Wednesday, December 26, 2012

RAPE - The pinnacle of moral degradation

India woke up on 17th Dec 2012 to a horrendous news. A girl was gang raped in a moving bus by a group of six beasts who later tortured her in ways that would put the entire humanity and even wild beasts to shame. I am extremely sad and depressed imagining what that woman would have gone through and is currently going through and I can't help in anyway except feel sad about it. Extreme Sympathies and hope her a speedy recovery physically and more importantly psychologically.

What surprised me was, the country woke up from its coma. People condemned the ghastly act on facebook, shared photos, called for castration as a punishment, complained about government, yet others like me wrote blogs and some students continued to organize protests as i write this article. In the coming paragraphs, i try to analyze each of them and the role of each in the larger scheme of things. Some things I heard were the following:

1. It happens only in India
People were very angry. Facebook was flooded with messages about the plight of women in India. They said India is the only country where such things are allowed to happen. I tried to verify the statistics(however skewed they may be).

USA, UK, South Africa, Ireland, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, The Carribean Islands and many such countries have much higher recorded evidences of Rape up to the tune of roughly 20 cases of Rape/1akh population.

The Corresponding figures in India are 1.8 cases/1 lakh population.(Reported). Even assuming that only 1 in 10 cases is reported and every case in the above mentioned countries is reported, the instances in India are not even half of the above mentioned countries.

I haven't given the statistics of African Countries which are far worse, but countries like USA,UK and the Scandinavian countries which are thought of as the most progressed of places have a far worse rate than India.

Analysis: Rape is not confined to India. Even countries which are perceived to have a high regard for women and their rights are no better of.

2. It's the fault of the government
I completely agree that the government would be at fault if the investigation is hampered or the legal proceedings and other technicalities are not adhered to.

But, I fail to understand how one can blame the government for the occurrence of such an incident. The best the government could do is have police patrolling the city in the night at select points. It obviously can't have a bodyguard for every woman. The point I am trying to make is that it is remotely inhumane to expect government to be responsible for everything that goes wrong.

Iam not saying that the government is never at fault, but when a neighbor rapes a woman, or a father repeatedly rapes his daughter over years, or a woman is drugged around the corner of a street, there is nothing much a government can do except to nab the culprits as fast as possible and punish them but again that is hardly any compensation to the victim.

3. "Don't tell a daughter how to dress, tell a son how to behave"
This is a point many people are stressing on these days. A very valid point. A point which cannot be argued against. I remember a statement of Dinesh Reddy, DGP ,Andhra Pradesh
He said " Proacative dresses might be a reason for increase in incidence of rape".
The media as usual blew it out of proportion. I personally felt the blowing up part was absolutely un-necessary. I felt nothing wrong about the DGP's statement
How I would like to put the same thing is "Tell your daughter to dress appropriately because not everyone tell their son to behave properly"

I know I would be receiving a lot of flak for this stance of mine. I am not denying a woman's right to dress and neither do I judge a woman or her character by a dress. And I am definitely not saying that dress is an invitation to rape. Even people in burkha might get raped. But the point Iam trying to make is inappropriate dress attracts inappropriate attention. There is no denying this fact. It is a natural human tendency. Most people know where to draw a line with that intention. People who don't draw the line are likely to attempt/commit rape.

Even at 22, my mother tells me to not wander the streets at night and return to room as early as possible. Now how do I look at this stance of my mother "She is trying to infringe on my freedom" or "She just wants to assure my safety". The answer is quite obvious. And when i see parents advise girls about " appropriate dressing", I see it much the same way. I dont think there is any difference between what my mother is saying or what a particular girls parents are saying.

How many times have our parents told, " Dont roam on streets with gold on the body". Reason: It attracts undue attention and makes you more prone to attack/robbery. Same is the case with dressing. I see no difference.

Its not about male/female. Its about safety. And each time it makes that much more sense to be safe than sorry.

There would be other days when I wont have any money and robberer might attack me and a fully clad women might be attacked, but that does not take away the fact that inappropriateness attracts undue attention. It is always advisable to be safe first and debate on what is right later.

Death Penalty for Rapists
I completely agree that Rapists deserve nothing less than death. However one has to look into the consequences of such a thing. A rapist might end up killing the victim so as to minimize the chance of being identified later.
And going by the nature of crime, i am not sure but I think rape is seldom planned. It occurs due to momentary animal instincts of animal like humans, mostly in drunken state. In such a state, the rapist does not have a well functioning mind and is not sane enough. In such a state, i think a death penalty hardly acts as a deterrent.

I completely support death for rapists as a punishment, but i don't think the committer of the crime is sane enough for it to act as a deterrent. However, the safety of the victim stands as a question mark

Alcohol and Intoxication
I recently had the misfortune of witnessing how trippy people get when they get drunk. Though I have nothing against drinking as a habit, it is enormously obvious and undeniable fact that it reduces inhibhitions and evokes animal instincts in drunken people much more readily than sane ones. Significant percentage of rape cases are instances of either the victim or committer or both being intoxicated/drugged.

This brings us back to the point which I was discussing with a friend of mine. He said " No one should drink and women especially should never drink".
I asked him, " Are n't you being a sexist?".

