Saturday, 29 December 2012

Let's Kill the Rapists. But is it enough?

The headlines for today : Another brave girl dies.
I hope the girl's soul rests in peace, she went through a fate worse than hell, in the past few days. Living this life of pain and endless suffering would not be worth it. My heart goes out to her and her family. It is a cross they have to bear for the rest of their lives, for no fault of theirs.

Countless "protest marches" all over the country. The country mourns. People yelling slogans, lighting candles, politicians shedding fake tears, news channel crews going around asking people what do you want?

I have a problem. A problem with the freaking hypocrisy of it all.

Where have all of you been when countless women get tortured, raped and killed and it is merely termed as dalit atrocity. Where have you been when children as young as three and four get trafficked and sold. And raped over and over and over again. Where have you been when women, young and old are pushed into prostitution and forced by disgusting men who do what they please just because they have 'paid' for sex.

  Why do we need a certain class of society to get hurt before we react? We are creating a pattern here, every year something happens, hordes of people get out on the street, protest, yell vague slogans, light a candle and 20 days later we have moved on. In the end it is the family of the victim who is left with a big gaping hole that they will never ever be able to fill.
Today news channels are all over this story next week they will move on to something else. Oh and the politicians! A certain Mrs Gandhi makes a comment saying "I can understand sentiments because I am a mother." Isn't being human enough to understand sentiments! And where are her motherly feelings when young girls are murdered for dowry, for not being able to give birth to a son, for not obeying rules, when young girls are abused by their own fathers! A news channel said that Jaya Bachan was 'visibly' moved by what happened, when she looked like she was simply enacting a scene from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham!! Stop with the nonsensical drama!

If you really want to do something, move! Make stricter laws, they are necessary even though Strict laws will not deter all rapists, as I am sure they will come up with methods to get around the law. Now instead of only raping they will rape and kill and make sure that all evidence is properly wiped out!Make them anyway because impunity fuels crime. Bring out more fast track courts, make sure that the ones that are already present are functional. But it is still not enough. What we need is a change in mindset. Carry out mass sensitization programs, everywhere in the country. In offices, colleges, industrial units,rickshaw stands! Begin with crowds as young as school children.Teach children the importance of respect. Condition them to be equal human beings. Have talks that lead to consciousness raising, that make us human beings, so that we cannot ignore someone lying on the street in a battered condition. Have aid groups that women can contact in times of need, without the fear of being ridiculed or dismissed. Increase the visibility of such groups that already exist! The whole patriarchal set up has to change. It's a mammoth task. In the meanwhile teach girls to defend themselves.Now you may say, Of course one girl cannot defend herself against 6 crazy monsters, but the situation we are in today, even if a girl can defend herself against one monster it will give her a longer life.

A rape is rape. It is a disgusting, heinous crime against humanity. It is not a sexual act, it is not an act of aggression  It is a clear signal sent out by patriarchy. A siren meant to keep women in their place. There is a century of conditioning that goes into making a society believe that it must control its women. That women have to be kept in their place, taught a lesson. You can yell hoarse saying we want justice but no true justice is going to come about unless there is a change in the mindset. Unless there is a change in the conditioning. Patriarchy has a context to it. It is not something that comes about one fine day when six men decide to go mutilate and kill a girl. It is important that we understand this context.

Why do I get a feeling that half the people out there protesting on the streets have no idea what they want. We want justice? What justice and for whom? Meted out by whom? We live in a society strictly governed by laws made by men for the benefit of men. These men who are conditioned in a patriarchy to think in a certain way will make the laws... when we get past this stage, if we ever do, another group of men trained in the same way are meant to execute the laws! How is it ever going to work? How can we ever cure the disease if  we only tackle the symptoms? And here by men I don't mean "male members" there are endless number of women who are conditioned in the same way, who believe that women get raped because they "asked for it".
So we can yell slogans all we want, light candles and march but nothing is going to change till there is a deeper questioning. All this makes us feel like we are part if something bigger, we feel like we have done something, which I agree is better than doing nothing, but is it enough? How many of us are going to change our new years plans? In two days we will welcome the new year, and soon this girl, this incident will be "something that happened last year." The only lives ruined will be that of her family and friends, they will have to live the reality of their lives while we will go on with the reality of ours.

All I am saying is that next time before you you light a candle in her memory, just take a moment and think Is this enough?

1 comment:

  1. I think the root of the problem lies in India's preference for sons over daughters, which leads to killing ofthe girl child in the womb; this leads to more number of boys than girls, causing deprivation and eventually leading to crime against women.