Shiv Sena, who in my mind are India’s version of National Socialist German Worker’s Party, has decided to act and do what they can to protect women – by arming them with knives and chilli powder. They claim to have already handed out 21,000 knives, and will distribute a total of 100,000.
It’s great that they’ve thought of something to do to change the danger that women face from the world, and I won’t lie, I too considered carrying a switchblade when out on the streets. But friends pointed out that a blade can be easily snatched or forced out of my hands and used on me instead, if someone did come up to me with the intention of attacking me in some way. I instead invested in pepper spray, and any time I find myself out alone after dark, I open it up and keep it ready to spray at anyone who comes too close. It doesn’t stop me from being frightened, though, when I realize that the car behind me has been moving along my path slowly, and not overtaking me. I usually tell myself that they might be looking for a particular house number, but I can never fully dismiss the fear in me, because it happens too often to be a coincidence. Maybe some boys do it for fun, to see where the girl is walking to. (Or maybe their intentions are darker, but I won’t stop to find out.)