By now you must be acquainted with the title that Delhi has i.e "Rape Capital of India". Its a name tag which even the most die hard lover of Delhi cannot deny. What, with a rape a day being so common that it is shuffled to some obscure corner of the city page that only the sensational ones (sensationalism being defined by a very brutal/psychopathic injury or a unique modus operandi) get reported in the main news. The victims are mostly from the following categories: residents of slum clusters, college students and believe it or not minor girls.
Initially I had the thought that this too was like some of the one-off incidents that used to occur in bangalore. but soon faced with a deluge of such news, i had to do a quick rethink. the rapists also fit a common profile: they are either some petty gangsters who find their 'peace-time' outlets by unleashing sexual violence or they are people whom the victim knew pretty well.
Generally what I have observed is that a majority of the people here are perverted. They ogle at women and devour them with their eyes. (please note, this is very much different from the natural youthful curiosity towards the female of the species..don't confuse the two). Lewd comments being passed are very common. You will note this specially in buses. It stops at the stage of words and desires when the guy does not have the means to unleash his sexual urge. But imagine the same happening in the mind of a pervert who has the means, courage and the momentary lapse of reason to commit the act!!! Get the picture?
The reaction to this has been on expected lines..reactionary and as inhuman as the crime. Suggestions like castrate the rapist, ban the influx of migrants to the city, open a full fledged brothel on the lines of kamathipur (bombay) or Sona kachi (calcutta) have been floating around. and of course the opportunistic bastards, the Shiv Sena have issued statements like 'let the females not wear clothes other than the sari/salwar kameez'. my dear fellows, most of the atrocities have been on sari/salwaar clad females, please don't forget that.
My take on the issue is that none of these will be as effective as a moral overhaul of the society. More so an overhaul of the male half. As a society we need to grow up and move towards a state of mind wherein the female is not seen as an object of desire or someone whose function is to extend the family tree. Instead we need to adopt the thinking on the basis of "Ardhanaareeshwar" (the male and female halfs merged in one) form of Lord Shiva. The statement of that form is simple : "male is incomplete without the female and the female is incomplete without the male..each needs to respect the other...only then is a harmonious existence possible". Time for a few lesons in morals perhaps?
concluding remarks: i have used the case of delhi in particular because its the most visible face of the rape Demon in India. But there are other instances too where rape has been used as a weapon ex: the Gujarat riots, the partition, the Imrana case etc........
All our tech/cultural advancement will be brought to nought if the female half of our society is treated the way we are doing now. Initiative must come from within. This also applies to the women organisations like AIDWA which is mostly comprised of high society ladies who merely make speeches and organise protest marches on some days.
We also need to redefine our definition of progress of females. Just because there is a Sulajja Firodia Motwani or a Naina Kidwai occupying the CEO's post, it does not mean that the cause of women in India has improved. Its only when females like Imrana or the rape victims in Delhi are able to move about freely at any time of the day alone without any fear of being molested, thats when the lot of women would have improved.