While the streets of New Delhi were heated up with anger against the brutal gang rape of a girl and her subsequent death, Fort Kochi was all dressed up for the Cochin Carnival rally.
While the celebrations, and the boozing in the name of these celebrations continue, it becomes necessary to ask how safe women are at these celebrations.
Walking into the carnival crowd, every girl and woman was aware and vigilant of her surroundings. After the Delhi rape incident, and moreover, the misbehaviour towards women even during its protest marches, one has to expect, at all times, a hand stretching out from the crowd to grope or shove them.
The authorities and organisers of the event promised that all possible precautions were taken to ensure safety, especially of women.
The carnival had a good police presence, including from the women cell and enough organisers for assistance. “It is totally safe for women and we have taken all measures required for their protection,” said a police constable on duty at the carnival.
There were the regular scenes of boozing that have now become a part and parcel of any celebration.
However authorities claim that there were no instances where they created problems for the public.
A lady constable at the carnival, when asked about the safety of women at the carnival, said, “We can’t tell how other people will behave, we (women) have to be careful of ourselves and our surroundings. There were no problems at the carnival other than the usual ones that happen when there is a huge crowd.”
However, a happy sign at the carnival was the huge number of women who turned out at the rally.
It was perhaps a sign that women are not going to hide inside their homes and hearths in fear of anti-social elements but are going to come out and fight for their place in this world.