Earlier, I’d written about -“”Amanat- India’s daughter””- who was brutally raped on the night of 16 December 2012. Since then the number of rape cases and violent attacks against women in the country have increased. It seems that the protests and the candle-light march were vain initiatives because the situation remains the same. Plus, in every period women have been subjected to inferior treatment and sexual harassment.
Lately the daily news have been flooded with articles related to heinous crimes against -””females””- of possibly all age groups. Articles of such a kind are an invariable feature of the daily news in India which only reinforces the fact that -“”girls have to pay a price for being girls””-. There are numerous incidents of which I will be mentioning some. As a starter I’ll begin with the 5 year old girl who was raped just a couple of days back in Ghansaur by a 35 year old man. According to reports, foreign objects were inserted in her private parts and she was fighting for life in a hospital in Nagpur for two weeks but was unsuccessful. The kid died. She has left all of us behind and I am sure she is happy and safe up there with the gods.
Coming to the main course, a mother and a daughter were gang raped in Bihar in revenge because the mother did not tell those six rapists where her missing son was. Then, an Australian faced a life sentence for raping and killing an Indian student. According to Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, ‘While other young men of his (accused Daniel Stani Reginald’s) age were going to college or learning a trade, Mr Reginald “made a deliberate decision to school himself on how to become a serial rapist and a murder.’
There is a bit for dessert as well. Other than rape there are yet other instances of violence against women. A woman in Punjab was beaten up by the police after she complained of sexual harassment and a few days ago a teacher was sent to jail for trying to have sexual contact with a minor.
The question that arises is, what are the causes for such painful and socially unacceptable incidents? The biggest reason is -“”respect””-. Neha Sharma, who is busy promoting her upcoming film Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 is upset about the increasing crime against women in the country. Citing the example of the 5 year old, Neha claimed that men should be trained to respect women. She feels that education is important and everything begins at home. -“”Parents should openly talk to children about sex as we come from an orthodox society, said Neha. It’s not just the way to stop crime, but it will help people defend crime. Men should be taught to respect women. India would be a better place if men start respecting women and I am hoping it will soon change. We need to talk about our issues with the children and educate them,””- concluded Neha. In my view talking with children will make them more aware and they will understand what is right and what is wrong for them.
Another major reason is lack of homes or infrastructure. If there were more homes then so many daughters of India would be much safer than they actually are. Girls are not safe in public places. The government must launch a project where more and more houses are built which shall be accommodated by women. There are societal factors as well, such as: laws and social values or norms which should be much more stringent; the physical and social environment; the rape culture; the sex industry and rape; global trends and economic factors.
Out of all these causes I will be discussing two in detail. The first cause I take up is sex industry and rape. The relation between the sex industry (pornography, prostitution, etc.) and rape has been argued upon at various forums. A few theorists charge that the acceptance of these sexual practices increases sexual violence against women. The second cause that I am taking up is global trends and economic factors. Under this, many of the factors operating at a national level have an international dimension as well. Global trends, for instance towards free trade, have been accompanied by an increment in the movement of women and girls for labour, including for sex work. These causes apply to India as well as foreign countries. The last cause that I would mention is -“music”-. Just a few months back Indian rapper Honey Singh was penalised for the songs he sang because the Supreme Court felt that his songs instigated sexual violence.
As far as the animal like behaviour of police inspectors is concerned the only thing they must realise is that they are suppose to protect the citizens and not beat them. And that they should do their work with utmost sincerity.
Finally, we come to the last level, i.e. solutions. Just like the causes they are innumerable as well but I shall be mentioning a few of them. Mihira Sood, an advocate, says that rape exists due to a patriarchal society and can only be reduced with a systematic social change and legal reforms. Tripid Pais, also an advocate has a similar take on this. Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer, encourages gender sensitisation.
I believe that the best solution to this problem is -“”women””- themselves. They must fight back courageously. Moreover, they must carry a knife or red chilli powder for self defence as in when needed.
Wake up India! Fight against these crimes!