Friday, December 21, 2012

It’s not just a women’s issue– Rapes and our society

Hardly does a day go by when the newspaper does not carry out a news of a rape having taken place in some part of the country or  another . What’s more disturbing is that often no strict action is taken against the perpetrators of such crime and the case just evaporates out of public mind . The victims  often end up living a life full of trauma and social stigma for no fault of theirs.  Ridiculously enough , in rural India , often the victim is forced to marry the rapist to save the family’s so-called honour!  How can you expect a person to sleep with someone everyday who caused you so much bodily harm and mental trauma ?!
Studies show that when a girl child grows up ( or in some cases male child too ) , the very first cases of molestation happen within the family , and close relatives. A child is unable to differentiate between appropriate touching and inappropriate touching until the hormonal chemical actions start developing properly. As a responsible and caring parent  in today’s world , it is very important that we educate the child about what’s right and what’s wrong . Sex should no longer be a taboo word , infact it should be included in the educational curriculum at a very early stage now. As we grow up , we ought to know that our body is ours and only ours and not a playground for a perverted mind to take pleasure out of it.
Forceful intrusion of the body is the worst kind of crime existing on the planet . Imagine a fly buzzing and entering your ears – now , that surely is annoying and irritating , we would all agree . Now think of a woman being subjected to something like rape. Heinous ! Apart from the grievous physical harm being caused , the mental torture and trauma it carries is unthinkable .A Study shows that a large no. of victims end up attempting suicide to put an end to their pain , which often is due to the social abandonment they face. In fact , the very term ‘victim’ should be done away with and should be replaced by something like ‘survivor’ which would probably give them hope and courage to carry on with life. Easier said than done though.
It is a sad irony that in India , we worship Goddess Durga for her power , Goddess Saraswati for education , Goddess Lakshmi for wealth , but yet men seem to forget to respect the real women out there in our society.  We all have mothers , sisters , wives and daughters at home . We try to keep them safe and not take any offence against them .  Yet that is not really fostered against the women at large. Sadly , I do have to add here that atrocities against women in the family is also something that is present. Should we remind us, men, that had it not been for our mothers , we would not have seen the light of this world and not got this privilege to be here in the first place.
Rape should be treated at par with any other unpardonable crime , murder or terrorist acts for example. No one gives anyone the right to take away someone’s life for personal reasons or reasons unfounded . Similarly , no one gives anyone the right to treat anyone’s body as a commodity and cause unwanted sexual and physical harm. As had been meted out to Ajmal Kasab , it is time we bring forth death penalties to rapists in our legal system .A few years back in Kolkata , I remember a man named Dhananjay being hanged by the court after  he was convicted of raping a teenage student and killing her in an incident that took place fourteen years ago from that date.  The need of the hour is to take stricter actions against the perpetrators of such horrendous crimes and fast-track the legal verdicts. If convicted , they should be shown no mercy . Death penalties would also impose a fear in the mind of men who think they can do anything just because they are born a man and possibly stop them for doing any such deeds in the future  . Counselling should also be done at a community level as to what are the women’s rights and the men should learn to respect them and they should be educated how to behave as a social being , not like some savage animal . As a placard read out at a protest  – “Real men don’t rape” . And it’s time we stop blaming women and their dressing sense for rapes. Cities like Mumbai and Delhi are cosmopolitan enough and at par with any other city in the world.  On one hand , we see international clothing brands come to our country and on the other hand , the sheer backward mentality of some people , and sadly statements like these ( “it’s your fault because you were wearing a mini skirt” ) come from some of our top politicians. Grow up my fellow citizens !  On a different note , seeing the recent spate of sick and disturbing events , I think it would actually  have done us good if the world had ended as predicted by the Mayans. Let man evolve again , perhaps into better beings.