A lot has been said about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of the two rape cases being fiercely spoken about in India. It is unbelievably frustrating to see how people with an agenda want to FORCE it upon others (pun totally intended), with an intent to propagate it as much as possible. It’s unsettling to see so many people, thought to be sane, buying it. I’m one of the many such frustrated victims of the agenda-bludgeoning, and this post is to vent my pent up frustrations.
I’ll approach this in a Q&A format, just so it is easier for me to collect and articulate my thoughts.
- What people say happened
- CaseA: The Kathua case: An 8 year old Muslim girl was raped by 6 Hindu men and killed.
- CaseB: The Unnao case: An 18 year old Dalit woman was raped by a BJP MLA.
- What actually happened
- CaseA: A
n 8 year old Muslimgirl was raped by 6 Hindumen and killed.
- CaseB: A
n 18 year old Dalitwoman was raped by a BJP MLAman.
- CaseA: A
- What is the defense that these agenda-evangelists put forth?
- CaseA: Hindu groups fear accusing the Hindu rapists is an attack on their religion. Mixing religion into this issue evokes strong responses, easier to politicize.
- CaseB: No specific defense. The victim was threatened after she filed an FIR. Her father was thrashed and eventually passed away. Meanwhile, the accused MLA’s wife has threatened to commit suicide if her husband is proven to be guilty.
- Other generic defenses / offences
- Double standards: People and the media are selectively bothered by rape cases. “No one seems to be bothered about the rapes in Assam and Bihar.”
- Opportunistic opposition party: “Girls are being raped in the BJP regime” – any Congress politician. Does a rapist think about which party is in power when he attacks a woman?
- Not specifically related to these 2 cases
- “She was inappropriately dressed, she asked for it” – This one is a usual favourite. Of course. A man is totally helpless when he sees a woman in a short skirt, he just HAS to rape her. This argument puts my gender to shame. Are we so fickle minded that we cannot control ourselves? How does this argument explain an 8 month old or an 8 year old (Case A) getting raped?
- “She was out with guys at night, she had loose morals” – A woman who is out with friends or her boyfriend is automatically implied to have loose morals. Girls who are out partying with their friends are seen as borderline prostitutes. An unmarried girl going out for a movie with her friend or a boyfriend is seen to be promiscuous and is a shame to ‘Indian culture’
- Popular solutions
- Unfortunately I need to agree that some of these are practical, more than sensible. These are marked with the label ‘P-not-S’ (standing for Practical-not-sensible)
- Restrict women from going out late at night. (P-not-S). If she is at home, lesser chances of getting raped.
- Restrict women from wearing a dress (not-P-not-S)
- Close nightclubs and bars early
- Bonus points if you march in to a bar with a bunch of goons, beat up all the girls, and drag them out by their hair. (As proudly demonstrated by Sri Rama Sene in Mangalore)
- Why would a man rape a woman? (vice versa too, but since most rape cases are men raping women, I’ll just address the majority)
- Ego: “How can she disrespect me? “How can she say no?” [Applies to acid attacks too]
- Exercising superiority (could very well be a result of ego): “A man is inherently better than a woman, she has to listen to what he says”
- No doesn’t mean no. Consent is non-existent. More so in marital rapes, but these seldom are reported.
- Sexual frustration: Even though India gave the world the Kama Sutra, talking about sex is still a taboo. Self-proclaimed moral police wield the ‘Indian Culture’ shield and attack any public discussion on sex.
- Plausible-and-mostly-practical solutions
- Teach the boys to see women to be their equals. No one is better, no one is lesser. This starts from home. It is good for men to cook too, good practical skill to have. It’s not wrong for women to earn more than men; she earned it for her professional skills, there is nothing to be intimidated by.
- See rape as a crime, strip all irrelevant identities. A rape is a rape, regardless of who does it to whom. The rape of a Muslim woman by a Hindu man in a Church in India = The rape of a maid by a house-owner = the rape of a volunteer by a politician = The rape of an astronaut by her colleague in space (hopefully this never happens!) = RAPE.
- Fast track courts: effective trials and speedy justice.
- Severe punishment. Make rapists accountable. Impose a life sentence, castration or capital punishment. The fear of punishment needs to become greater than the psychopathic need to rape.
- Decentralize complaints: Have special cells set up for women’s issues like domestic violence and rape. Grant these cells the autonomy to assess the case and file an equivalent of an FIR (First Information Report). Today, we’re slowed down by piled up cases lying in the police station, so a rape case would be a lower priority than a murder case. Not all women are comfortable going to a police station (even with women cops) to lodge a complaint for the fear of possible verbal and mental abuse that they would have to endure.
India can boast of having had queens ruling kingdoms in days of yore; and a woman prime minister three decades after independence. In reality, we have a long distance to tread in making ourselves a sane and humane society, jabbing these unhealthy elements along the way.