What Causes Rape ft. Indian Politicians
If we start believing our politicians, then everything from food to our behavior and the clothes we wear is the main cause of rape. And if we really want to avoid them, according to them, there’s a simple solution, we must stay in our homes and should not go out without a so-called “male protector”.
India is the largest democracy in the world. It is very surprising how a country with such a large population, with women being an integral part of it, can have such questionable security for them. Women's safety in India is a big concern. On any random day, pick up the newspaper or switch to any news channel, there is a chance that you will definitely come across the case of sexual harassment of women, a minor or even an infant. They are not restricted to the inside pages anymore. The matter has become so pressing of late that it has gained access to even the first or title page.
Some incidents that are mentioned in these different information media are so heinous and disgusting that even reading about them can make your hands stand on the end out of shame. For example, the rape incident that happened on the night of December 2012. A girl was brutally molested by a number of men in a moving bus and then critically injured. She could not recover from physical and mental trauma and passed away a few days later. What this managed to do though was to open the eyes of everyone about what was happening all around them.
What was shameful was that everyone was a part of the same society in which such despicable animals also lived. The nation came together for candlelight marches rallies, asking for justice for the victim. What happened in the end though? Things escalated quickly for a while and also didn't take much time to die down. People moved on and similar incidents kept happening and getting reported. It has been 7 years and the accused still haven't got a punishment they deserved, citing various reasons. It brings forward a new question. Is the judiciary system of the country any good and can it get anything done promptly.?
The worst part about rape and molestation is how often it happens. It is not a rare incident that is seen once in a blue moon. In fact, it is almost a daily recurrence which makes it an issue that needs to be addressed by the concerned authorities as soon as possible. It is very important to track down the major reasons why rape happens. Psychologists have looked into the matter time and again and have not been able to pinpoint any particular reason for it. A large spectrum of reasons is involved.
The illiteracy that is rampant, especially in the rural parts of the country has been deemed to be a major one. The societal norm is such that instead of educating boys about the importance of upholding the dignity of a girl or a woman, they are told how they are superior to females in almost all aspects. It is one of the major drawbacks of a patriarchal type of society that India has. Since time immemorial it has been ingrained that the only work women are entitled to do is take care of the household and be a support system for the family.
They are also responsible for making the generations go forward by bearing the offspring of the family. Meanwhile, a man should head out to the world and face the challenges and make a living. They should also provide for the whole family and bring food to the plate. What this toxic thought process does is that it empowers men to think that they have a sense of ownership over their female counterparts. It is not uncommon to hear statements like women should always be accompanied by a man whenever they head out of the house.
They also should take 'permission before engaging in any activity. This might sound ridiculous in the present scenario but there are still certain sections of the society that believe it. The second important reason is the male ego that cannot take 'no' for an answer. Multiple incidents have been reported that says that when a guy was not given what they intended to get from a girl, they turned aggressive towards them and planned to rape them. This transgressional type of mentality again has its core origin in the upbringing itself. These and a few other reasons amalgamate together and become the prime cause of rape still existing in almost every nook and corner of the country.
You must have even heard of the Kathua Rape case. A girl, as small as 8 years old was raped and murdered by a group of men. The motive behind it was to strike fear into the hearts of a certain tribe. This is the level to which humanity has stooped down to. It further goes on to prove the fact that the age of a girl is not a factor for rape. Even kids and elderly women are not spared. Even when you look at the case of Dr. Priyanka Reddy, a veterinarian who was gang-raped and burned alive by therapists, you realize the extent to which a human being can stoop in order to get what they want.
There have been various discussions about what steps should be taken to stop this kind of atrocities on women and ensure their safety. Many have pleaded the Central Government to take strict and stern action against the guilty, with nothing less than a death penalty is sufficient. Some have even suggested that the police department take matters in their own hands and make the decision regarding the same.
The people forming the government are voted by us only and during these crucial times, we all expect the people in power to take some action towards women's safety or at least be careful while saying anything about these cases. Instead, they turn out to be justifying the sexual harassment with their weird and clueless reasons even as a few simply choose responsible the victims. When you read them, you tend to feel that they do not have a brain to think. The audacity of the statements is sure to infuriate you to no extent.
Read these justifications given by our politicians on what causes rapes:
"Nobody rapes deliberately, such incidents are just an accident." - Ramsewak Paikra, Former Home Minister of Chhattisgarh. This casual tone of speaking is a huge reflection of how rape is perceived by many. What he is labeling as an accident has the potential to destroy one's life and make them spiral down a cliff of depression and societal shunning. That is only applicable when the rape victim actually survives. These so-called accidents extrapolate to murder more often than not these days. Some believe it is because of the fact that rapists now think that the chances of getting caught are more. The only way of avoiding that is to keep no trace of it. Even while writing about it, I feel ashamed to think that people do think in this particular manner. However, these are the true facts that are being stated.
