India recently topped a Thomson-Reuters poll to emerge as the most dangerous country for women. Seven years back it had been number four on the same list. The 2018 report has hurt ‘national pride’ and led to widespread criticism on social media. The women’s ministry and the government – led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party – rushed to reject the findings of the report as inaccurate.Congress president Rahul Gandhi was trolled severely for tweeting the results of the poll. Never mind that the BJP and its supporters had gleefully taunted the then UPA government in 2011 with results of the same poll. In 2018, India being the fourth most dangerous country for women was shameful. But the same report in 2018 is “flaky.”
What has changed between 2011 and 2018? Nothing and everything.
The ground situation for women has not changed. Women are still routinely abused, killed and raped. But our reactions have changed. Earlier, we used to outrage at the findings of reports. Now we outrage at the reports.