It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
I often wear jeans and t-shirts to my work place. I also enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage and the company of my friends, many of whom happen to be male. The sheer blasphemy of this statement, it seems, makes me entirely deserving of sexual assault. Now take that sufficiently piqued curiosity and read on.
Rape in India is never treated with the iron fist sexual assaults deserve to be (and are) treated with in most other developed countries. Just like so many other despicable crimes that occur far too frequently in our lurid subcontinent, the sheer numbers of the crime have made it seem almost commonplace but trust our politicians to use it as a tool to further their own astucious reputations every time a sensational rape hits the news. Which, I might add, is rather often these days.
However, being the eternal optimist that I am here's an attempt to look at the silver lining in this very grey cloud. At least the political puppets have brought another element into this whole situation—humour. Yes, you read that right and I have the proof to back it up. Here are some of our very own politicians and bureaucrats on what is causing the recent increase in rape cases. Then keep in mind that we're a democracy and we're partly responsible for their power anyway. Then feel very, very bad about yourself. But before that, have a laugh at their assinine expense.
Mamata Banerjee: It pains me to see a woman on this list but dear old 'didi' is the latest to jump on the 'Let's come up with illogical reasons for rape' bandwagon. Somewhat akin to a banshee, she didn't have many redeeming qualities in the first place. Now she has even less.
Apparently, 'rapes happen because men and women interact far more freely nowadays.' This only came after she took a swipe at media outlets for 'glorifying rape cases to show the administration in a bad light.' Hmm, and here we thought narcissists were usually good-looking to begin with at least.
Either way, considering she's so deeply immersed in what many would call a man's world, she should have been raped a fair few times by virtue of her own logic.
Dharamvir Goyal: 19 rapes in one month is no laughing matter. The young men of Haryana clearly have some kind of bone to pick (no pun intended) with their women and almost seem to regard raping as 'their right.' Unfortunately people like Mr. Goyal, a Congress politician of the Haryana constituency, is convinced that '90% of all rapes are consensual.' Someone needs to buy this man a Merriam-Webbster and show him the definition of the word. We're pretty sure 'consent' doesn't feature anywhere in there.
He too then went on to slam the media for 'blowing the rape issue out of proportion.'
Om Prakash Chautala: Meet the ex Chief Minister of Haryana. A state which seems to have made rape into a rather lucrative business. When Khap (panchayat) leaders in the state came up with the rather bizarre solution of marrying off their women as soon as they hit puberty (15 and younger) to prevent the recent spate of rapes, Chautala gave them his full support.
His exact words were "We should learn from the past... especially in Mughal era, people used to marry their girls to save them from Mughal atrocities and currently a similar situation is arising in the state. I think that's the reason khap has taken such a decision and I support it."
Wise words indeed but there's only one problem with that logic. What about the babies as young as three and four being victimised by the same crime? Perhaps we should just marry off our foetus' while they're still in the womb.
Khap Leader: This one's my favourite. Meet Jitender Chhatar. A resident of Jind's Chhatar village and Khap panchayat leader, he recently came up with his own novel explanation for rape—chowmein!
"To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance, evoking an urge to indulge in such acts."
Tsk tsk chowmein, you naughty ingredient you. As for you Mr. Chhatar, we have no doubt that you'll end up as PM of this progressive country some day.
The Delhi Police: And finally we have these wonderful men of the cloth. Those valiant law-enforcing citizens who are here to protect and serve us, the lowly commoners and rape victims. Tehelka did a brilliant and shocking expose of their actual thoughts on the crime. There are far too many quotes and disgusting members of the police force to name over here so here's a fair summarisation of the same:
- "All the women today are asking for it. They're not covering themselves fully. Heck, they're even leaving their dupatta at home!"
- "When these women are not covered from head to toe, she wants men to rape her."
- "When a man drinks, he will naturally turn into a sex-crazed neanderthal, incapable of controlling himself. When a woman drinks, she is (obviously) a slut looking to get raped. Conclusively, women should not drink and she shouldn't place herself in the company of men who do either."
- A girl deserves rape if her mother is a 'slut.' Now this one is getting a name and a quote because he deserves to be known. Ram Malik's justification for the rape of a minor was simple and straightforward, "The girl’s mother is divorced. She’s living with another man from the Yadav community. It’s inevitable the two daughters will be wayward, isn’t it?”
- And finally, according to esteemed police officer Yogender Singh Tomar, most rape cases are mere business dealings. Why? Because if you were 'really' raped, you would never complain for fear of media and society impressions while if you do, you were not really raped.
Ok, this isn't funny anymore.
We have so many popular catchphrases that attempt to capture the essence of this country. 'New' India we're quick to be branded or 'India Shining.' A rising powerhouse and a progressive nation in the eyes of the world we've supposedly come a 'long way.' Well, it only takes a peek at its horrifically convoluted underbelly to understand the truth of the situation—we're living in a bubble. And it's time that bubble was popped. For all our claims of progression, the truth is we're nothing but a Darwinian nation if we can't even protect our women from such grossly backward ideologies or horrendous crimes.
To all the women reading this article, know that in this country by virtue of all the accounts provided by our own leaders, you pretty much deserve to be raped. And to all the men—specifically the self-entitled rapists out there—you pretty much have a license to do so.
A potential rape victim.
P.S. - Tehelka's powerful expose on 'The Anatomy Of A Rape' deserves a read. You can do so here.
Editors Note: This story initially appeared on Guylife two months ago. We cannot offer any easy solutions and do not wish to pander to the mob mentality that has gripped the country following the rape and torture of the 23-year-old medical student in Delhi. However, a curspry glance through this glance is enough to point out how badly we need to change out attitude to such a heinour crime. — Priyanko Sarkar (20/12/12)
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