In a land where we all know that our women are not safe and are subject to heinous crimes of rape and harassment, we need reforms that subscribes them to safety and absolute freedom. In order to avoid crimes against women, we cannot simply emphasise on making women self-reliant and dependent, we also need to formulate measures that uproot the problem, the perpetrators and the criminals.
One of the top most agenda of the BJP during UP election campaign has been regarding the safety and security of women. To fulfill the same, two days after Yogi AdityaNath took oath as Chief Minister of UP, a new initiative under the name of “Anti Romeo Squad” was introduced. The step aims to protect the honour of woman and check activities like eve-teasing and molestation, thereby ensuring woman their safety and freedom.
To understand the same, we essentially need to be acquainted with the parameters that have been formulated under the initiative. It shall have a team that will be composed of 2 policemen, preferably a male and a female police officer. Depending on the density of school and colleges, the required number of teams will be deployed in the jurisdiction of the police station. The task of these team will be to identify eve-teasers and troublemakers in crowd. They will move around in uniform or even in plain cloths to maintain anonymity, if necessary. Anti Romeo Squad can let off miscreants with a warning, can inform parents and even initiate criminal actions depending on the seriousness of the case.
Analyzing it in details give us the following observations. Firstly, it provides inclusion of both male and female police officer in a team. It makes accessibility easy and lesser resistant as women would not hesitate in approaching lady officer as much as they could have if a team composed of only men police officers.
Secondly, it essentially functions on concentration and type of organisation. It aims to be more in number in areas where schools and colleges are more in number. School and college going children are usually the most gullible are easy prey for the miscreants. It is therefore important to have strict vigilance in these areas, which has been taken care of in the implementation of Anti Romeo Squad.
Thirdly, it states about moving in uniform or plain cloths as deemed fit, both of them prove to be beneficial and effective in respective manners. Being in uniform shall instill a by default fear of administration and thereby check any ill intention automatically. Whereas, being in plain cloths shall help in catching culprits red-handed on spot.
Fourthly, it stresses on warning and information to parents or criminal actions depending on the seriousness of the case, and is therefore not disproportionately aggressive in nature that becomes biased against back particular segment of the society.
Seemingly fair on almost all tangents, Anti Romeo Squad could be revolutionary.
It is however important to acknowledge that it’s efficiency is still a matter of great concern. Moral policing has been an equally concerning truth of our society as has been lack of women safety and security. Consensual exchange and display of emotions has been constantly demonized by the “saviours of Indian culture”. Irrespective of the fact that in no manner is it against our culture and ideologies of civil behaviour, there have been ample cases where people have been subjected to public shaming and punishment, only because it is against the believes of a segment of society that is backed by political and administrative support. The fear regarding this initiative is just the same, it may seep down to uncalled moral policing that will be carried out on personal believes and prerogative.
Also, the initiative has blatantly failed to address the case where every similar crime can happen over virtual space. We cannot deny that our virtual space is just as involving and large as our real space.
In every aspect it is a very required step and has garnered a lot of appreciation at every public sphere. However, the minor loopholes, if fixed, can transform this initiative into result that India has been seeking for long. Let us work along with this initiative to achieve resonant goals.