“Boys will be boys, they commit mistakes.”
“Virgin as per dictionary, means an unmarried and pure girl.”
“Rape by 2 men, not gang rape.”
“90% of rapes are consensual.”
“Rape cases are on the rise because men and women interact with each other more freely now.”
“You say rape incidents are on the rise. But the population is also swelling.”
“Rapes occur in India, not Bharat.”
These are actual statements that a few political leaders have made and sadly, these statements reflect the common beliefs and opinions of a large population of this country. Certainly so in the more underdeveloped areas of this country that have been reiterated on many occasions to be the linchpin for the country’s future growth. It is a dismal irony that these areas represent the best opportunities for the country’s progress, while containing widespread beliefs of such regressive nature.
I have made a conscious decision to not name those who have uttered these words, because I believe they are irrelevant. What’s important is that these statements have been made. What’s sadder is that they have been debated with conviction by people who are incumbent to govern this country and its citizens. I have taken the displeasure of typing them to point out that such statements coming from political leaders are a threat to our society.
I deem the names of these speakers unimportant, possibly because I’m naive in my belief that these people are not at fault. They are merely the products, just like the masses who put them in power, churned out by the machine called society. I don’t mean that they are beyond accountability, but can they be blamed for having such beliefs when that’s all they have been taught throughout their lives? Can they be blamed when they have witnessed men and women, who hold a victim responsible for or completely at fault in rape cases? They are merely the products of the system, and their tangibility makes them the targets of outrage, often causing us to overlook the real, intangible reasons; the beliefs that are being embedded in our culture for generations matter-of-factly.
Every MP, under the age of 30 today thinks this way, thanks to the inherent reasons. Under the age of 40, the number of MPs is two-thirds. We dream that someday in the future, such atrocities against women will be a thing of past, because of our belief that the leaders by then would be younger and better educated. But is that a realistic ambition, given that more than half of those who are in powerful positions are there because of their surnames, which have paved the road for them? Not only have they paved the road for them, they have bulldozed other merit-based candidates out of the way. How can we hope for better leaders with basic human decency when the leaders of the future are being brought up by the leaders of now?