Rape- it is the greatest assault that can happen to the dignity of a woman, both physically and mentally. If rape is a social disease, then the society seems to find no permanent cure. Rape is a much sensitive issue and often people’s anger get misplaced in the heat of the argument. Instead of evaluating why the society collectively fails to stop this malice, Indians are quick to point their accusing fingers on each other. The society blames the government for not having strict laws in place. The government blames the society for not changing its mindset. The victim is blamed for either wearing provocative dress or staying out late at night and girls defend themselves by mentioning that it is their freedom to live their life the way they like. In this tug-of-war there are no clear winners.
It is natural to blame the government for rape. However, blaming the government alone cannot free us from our duties. Rape is always a complex crime to prove. It is generally believed that a rape victim sustains certain degrees of injuries when she tries to defend herself. With the victim bearing injuries, it is easy to prove the crime. The situation becomes complex when an unconscious girl is raped or when a conscious girl is raped by putting a knife around her neck. In both the cases, it is difficult to prove whether she was raped or if it was a consensual relationship. Whatever be the truth is, rape cases often drag for long in courtrooms (especially in the absence of any eye witnesses) because of the very nature of our faulty Law and Enforcement System. Without making undue haste, it is government’s duty to ensure justice to the victim.
Of late, it has become a trend to call India the most unsafe nation for women in the world. However, Data strongly refutes this argument. There is nothing to prove that India is the most unsafe country in this world. India is as much safe for women as any other first grade developing nation. Women in India aren’t 100% safe. Similarly, women in India aren’t 100% unsafe, too.
If we study the reports of the National Crime Research Bureau (NCRB), the crimes-against-women have subsequently decreased. India has seen 3.1% decrease in crime against women in 2015.
In 2015, the number of rape cases reduced by 5.7%. How did this reduction in rape and crime against women happen? The simple answer is “introspection”.
When the nation, the society, the Law and Enforcement System, and most importantly, the people take on the course self-evaluation, any crime is bound to reduce. It was this introspection, which inspired the Madhya Pradesh government to approve a bill in 2016 that demanded death penalty to culprits convicted of raping girls aged 12 or below. Yesterday, on December 4th 2016, the Madhya Pradesh Assembly passed the historic bill and became the first state to do so.
Introspection is not the duty of the government only. As a society, we need to understand our duties too. Government asks the society and the people to change their mindset too. Changing mindset is not a one-day process. I am a 32 year old male. If I become a father of a son today, I will teach him to respect women. I will teach him to not abuse/disrespect/humiliate girls. I will teach him to not discriminate girls. Now, my teachings will bear fruit at least after 16-17 years from now when he reaches puberty or when he becomes an adult. Thus, the mindset of the society changes with generations and generations need approximately 20 long years to bear the fruit.
One of very frequently quoted quotes in India – “Why only ask your daughters to travel safely? Ask your sons to respect women, too”. I highly appreciate this great thought. But, there is an alternate view too. I most certainly will teach my son to respect women. But I am not sure if my neighbor is teaching his son the same lesson as well? His son could grow into a potential rapist. Hence, I won’t be mistaken to suggest my daughter to take precautions as well?
If I ever have a daughter, I would ask her to travel safely instead of locking herself in a room because some BBC documentary claimed that India is not safe for women. I would suggest her tips with which she could evade possible insecurity- like not traveling in a car with three drunk men, or not going out on a long drive at night with someone you hardly know. If case of rape, the best the Government or the Law and Enforcement System can do is to give the victim the justice. However, nobody can undo the pain or humiliation she faced. Staying cautious is a common sense.
Kiron Kher talked about same precautions when she said– “Bachi ki samajhdaari ko bhi main thoda sa kehna chahti hun, saari bachiyon ko. ki already jab koi teen aadmi baithe hue hain uske andar… to aapko usme bethna nahi chadhna chaeye tha. I am saying this to protect the girls”.
Netizens lashed out at Kirron Kher by calling her statement a victim blaming, they comfortably ignored that Kirron Kher also said that it was necessary that people should educate their boys to prevent such crimes, but at the same time, girls too should be alert and aware.
Kirron Kher has been at the receiving end of the liberal cabal. These are some of the gems published by the media and the new boutique media wherein they urge Kirron Kher from momsplaining and refrain from being the next door aunty.
Kirron Kher’s statement was quite genuine, which shows her concern for women-safety unlike Mamata Banerjee who the Park Street rape victim a liar and her party leaders accused her of prostitution or Mulayam Singh Yadav who said that young boys do rapes by mistake.
Rape does not always happen because some human wolf gets a hard-on. Neither rape happens due to clothes. Else, teachers of GD Birla School in Kolkata would not have raped a 4-year old student or the neighbors would not have gang raped an old woman. Generally, rape happens due to three major reasons:-
- Most of the rapists crave for sex in a demented way. It is the most common case.
- The rapist believes that by raping the victim, he can strike or humiliate her or her relatives. In many cases, revenge or anger is the primal reason.
- The rapist gets the deranged pleasure of inflicting pain and sexual assault and humiliation
Stopping rape is the duty of the whole society. We can’t cure this disease if we refrain from using common sense and taking preventive measures.