised towards others.

  13. Thanks for this! I am a pretty experienced traveler and not one to usually get scared off by danger warnings for locations. I always like to do my own research and talk to other travelers that have been there recently. I do admit that I have been put off about traveling to India though.. the stories about women being attacked in broad daylight have terrified me because there is no precaution you can take against that. I hope things are improving and I would love to visit one day in the future.

  14. I have learned to take everything with a grain salt, however, I do know that articles on how to travel safely in India especially for women were written for a reason. Thus, I want to go to India but I will never dare do it alone. I hope though that someday this will change, not just in India but in other places deem unsafe (like in my country, some parts in Mindanao). I am dreaming of a world where we can all travel without fearing for our safety.

  15. Greatly written. Most of the time one single date can change a nation forever. And its indeed true that it is necessary that all of us should contribute for our nation to be better.

  16. Great writeup. I strongly write up. To make a country safe, sound and healthy, every single individual has got to play his part. Else, it is not going to happen. And a special credit goes to people like you and Mariellen who are trying to spread the awareness. May our future generation see a much better, safer and beautiful India

  17. I’m a history buff and I love reading articles that present the history ofstuff first before sharing personal experiences. I appreciate this piece. Thanka for sharing.

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