Every day I open the news paper and see reports of rapes or gang rapes splashed across the front page. Then as I scroll down to the comments section I am stupefied by the stupidity that goes on by the name of debate. There is a broad spectrum of culprits that are responsible for the rape, starting from A for America to Z for TV with only one notable exception, R for the rapist himself. I am sure some Psychologists may be blaming the rape on the fact that during his childhood the rapist was deprived of his mother’s milk or the act of sucking. However the excuse that takes the cake is the one thrown by the majority that the skimpy clothes worn by females provoke men to rape. They tend to forget that in rape cases even the law (which most of the time justifies comparison with an ass) puts the onus on the accused to prove his innocence. All extraneous factors should be used in determining the punishment and not in the establishment of guilt.
All this leads me to believe that the Indian male is not mature enough to handle the sensuality of the fairer sex. If a girl smiles at us we think she is in love with us. If she talks freely we think she is going to bed with us. How pathetic. Of course there is a small minority that opposes all this but even this minority blames social conditions more than the culprit. Some of the reasons put up are the upbringing that encourages the view on women as objects of desire and also social conditioning. While in some cases this might be applicable, in a majority of cases it is the fact that the perpetrator is plain evil. The average Indian male, because of the non interaction with females outside his family circle, views them as
- ‘Devi’ or goddess aka Mom. This worshipping attitude is a lifetime one except in cases when the mother refuses to sign papers hypothecating property against loans.
- ‘Devi in the making’ aka daughter/sister. But we have a license to kill them if they indulge in the ‘not so devi like’ behaviour of falling in love with someone we do not approve of.
- The domestic slave aka wife. Of course we hypnotise her into believing that she is a Goddess and not a slave.
What is the solution? There has to be a change in attitude. How do we bring about the change? Education is one of the obvious answers. A philosopher once said, “We are all born ignorant not stupid. Education makes us stupid.” There is no doubt he had in mind the kind of education that is imparted in India.
The fundamental thought to be ingrained is that women are equal to men. They might be different in physical attributes but are in no way inferior. There are no black and white distinctions such as a Devi and a slut but there are a whole lot of characteristics in between.
Of course, all this will only reduce the number of atrocities on women. These cannot be entirely eliminated because there are evil personae like Duryodhana from the Mahabharata who are evil just for the sake of being evil.