These lines by singer Bob Dylan have always carried a sense of hope and these are the same lines that came to my mind when I read a report about how a mob beat up a man who tried to molest a woman, a home guard on her way to work, on a DTC bus. The accused was beaten so brutally that his leg was broken; he was then hospitalized and booked for molestation.

I know violence is not the answer here, but there comes a time when we need to stop being a country of silent witnesses and take action. And that is the reason why I was happy when I read about how the passengers on that bus didn’t sit and silently watch a woman being sexually harassed, but took action!

It sickens me each time I open the newspaper to read article after article on rape, and these are the cases that have been reported, imagine the thousands of cases which go unreported! Is this what a woman’s life is worth in India? I refuse to believe this.

A stringent judiciary, yes, stricter laws, yes, fast track courts, yes, more police presence, yes, but more than this what our country needs is a magnanimous shift in attitudes and perception towards women. Society ( when I say society, I’m talking about both men and women) says that if a woman is walking around the city late at night, wearing a short skirt and enjoying a couple of drinks with male friends, she is attracting the wrong kind of attention and rape in such cases is inevitable. In that case, what about children as young as two years old who are raped, how did they “provoke” the rapist?

Women can choose to wear what they like and go out with whoever at whatever time they like; it’s the men who need to learn how to respect them. Someone pointed out that since all rapes are committed by men, it should be the men who are not allowed to leave the house after eight at night!

Is this what India has come to? Because, I don’t want to believe it.