His reply got me thinking and agreeing to what he said
" Sri Ram, A man is drunk and fell down on the road. Maximum that can happen to him is, he loses his money and gold on his body"

" The same thing happens to a woman and she is likely to be raped and the society we live in is not very sympathetic to allow a woman to live the same life as before the incident. We need not think ideally because the society isn't ideal. Ideally, the man and women should be equally vulnerable, but blame it on god or society, the fact is a woman is much more vulnerable and has got much more to lose".

There are have been many instances of a group of friends who drug a female friend and rape her. Whose mistake is it?

Definitely, it is the mistake of the friend group. But it is the victim who lost a lot. It was nowhere a fault of the victim, absolutely no fault from her side.

But the fact remains, if she were cautious it could have been avoided. I am not blaming her because she did not avoid it, but she could have.

So, what I want to say is, Intoxication awakens the animal in many and makes others more vulnerable. Be responsible with it and use caution even while with close friends( Both Male & Female)

What needs to be done ?
As I said, government has very little power. The best we can do is exercise caution to the extent possible and hope nothing goes wrong.

The police are also to be blamed in some instances. Eve teasing is considered a petty crime by many of them and the complaints are not taken seriously. The police should treat instances of eve teasing as a major offence and look and verify the complaint and take appropriate action.

Secondly, the mindset of the society has to change. If we look at the abuses in various Indian Languages, almost every abuse has something to do with sister, mother or a woman's private parts. We hardly find an abuse relating to father or brother which itself shows what respect we have for women

To quote a few in Hindi MC,BC,TMKC,TMKB,TBKL.
These are so popular that I don't need to expand their full forms and people can still recognize it.

How many times have we heard boys teasing other boys by saying " Ladki se haar gaya?? mar jaa saale"
It is quite common and so common that even I might have unconciously used it many times.

I am not saying, all such people commit rapes, but this imprints a feeling in all of us that women are weak and vulnerable and such an ideology at a young age is dangerous for a society.

Treat Your male and female children the same. Then the son will know how to treat his mother, wife, sister and the society in general.

On a slightly different note, we have seen instances of how strong female laws are misused in fake cases of domestic violence and dowry. So, even if the law is strong, proper verification have to be done into the claims, otherwise there is every chance of complete misuse of the law.

Finally, I, You and everyone can just hope....The social structures are so rigid that we can never be assured if anything will change at all.


Praveen Edla said...

Nice one ra

Sashwat Tanay said...

very well written

Sashwat Tanay said...
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Virinder Chhibber said...

completely agree with 2 and 3 paragraphs but not with para 1, every country has its own definition of rape and other sexual offenses.
While in Sweden number of reported sexual offenses is highest 168 in 1 lakh,its because of other factors such as the practice of counting multiple crimes against a single victim (such as from long time domestic abuse),much higher reporting of sex crimes by the victims than in other cultures, and a much broader definition of criminal sexual behavior and more progressive attitudes towards what constitutes sexual victimization
Unlike USA and European countries sexual crimes are less likely to be reported in India due to our chauvinistic society particularly in rural and also we have no law for martial rape.

Vijaykumar Emmadishetty said...

great writing bro....,

SaiRam said...
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SaiRam said...
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SaiRam said...

Good perspective. Also, it is of utmost importance that people raise their kids imparting "real Indian culture" which most of us are being ashamed of these days and stop being pseudo-western. Kids who are properly parented, guided and taught, with little spiritual knowledge, will never go near, alcohol, drugs. Let us get our culture back by stopping these dating, live-in relations.
Firstly, yes, stricter laws are needed to deter the animals in the society. but that is not it. No change can be brought "permanently" through force.
We need to ensure the upcoming generation is brought up in a healthy manner.
1. Be careful (make laws if necessary) to bring the kids up in healthy environment. Importance needs to be given to what kids are being exposed to.
2. There should be regulatory commission on what TV and films shows. Yes, no one can deny the part TV plays these days. No one is going to lose if there is a strict ban on explicit scenes and programs on TV.
3. Liquor and Drugs - they form major part. Govt should ban them.

4. Child laws needs to be stricter.

These things should be imparted to children without force so that when they grow up, naturally there will not be any animal instincts. There will be no need to suppress their animal instincts.

For now, immediately India need stricter laws against any violence against women as early as possible.

SaiRam said...
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SaiRam said...
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Something Special said...

Laws made by Govt should be made stronger in such a way to create a threat in these kind of animal like men to think of attempting this kind of activities.
As you already mentioned not only making a law it should also be implemented as is...
If we look at the cases of men pouring acid on a woman, her life is like a hell...
She would definitely feel death is better than leading that life.
But the men who did the crime will end up with a fine or a compensation which will be of no use for her.
To eradicate these kinds of situations, men should have proper respect towards women.
This should be done from their childhood.
Only LOVE towards women at home is not enough, RESPECT is also equally important.
One who respects their mom will respect their wife also great and hence lead a happy life
At how many houses we notice Mother having a proper respect; they are only dedicated for cooking and serving. Their sons also inherit the same attitude
This kind of attitude does not seem dangerous but in the situations where men loose judgement (when they are on alcohol or drugs etc...) they become animals.

Prabhu Dhev Ravi said...

Excellent read :)

Like your third point a lot, well-written, but I still disagree. Focus should be on making these guys behave, and not on restricting girls.