January 15, 2013

On Rape - Delhi & India



Image Courtesy - Socialism.in


I have been meaning to write about this for a long time. Somehow I just couldn’t do it. When I read first about the Delhi rape case I was angry and disgusted. Throughout the protests that were held by people to the response by dignitaries including the PM – a lot went through my mind however try as I may I just can't shake off the anger, disgust and an utter sense of helplessness. Its been going on for some time. Every time you open a newspaper or switch to a newschannel, you will come across a new rape incident. Age or Location of the victim doesn’t matter. She could be a 1 year old child or a 50 year old woman. The rapist could be known to her – a neighbor or even a relative or he could be a total stranger. Even when the people were protesting, there was news of more rape cases. Infact, anytime I open the paper or read a news site online or even watch TV, a new rape case comes to light.

I sincerely hope that the agitation and protests that have commenced after Jyoti’s rape continue till the time there is a change in our laws and system and yield positive results. However, change of law is one thing and implementation is another. Believing in the law enforcers is hardly an option today. On some level, we can’t blame them because overall as a nation, its we who form the law makers, law enforcers and the govt; so if there is a rot in society – these sections will rot too. Change has to come from within. Here are 2 things on which we need to concentrate to bring about a change – Respect and Security

 Respect

India is a country of contradictions. Almost every religion puts women on a high pedestal:-

  •     Gruhlaxmi (goddess of home), Rakshbandhan (bond between brother and sister) – Hinduism
  •     Mother Mary – Christianity
  •     Heaven in the feet of Mom – Islam

We are a country deeply rooted in our religious affliations and follow our religious principles to the book, however when it comes to women – somehow these references are forgotten. Women are killed in the womb or after birth, beaten up, burned, molested, abused and, or raped. Here are somethings that we can do to improve this situation:-

  1. Stress on Importance of Women in Religious Meetings/Discussions – Growing up, we learn religious values from parents, relatives, religious leaders/teachers or institutes. It becomes imperative that these teachers stress on the importance of women in our lives while teaching us religion.The references in religion to women and their importance is shared and highlighted.
  2. Value Education in Schools – Bring back value education to schools. Overall, respect and morality is dipping. Maybe a reason for this is that we hear more of bad things than good today. When I was in school, there was a subject known as Moral Science, somehow as I grew older it disappeared from the school syllabi. I doubt if its even taught anymore. Either ways, this subject should be mandatory in all schools. No, lets not make it mandatory to pass and have exams on it but atleast structure it in such a way that students enjoy it and learn from it.
  3. Respect Women at Home – This is a responsibility that men need to assume more than women. They need to respect their wives, gfs, sisters, mothers and daughters, an absolute stranger, and co-worker or boss who is a woman. Women also need to respect other women especially their daughter-in-laws.

Security

Security situation in this country is out of hand. Law enforcement forces lack empathy and zeal and incase of judiciary – the importance of punishing people on time. Perhaps, they are short-handed, underpaid, demotivated or simply callous. Whatever, be the case, point is we can’t rely on them. Either we need to be motivated ourselves to join them or come up with our own devices. Here are a few suggestions for individuals who don’t or can’t become a part of law enforcement agencies:-

  1. Form Security Communities – Like minded neighbours can come together and form ‘neighbourhood watch’ communities. While, this is probably the most difficult thing to do, considering we are all so busy with our lives,but its time to take matters in our own hands. Time to go back to the community and build positive leadership in the same.
  2. Self Defense Techniques – Every woman needs to invest in self defense classes. We need to impart this knowledge to girls from a young age. Not only will it make them fit but build their confidence and prepare them to handle a sexual assault. A single person cannot obviously fight a gang but atleast individual  rapes can be prevented.
  3. Move in Groups – If you are travelling out late, try and move about in groups. Its not always possible but try it as much as possible
I know these are not full-proof solutions, especially since the problem is so out of proportion. But we can try, small steps can lead to big changes with time.

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