India today in all its glory shine on being tagged as the ‘Rape Capital of the World’.
In addition to the joy, according to a 2018 Thomson Reuters Foundation report, India is the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman.
An Indian man committed rape every 16 minutes in 2019.
According to the 2019 annual report of the National Crime Records Bureau, 32033 rape cases were registered across the country while 71% of the rape cases go unreported. And the conviction rate of rapists is 26% only.
Hence the tag ‘Rape Capital of the World’ is accurately justified.
Now the question narrows down to why rape and who do we blame?
Some say its patriarchy, some blame the government, some question the upbringing of a man, and some point out the inefficiency of the judiciary system.
Another genius section of the people blames the victim herself. The victim has to answer a list of the questionnaire: what was she wearing, what was she doing there at night, whether she was under alcohol influence, if she signaled her rapist or if she was out with her boyfriend rather than questioning the perpetrator.
What an irony!
A month-old baby is being raped, a minor girl of 8 years is raped. Is it because she was wearing revealing clothes? Was she out with her lover at night?
Women are objectified and commodified as a sex object.
The basic and most relevant example is the commercial advertisements advertising a product wherein a woman’s thighs, chest, breast, lips are the core subject of focus with cameras particularly zooming in and the product becomes secondary. Gone are the days when we heard/read of child rape, gang rape, marital rape in television, and books. It has now penetrated into our society with great intensity.
The fear of being judged by society, the fear of humiliation, the fear of not finding a suitable mate for marriage, and the so called ‘izzat’ that we Indians bow to are some reasons that give birth to more rapist.
Also, the lack of strict implementation of the law, the loopholes on the part of the police, the political influences, nepotism, bribery, lack of sex education at the grass-root level, lack of guidance at home, are other reasons that give a push to such crime like rape.
An Indian politician once made a statement, “boys will be boys, they commit mistakes”.
Another politician who is a woman herself says, “Rapes happen because men and women interact freely”. A Khap Panchayat leader remarks that the intake of chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in sexual acts. These statements need no explanation and are worth the applause.
When our own leaders who lead us and custodians have such sickening thoughts, where is the safety of women? Who do women run to in times of distress? Is India really a democratic country? Is ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ applicable?
India has been enjoying independence since the past 73 years now yet women’s safety and freedom of speech and expression seems a far cry. It has set off on a voyage to make a place for itself in the list of developed countries but with its undying rape culture and the violence excruciated against women, it is just another daydream.
What amuses me the most is the concept of a girl child being a burden yet men come to women for quenching their sexual thirsts.
Misogyny is traditional and deeply rooted in the minds of the great Indians.
In no time, India will be globally acclaimed for its rape culture and our heads will hang in shame.
There is no book, no document, no law in the world which states that a man can exert their power on a woman and they can glorify their masculinity by rapping or mistreating women.
What do men boast about?
Indeed, Taslima Nasreen is not wrong when she says there’s 'no country for women', especially not India.
So, let’s teach our sons, brothers, uncles, and male friends about humanity, equality, and equity instead of handing out the dos and don’ts manual to the girls.
Let’s tell our men about the worth of women because he himself came through a woman.
Let’s dissolve the wrong notions and the stereotyping of the ‘ideal woman’.
Let’s keep aside the India-Pakistan issue, BJP-Congress race, Hindu-Muslim riots for now, and shift our focus towards SAFE INDIA FOR WOMEN.
Let’s not wait for another rape, for another mass protest.
The time is now and we are the agents of change.
Today it might be someone else but who knows if it’s you or your loved one tomorrow.