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.
16th December 1971
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.
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, 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!