ARE WE ON THE WAY TO ACCEPTING RAPES LIKE DOWRY-DEATHS?
After the Nirbhaya case on 16 December 2012, we have developed this habit of ranting on social media, holding noisy protests, organising candle marches and hearing our God-like celebrities expressing rage (a few tweets from the greater mortals are the testimonials that the incident was horrendous). Every time the news anchors report the incident, they pretend to be sombre and choose the best words from their vocabulary.
“The moral root of this nation has shaken once more” can attract more ears in comparison to “Another woman raped” which is as plain as a nose on someone’s face. Though this show of concern, mixed with anger starts with great determination and energy but it dies of natural death in a few days without achieving anything. The news of incidents of rapes with greater cruelty and fearlessness keep coming. The culprits of Nirbhaya case are still making merry at Tihar jail while taking a cue from them, the potential rapists outside the jail have no fear of law. We, now, are a country where more than a hundred thousand rapes happen every year. The Hyderabad rape case is another slap on our shameless faces.
Have we grown habitual of rapes?
We are approaching a stage of acceptance of sexual crimes as we have accepted the dowry-deaths and honour-killing. We, Indians, are losers. We surrender easily. We cannot turn tides-we have never done that. Even in sports, we are infamous for losing from a winning position and not the vice-versa. I hear great-minds-with-meagre-education saying that these rape-cases are the consequences of women empowerment or the short dresses or the women keeping out till late. By saying this they confess that men of this country are beasts who on seeing a helpless woman lose their sanity. They completely ignore the fact that these sick perverts see even the infant-girls as opportunities.
The other day, I was discussing this issue with my young students. I asked how do you think we can stop rapes? “Girls should not be out after six,” one of the boys responded. “If a violent dog has biting-tendency, would you chain the dog or the people around?” I retorted. When he didn’t react, I asked again, “Won’t it work better if we don’t allow men to go out after six?” He smiled and nodded. A girl said that all girls should get self-defence training though she agreed that this too has limitations. However powerful and bold a girl maybe, she can’t overpower four or five men alone. “Girls should not tolerate slightest of nuisance and raise alarm at the very first inkling of someone misbehaving,” another boy came up. Finding a boy hesitant, I threw up a blunt question, “Do you think you can rape a girl?”
His response surprised everyone. “No, sir. It needs courage.” I knew he couldn’t choose the right words. “You mean to say every courageous man should rape? And, would you commit rape if you happen to grow courageous sometimes?” He shook his head voraciously, “My parents will kill me if I ever do such things.” That fear made me feel good. Every parent can instil that fear, if not values, in their sons when he is still young. They can tell their sons that they would not only disown them but would not spare them even if they manage to escape the law. We need to start from the beginning to teach them not to rape when we teach them not to lie, not to steal and not to quarrel.
I think it would be a good idea if teachers talk to their students especially boys starting with middle classes (just when puberty has hit or about to hit) asking their views on rapes. This can serve the dual purpose of sex education and making them understand the difference between ‘Sex with Integrity’ and ‘Sex with criminality’ elaborating the consequences at the same time.
We must think of the ways to make all men understand that rape cannot bring the pleasure they intend to seek like in sports, you will not enjoy if your opponent doesn’t play with the same zeal and spirit as yours. Sex is not the game that can be played and enjoyed without or against the consent of your partner. It is high time that we thrust into the minds of all men that they do not have a birthright to do sex whenever and with whomever they want. Sex is not a privilege and they need to earn it every time. There is no licence for sex other than the consent of their partner. We need more advertisements shouting and warning people against sexual assaults.
Women too, need to be cautious and vigilant. We can’t deny that they have a right to lead their lives in whatever way they want but taking small precautions can save them from the irrecoverable trauma called rape. While roaming in a forest, it is insane to take a beast for granted. They should not trust anyone when it comes to their body. I personally, have no issues with Public Display of Affection other than that it makes the two people involved vulnerable and also put others to risk. Rapists are psychologically ill and, in most cases, they are from a humble background. The tendency to rape is also a privilege-deficiency disorder. These already depressed people feel jealous when they see other men enjoying the proximity of women. They snatch what they can’t get.
I refuse to agree that rapists are sex-deprived or sex-obsessed people. They are sick with an untreatable mental disorder resulted from faulty upbringing. Rapists can’t be reformed. I have researched and found that they are repeat offenders. So, imprisonment is a waste of time and resources. It is like nurturing a threat on a false assumption of keeping it under scrutiny. Such notions soon make us repent when the offender commits another crime as soon as he gets an opportunity. To prevent rapes, we need the most stringent of laws.