By Onkar Nath:
I would never ever think, even in my distant of dreams that chowmein could be one of the reasons for rapes. I appreciate the sense of humour of the Khap leader in saying that rape cases are increasing due to the consumption of chowmein. Yes, in some way I can understand his logic that any spicy food leads to an increase in sexual desire. Even our elders say that teens should avoid taking spicy food. Having said this, I totally reject the Khap leader’s bizarre logic behind increase in rape cases due to consumption of chowmein.
There was another statement made by a Khap leader and that was about early marriage for girls, which would help in reducing the rate of rapes. Partially, I support this statement. I am sure that readers will accept my logic that once a man or woman attains puberty, their sexual desire starts to show, especially uncontrolled sexual desire during the puberty stage, where the maturity to differentiate between right or wrong is less developed among teens. The second thing is that in a country like India, you are so restricted and tied to the traditional society’s culture that you cannot satisfy your sexual desire by having sex despite mutual consent, which is otherwise quite common in the developed countries.
In India, there are five ways to satisfy your sexual desire during one’s teens. One way is to have sex after mutual consent between both the parties (less common in Indian societies), the second option is to go to prostitutes (more chances of getting infected), the third option is either control yourself or pleasure yourself (common among Indian teens), the fourth option is to get married early and the last option is indulge in crimes like rape or child abuse. Now In a country like India, we indulge in all kinds of the aforementioned activities. India is one the verge of transition i.e. the changes happening in the culture of the society, change in marriageable age, change in income, change in family patterns and so on. So these things will continue to happen until and unless we attain a stable status in terms of society, income, culture.
Coming back to the main topic, I am sure that those companies who are responsible for manufacturing chowmein must be very worried after hearing this bizarre logic. Instead of blaming Chowmein for rape, I think the Khap leaders should have focused more on the empowerment of women in terms of good education, good health, access to employment and providing them with other opportunities. They are still living in an old era where women were means of satisfying one’s sexual desire and were supposed to remain in the houses under the pardah system (I would say kind of slavery). Things are changing now. We need to treat women like human beings. They are our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters. How can we take pride in ourselves by offering prayers to Goddesses and at the same time raping women? I would say that we should kill ourselves before indulging in such acts. How can we talk about ourselves turning into a superpower or being a very advanced bunch of people when we are not respecting our own family members (women) the way they should be respected.
Rapes are not limited to Haryana, they are happening all over the country. Our society and the government should take up this issue in a logical way. I think the most important thing is literacy: the tool through which you can change one’s mindset. Literacy does not only entail passing an exam. Literacy means that you have the ability to judge between what is wrong and what is right. If you are successful enough to imbibe the importance of literacy, then I think that not only rape, but other unwanted social crimes will vanish from the society.