7 Problems Women Have With India’s First Gun For Women

“Nirbheek,” India’s first firearm designed for women, was made as a tribute to the Delhi gang rape victim.

“Nirbheek,” India’s first gun for women, was launched on Jan. 6. The revolver, manufactured by the Indian Ordnance Factory, means “fearless” and is named after “Nirbhaya,” the victim of India’s most publicized gang rape case.

According to media reports, the gun is meant for women to defend themselves from sexual advances.

It is the smallest revolver made in India and is reportedly ideal to fit in a purse or a small handbag, the Times of India reported.

Priced at nearly $2,000 (Rs 1,22,360), the gun was described as the Indian hybrid of a Webley & Scott and a Smith & Wesson. It is a .32 bore light weight revolver, weighing a pound.

Nearly 80% of the 80 formal inquiries and over 20 bookings are from women, Abdul Hameed, the general manager of IOF, told the Times of India.

In order to make the gun more appealing and attractive to its target clientele, it will come in special boxes lined with velvet, according to the company.

Going by initial Twitter reactions, most Indian women were not too thrilled about the Nirbheek. Here are some of the problems they had with it:

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

1. Men could misuse the gun to propagate more sexual violence against women.

2. The crassness of naming the gun after the Delhi gang rape victim.

3. Firearms are not the solution to keeping India’s women safe.

Nirbheek- India's first firearm designed for women. Am I the only one who thinks firearms are not the solution? http://t.co/7HpdEIi8UM (1/3)

— zarinamehta (@Zarina Screwvala)

Ridiculous. Instead of changing sexual behaviour, spreading #arms: Nirbheek, #India's 1st #gun for women http://t.co/35zO2nMyIa

— nishaONnisaa (@nisha)

India launches its first gun for women. Is that the best that the country can do to keep its women safe?

— Newspaperwalli (@Anahita Mukherji)

4. The gun is unaffordable for many.

If I could afford a gun worth 1 lakh, I wouldn't be travelling alone at night in a bus, rickshaw or auto in Delhi http://t.co/L8g681F0rh

— irratica (@Ira Swasti)

5. The sexist design of the gun.

"Nirbheek, India's first gun for women is packaged in velvet to make it more attractive." Sure, this will stop rape. http://t.co/o37VKoWb2m

— KetakiBhoj (@Ketaki)

Now a gun for Indian women. With a velvet lined case. But it's not pink. And has no crystals. How will I ever use it? http://t.co/Fe1fvG7OmJ

— culdivsac (@culdivsac)

http://t.co/IABT96xauM Nirbheek, India's first gun for women - velvet cased to boot. Hope it comes in pink, with poms and gota. Ugh.

— Rag1ni (@Ragini Singh)

#women faced with threat of #violence r now 'target clientele' that may like velvet boxes. what's next? pink grenades?http://t.co/hphXPBeoiw

— NitashaKaul (@Nitasha Kaul)

6. Weapons for self-defense could perpetuate gun violence like that in the US.

Gun for women for self defence?!?! If this continues, soon India is going to witness firing in schools just like the U.S.A.

— VishankaGandhi (@Vishanka Gandhi)

Guns or pepper-spray no solutions for gender violence! It's systemic violence! Birth of a gun-lobby US style? http://t.co/QAlWP93e5z

— kastehaturi (@Kasturi)

Whose ridiculous idea is this Nirbheek,India's first gun for women? You want women to start shooting in self-defence? http://t.co/iufnzt64NU

— Pallavisms (@Pallavi Kamat)

7. The gun discriminates against women.

Mildly insulted that a new gun was manufactured 'specially' for women. Show us the big guns. #India http://t.co/i3YY5L2bGi

— Karishma_Mehta5 (@Karishma Mehta)

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Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com
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