“Did Nirbhaya really have to go and watch a movie at 11 PM in the night with her friend? Take the Shakti-Mills gang rape case. Why did the victim go to such an isolated spot at 6 PM?” - Asha Mirje, NCP Women Leader. This is again a very good reflection of how people look at rape victims. There has been a rampant opinion that if women are out of their place of abode at night, especially with someone from the opposite sex, they are instigating the men to resort to rape. The female gender should know about their timing restrictions and stay within the confined areas in order to avoid the devil from waking up. What is even more surprising is that this statement came from a female political leader itself.
It is really saddening that there are women who actually support this theory. There has been a major shift of the pendulum of late and more and more women are engaged in an occupation that demands them to leave their houses even at the wee hours. A respectable society commands that the safety of women is given its due importance even during these late-night hours, instead of brandishing them of committing some kind of mistake. This is one of the most narrow-minded viewpoints that was expressed regarding the Nirbhaya rape case that happened in New Delhi.
“Just because the country attained independence at midnight, is it proper for women moving at midnight?” - Bosta Satyanarayana, Andhra Pradesh Congress Leader. This sounds like a sarcastic jibe at the whole female gender and is an extrapolation of the points mentioned previously. The comment is laced with a sexist slur and demeans women to a large extent. It is further aimed at keeping them under the shackles and prejudices of the society by restricting them from heading out to the streets whenever they want or need.
“Boys will be boys… they sometimes make mistakes. Girls develop a friendship with boys first. When there are differences between them, the girls level rape charges. Boys commit mistakes. Should they be hanged for rape?” - Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party Chief. This statement looks to totally turn the tables and make the girls look like the culprit behind rape itself. Mulayam Singh Yadav is one of the senior-most politicians in the country. He is of the opinion that when the initiation of friendship is done by a girl and then there is a difference in opinion, rape takes place. The crime is not big enough for boys to get hanged for it. It can be compared to a mere mistake.
"Any woman if, whether married or unmarried, goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged." - Samajwadi Party Leader. This statement is very confusing and very contradictory in itself. Making sense out of it is almost impossible. The leader basically says that if a woman 'goes' somewhere, for whatever reason, killing them is the only solution as there will no rape once they are dead. It is impossible to even comment on this.
"Girls should be married at the age of 16, so that they have their husbands for their sexual needs, and they don’t need to go elsewhere” - Om Prakash Chautala, former Chief Minister of Haryana. Child marriage has been a pressing issue in the northern states of India and the Chief Minister just released a statement supporting it. At a time when it is being fought against vehemently to ensure that even girls have enough chances in life, child marriage is definitely not an option anymore. Moreover, he claims that the reason it should be allowed is that that would be an outlet for the sexual desires of the husband.
Once that is satisfied, they would not have to head out to look for the fulfillment of their needs and thus, there will be no rape. This comment is derogatory and inappropriate to the highest level. A Chief Minister is the highest ministerial position held in the State Government and it coming from his mouth makes it all the more cringe-worthy.
“Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts.” - Jitender Chhatar, Haryana Khap Panchayat Leader. A weird biological connection between eating habits and rape has been established here. This is an extension of the point that most of the ministers in India do not even have the minimum basic education and they are given the responsibility to run a nation. It looks like he has a personal agenda against Chinese food mainly, in the form of chowmein. Maybe, it has some nationalist connotation as well as he is being overly-critical about anything that is not related to our country.
If we start believing our politicians, then everything from food to our behavior and the clothes we wear is the main cause of rape. And if we really want to avoid them, according to them, there’s a simple solution, we must stay in our homes and should not go out without a so-called “male protector”. Women have proven time and again that they are as good as men, maybe even better, in almost all spheres of life. They can sustain themselves if given the respect and the opportunity to do so.
A nation can only progress when there is a significant contribution from all sectors of society and women form a large part of it. However, crimes like rape expose the reality of the situation in India. What these incidents do is strike fear into the hearts of the girls and their families. They will not be allowed to head out after dark or relocate to some other state to work and earn their livelihood. They will have a constant fear in their minds of being harassed, molested, raped and killed. This can set India backward by many steps, especially during a time when transitioning from a developing to a developed nation is being given a lot of priority by the government.
However, the irony of the fact is that the people who run this government, either central or state, have been passing such questionable remarks about rape, it seems like we are far far away from that progress even now. There has to be a change in the way of thinking at the administrative level for any considerable changes in the body of law. This is because there is no denying the fact that unless stricter laws and policies with respect to rape are framed, this dastardly act will continue happening again and again.