‘The Delhi Gang Rape’ is now a phrase used commonly used in Indian households, referring to the shocking gang-rape of a 23-year-old medical student by 6 men in a private bus, on December 16.
There’s a 25% jump in assault cases just in the past 6 years, 17% in NCR alone. Everyday the newspapers reports of rapes of 18 years olds, 14, 12 and even 2 year olds. By strangers, relatives; sometimes even their own fathers.
To be frank, it’s nothing new. Rape and crimes against women have gone on rampantly all over India, perhaps many cases worse than this one.
But this was special. It has led the youth of India to initiate a social reform. To show their utter disapproval of the ways women are treated in this country. To show how crudely rape and sexual assault laws are formulated and implemented.
But why does this happen?
The reasons are not as simple as they seem.
The human race has prospered mainly due to campaigns and schemes to gain power. And rape is also, one such way to do so.
Most in India and perhaps elsewhere view rape as an act done for pleasure. On the contrary, it is man’s ultimate way of proclaiming his dominion over the other gender. As crass as it may sound, this seems only rational. No one would assault a 2-year-old looking for pleasure.
India is caught between the cross-roads of traditionalism and modernism.
While more women are getting emancipated, there are the remnants of the old order who really cannot digest the fact that women can be equal to them. To them, you’re a woman only if you clad yourself in a saree, make their porridge and produce their children. The rest are mutants, and need to be subjugated.
1950 was an easier time. The society collectively believed (or were led to believe) in the traditional way of life. Women were goddesses and kept on a pedestal. Women did not complain about their individuality, because that was against the society.
2012 is dynamic. Today’s youth question; they analyse and rationalise.
When the law-makers are still stuck in the 50s, the mindset is also bound to still be the same. Thus, if you get assaulted, it’s not because of the man, it’s invariably because you’re loose and/or a liar. The accusations levied on the victim range from outrageous to just out-right bizarre.
The dented and painted kind have no place in India. The political class of our land condemns the women for their ‘misfortune’, labeling rape victims as ‘sex workers’.
And even when the cases are registered, the law-enforcers verbally rape the victim, asking her to recount vividly the ordeal she went through and finally deciding that she should marry the accused and not file a case.
Yes. This is justice in India.
Are these revolts and protests of any use?
They should be. That’s the hope. The problem with us, is that our attention span is, for important issues, lower than a goldfish’s. If SRK and Salman decide to do the Gangnam style with only their undergarments and socks, we just may forget about this whole mess.
Join the cause, in your own way. Write, tweet, share, join the local protests. It’s time men shed the superiority complex they have over women and just start respecting them as a human being.
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Today, the 23-year old woman succumbed to her injuries in Singapore. The Nation is outraged. The Nation condemns and protests. The Nation cries.
When our electoral representative do not care, when our police bats a blind eye, when our judiciary is pre-historic and when our society is rigid, it’d take something huge to cause that much reform. That ‘something’ has happened.
The fire has begun. But will it be sustained?
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