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Indian Culture Teaches Us To Respect Women. So Why Are Rape Cases On The Rise?

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“My mother was a woman of love, kindness and above all a divine nature. I firmly believe that the respect that its women enjoy tells us how developed a country is” –  Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam

The mornings have not been so pleasant for the Indians since the last week. Every day has been beginning with the disturbing news of atrocities against the women and Dalits, both normally considered the weaker sections of society. The nation woke up from its sleep on September 29th hearing the gut-wrenching news of the death of a Dalit girl who was gang-raped in Hasrath.

She was born a girl. She was not the one who said I am a Dalit but it is our own system that specified caste for its children. And here lies the problem. The age-old practices and traditions of discrimination and the assaults against them are the weapons that make the perpetrators brawnier even today.

It has been observed from the Vedic period that women were seen as the quintessence of power and luck. It is therefore extremely ironic to note how the position of women in Indian society has vitiated, to the extent that today, women continue to struggle in their rightful position and due in society.

There is widespread violence faced by women. It is a shame that in many places the women and girls are sexually harassed, socially abused and sometimes their choices and freedom are brutally attacked. Examples of trafficking in women, sexual assault, desertion and dowry are enough to describe the present situation.

Added to all these, in my opinion, the process of globalization let loose more at the beginning of 21st century and impact of social media has brought for women new opportunities and at the same time, it created new anxieties, fears and challenges.

Manu proclaimed that women form the foundation of a prosperous society. “The society that provides respect and dignity to women flourishes with nobility and prosperity. And a society that does not consider women on such high status has to face miseries and failures regardless of how-so-much noble deeds they perform otherwise. Women give birth to the next generation. They enlighten the home. They bring fortune and bliss. Hence women are synonymous to prosperity.”

There is no need for a question of superiority or inferiority between men and women. According to the ancient teachings, by respecting and cherishing the dignity of a woman, one virtually worships the goddess of prosperity.

Representational image

How does this matter to the growing perpetrators…? We live in a patriarchal society and there is no use in saying women are to be respected. Is this your demeanour? And if so, I say its the main reason for the brutalities.

Gandhiji described women as the embodiment of sacrifice and ahimsa. He further stated a daughters share must be equal to that of a son. I feel ashamed to point out one of the mainstream issues which needs immediate vaccination on this 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Crime in India 2019 report by NCRB revealed that there has been a 7% increase in crimes against women. When we look at the last 2 days reported crimes against women its really shocking.

  • a woman is gang-raped and murdered every 30 hours in India
  • a woman faces a rape attempt every 2 hours
  • the case of assault with intent to outrage a women’s modesty is reported every six minutes
  • a woman becomes a target of trafficking every 4 hours.

Al Jazeera reported that in some villages in Haryana, women have been sold as many as three times. The villagers call them ‘paros’ a derogatory term implying they have been purchased.

Nirbhaya, the Hyderabad case, the cases reported in Kathua, Unnao, the recent cases in Hasrath, Balrampur, Khargone, Bulandshahr, are just the examples of gang rapes which can never be wiped from our memories.

The time has crossed. It’s high time to think about the future of our girl child. What is the Hasrath case trying to convey…? Is it that let us forget about our girl child. Let us focus on rebuilding India?

When every atrocity against an Indian is seen as an opportunity to politicize the issue, the opportunity to save the accused? if it’s not, now then when are we going to express our anger?

In Hasrath the girl was kidnapped from the field, near her mother. Does this suggest that girls must not be taken outside their homes? Beti Bachao Beti Padao, when new policies like this are brought in, how can we send the girl child outside the home if she is not safe?

The same nation which teaches its children to dream, transforming to the same place where the dreams get scattered is too pathetic. When the pyre was set ablaze in the morning, at 2.30 it was burning in each person’s mind and there was nothing more fearful than what she has faced.

Not every girl is safe in India especially the girls of the backward classes. The venerable man has got time to ruminate new policies to appease his people, to arraign others, but not to safeguard his children. The same nation which has written down the importance of women and their dignity is still remaining blind when the same child is assailed.

If you are thinking who am I to point out an issue and speak my views, you must remember, changes have never taken place without anyone to ignite the fire. And if you can be the one then hope prevails.

Let’s teach the future better. I would like to quote Gandhiji “remember violence is not the symbol of courage but that of fear.” The atrocities against women need to be inoculated. Let’s formulate plans to defenestrate the moral turpitude. Save girl child save India. Jai Bharat.

 

You must be to comment.
  1. Jayasree Padmakumar

    Congrats Bharati, for writing such an article.. It’s a mind evoking one for our community. Let this be the strategy for each and every person in our society…
    😊👍

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