By Aastha Katyal:
6 rape cases in 48 hours in Uttar Pradesh. This was the headline running on most television channels on 20th June. People are disgusted at the horror of it all! 6 girls mentally, physically and emotionally scarred for life. Why? Because a few men couldn’t keep their pants zipped up and thought these girls were good entertainment, a good way to satiate their lust.
What is the rationale behind raping women left, right and centre? And what kind of an animal rapes a kid, for a lot of rape cases involve minor girls, even as old as 6 months! Let’s look at a few reasons which may be at work behind this entire problem.
First of all, the culture in this rape belt – Haryana, UP, Delhi, etc. – mostly northern India is dominantly male oriented. The concept of ”raja beta’‘ is at work constantly wherein parents solely desire a son to carry on the ‘family name’ or to act as their ‘budhape ka sahara’ (a crutch for their old age). So the ‘raja beta’ is pampered to no end. While the girls are regularly chided and corrected and checked, and asked to conduct themselves to uphold the family’s honour, the boy is the family’s honour just by virtue of his sex. So even if he does something wrong or gets up to some mischief it is merely brushed aside, often with the statement ‘‘ladka hai shararat toh karega hi’‘ (boys will be boys). And that’s where the problem begins.
Secondly, the idea promoted and propagated by Hindi films that a girl’s no means a yes for she is too shy to admit her feelings. So the men think that if a girl being wooed or stalked is refusing to submit, she actually is interested but is too shy to say so. A NO means a NO! Simple as that.
Next comes the dominating idea. ‘How dare she say no to me?’ is what crops to their minds when a girl refuses to accept their advances. ‘I’ll just teach her a lesson’ and what a lesson they teach.
There is also a systemic failure. How many cases do we know of wherein the police, our supposed caretakers and those entrusted with ensuring our security, have been involved in the rape? Whether it is the recent rape and murder case of a 14 year old girl in the Nighasan police station of the Lakhimpur-Kheri district in Uttar Pradesh, or whether it was the 2010 case of gang rape of two minor girls by 5 men, of which 4 were policemen, in the Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh. When we hear of policemen involved in the rape it scares us even more. Who do we turn to for security then?
To curb rape effectively we need to ensure that a few such measures must be in place. Our police must be strengthened and checked effectively for misdemeanors on their part. The faulty policemen must be given strict punishment as soon as their involvement in the crime is clear. Also, rapists are let off with minor punishment. A sentence of a few years in jail is just not proportional to the devastation they cause to their victim. The only deterrent which might prove most effective is a threat to their ‘manhood’, something they are proud of, which makes them a man. Hence chemical castration should be in place as a punishment for rapists. That would prove to be the most effective deterrent to such men who scar their victims for life!
Finally, the practice of putting the blame on women must be stopped. Fully clad women are equally susceptible to rape as our women who wear a spaghetti top and jeans. Women in Mumbai walk around wearing sleeveless or halters or noodle strapped tops. How come the rape rate in Mumbai is so much lower than in states like Uttar Pradesh and Delhi? Women are more often than not, victims and nothing warrants them to be treated in such an animalistic manner. Thus instead of making comments like ‘women should aim to get home before dark’ and ‘dress appropriately’ as our dear CM Shiela Dikshit made, authorities must aim to improve the law and order, the enforcers i.e. the police and to meet out appropriate punishment which would act as a deter in itself. The situation is worsening by the day and must, must be brought into control promptly, before our country really goes to the dogs!