In India, if there is anything that grabs the utmost attention and makes it to the priority list it has got to be “rape”. Rape is a universal word, means the same in every part of the world. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of rape is , “The crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.” This means that the victim is a woman and in some cases, man and that the “intercourse” happens without the consent of the victim.
As evident as this is, where is it written that rape happens because a woman was wearing revealing clothes, “was asking for it”, was out late at night, was alone and the like. In India these are the reasons behind rape. A man is never questioned for his behavior. A two year old gets raped by her own father. Can anyone tell if she was asking for it? Did she even know what was happening? But the fact remains that she was raped and the truth is her own father raped her.
This is what Asharam Bapu, member of BJP has to say on rape.
Videos are made to empower women and voice their opinions to change the mentality and the mindset of people. Videos where a girl says she is raped everyday. the first time she was raped was when her father hit her mother, when her brother teased another girl, when the rape cases came on television,in a nutshell, she was raped in every place, public transport, office, etc. The lecherous look of men on to women was rape, the video said.
This video was to help people realize that every crime starts from homes, hence every father, brother, friend needed to check their attitudes first. I understood the meaning, alright. However, I was so dissatisfied with the usage of the word “rape”. These type of videos are just commercialization of the hot sensation that has been trending as “rape” lately.
A German University denied internship to an Indian because of the rape rate in India and the student applicant was a male so the University considered every Indian male a rapist.
Annete G Beck Sickinger ( above int he picture), Professor at Leipzig University replied in an email, “Unfortunately I don’t accept any Indian male students for internships. We hear a lot about the rape problem in India which I cannot support. I have many female students in my group, so I think this attitude is something I cannot support.”
The 16th December 2012, “Nirbhaya”, rape case had four convicts for the rape of a girl in a moving bus in Delhi. This rape case was horrendous. A girl brutally raped and tried to be murdered by plunging an iron rod through her vagina to the stomach until her intestines came out and then thrown to the road from the moving bus to die was not just something that happened to set an example of how horrific rapes can be in India. The victim, died in a hospital, along with her dream to be a doctor. She was just a year away from becoming one.
Nirbhaya before and after in the hospital fighting death.
Out of the four rapists, one is a juvenile. It has been two years and more but these rapists are still in jail and giving interviews for documentaries and news. The BBC Documentary called ‘India’s Daughter’, highlights these rapists and their defending lawyer. A capital punishment was sentenced to these rapists yet nothing has happened to them.
I feel terrified as a woman in India but utterly brave to be stepping out of my house and going about in life. Living in a city has its perks but lechery cannot stop at least not now so prevention is what all girls are up for. The word rape is so repeatedly used that now it has become a normal word, when it is not supposed to be normal at all. It is supposed to create a havoc, bring the country down and rise some flames.
We blame the men, we don’t blame their mothers, we don’t tell them women that she too is a woman. Disparity starts from home and some mothers teach their sons that they are men, they can do what they want and the same women tell their daughters that they are daughters, they are made to stay within the confines of the house, do as they are told, usually what they are told by men. The women are made to believe that they cannot take decisions, participate in discussions at home, voice their opinions and stay in the kitchen and cook. Patriarchy begins when a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend stays quiet and lets men think they are inferior and need to be thought for or taken care of or be protected.
Girls are given cookery education at home so that once they are married off, they can cook well and bring good name to their family and show that the parents of the bride taught her how to maintain her house along with some dignity. The age of twenty to twenty-three is considered a suitable age to be married off. They look for good grooms and marry off with such pomp and pride that the entire cost of the wedding will be more than the money ever spent on the girl’s education throughout her life. The parents believe that once the girl is married, she can continue her education or work if the groom and the groom’s family agree.
The qualification of the groom also means the amount he is liable to get as dowry in marriage. Highly qualified men like doctors, engineers, chartered accountants and the like have their rates according the money invested in their education which they expect to make up from the dowry. The more the dowry, the better the treatment of the bride will be. If she does not bring enough or money as demanded, with her she is tortured, harassed, raped, but in India marital rape is not even considered rape, it is considered as the right of the husband to have sex with his wife. The consent of the wife does not even make any difference. The dowry cases have been reported quite a lot but most of the cases like rape go unreported. Deaths are numerous, as horrific as being burned alive to make it look like an accident or a suicide are noted. In dowry, demand of money, gold, cars, house, land/plot etc are also counted.
The arranged marriages are the main cause behind this. All life long the girl is asked to stay away from men, strange men, not date, not have a boyfriend and not have sex before marriage. The girl has to be “pure” to be wed otherwise she is most likely not to be married. If in case she has had relationship(s) before, she needs to confess to her would be groom and if he has no problem then it is acceptable for them to be married.
India is also the land where yoga and sex are worshiped. We have a sex God, Kama. Hence, Kamasutra. Temples in Madhya Pradesh have engraved poses for sex since time immemorial and people visit there with families and stare away. It has been the most natural and humane thing ever and our country is such where politicians blather about how our “Indian Culture” has no place for public display of affection, dating and sex.
kamdev and his wife rati
Khajurao temple in Madhya Pradesh with sculptures
Three members of the Parliament were caught watching porn in a meeting. Irony much? (They were later sacked for the same.)
My point is, the more one tries to oppress, the more rampant it becomes, the more one hides, the more conspicuous it turns. The only thing India needs right now to stop rapes is stern law enforcement. Once proved that a convict is a rapist, there must be an action taken then and there. The law has to stop being so flexible. Otherwise, there was only one Nirbhaya we know of till date but those Nirbhayas who died without the spotlight, without being discovered, without being acknowledged with die a lot many times more than they already have and it is better to die at once than in installments.