As Mumbai ushers in another year in two days from now, and the city gets into party mode, let the days be filled with joy, laughter, and love and let nothing blight the peace and happiness of all those who believe in living for today, planning for today and partying on the night of December 31.
Like every time, this time too, the city will no doubt see revellers fan across the streets, in hotels, bars, pubs, homes and outside too, all ringing in the year Mumbai-ishtyle. The key here should be ensuring that everyone, women especially, is allowed to step in the new year safely and happily.
One has to stress on women because every year, unfortunately, we read about incidents of sexual molestation. Usually, these are accounts of women being groped or suddenly hemmed in by a crowd of revellers, who molest them, taking advantage of the crush of people and the option to blend into anonymity.
On New Year’s Eve one sees crowds of young men roaming the streets near midnight, either drinking or simply walking. It is easy for women to become snared in the crowd in such a situation and then be subject to lewd remarks, unwanted touches and disgusting groping.
Today, sexual violence against women is on the radar with the country shamed by the number of rapes and molestation cases reported. It’s time the tide turns, people become respectful and responsible and Mumbai reclaims its reputation as one of the safest cities for women.
With pubs and bars full up on December 31, establishments need to see that women are safe and free to rebuff unwanted attention. With the accent on opposing sexual violence against women and a number of ongoing campaigns against rape and molestation, let every partygoer do their best to ensure that there is safety and security for women this New year’s Eve.
Let not any untoward incidents be brushed off as merely boisterous partying or high-spiritedness under intoxication. The New Year, the streets of Mumbai and the world, belong to women as much as it does to men. They have a right to party too.