By this time you would have probably come across at least a few dozen articles on ‘Why do Rapes happen?’ and what can be done to prevent it. I don’t intend to write ‘yet another exhaustive article on a topic I’m afraid is turning into a cliché. What I intend, however is to present an analysis of all the opinions and ideas that everyone seems to be advocating and point out the fallacies in them. Right from the noble-hearted and change conscious genuine men/women with a true heart to see a change to the porn-watching corrupt laden netas everyone would to be advocating one or the other solution to this menace. While I absolutely have no issue with the former category of people , I perhaps would salute them for the efforts they are making , but what I find perturbing is the hypocritical nature of the latter.What is, even more, distressing is the nature of the comments made by some of the top leaders and other socially important features which expose their uninformed, biased and ‘out of touch with reality’ statements that makes no or little sense yet they brag that what they say is indeed true!
One such Babu blamed the ‘Westernization’ of our ‘Indian culture’ for such incidents.Really!?! Is it the westernization our culture that is to be blamed or the depravity of man kind?
An Indian myself I deeply respect the culture in which I’ve grown up and the value system that is in place but squarely blaming another culture for our moral failures is way too much of a generalization.Let’s first go on a quick ride to the past and dissect this culture of ours especially the flawed ones.
The stigma of casteism and child –marriages is well known to be an age-old Indian culture. For instance, let’s take the recent rape and killing of two cousins at Badaun ,UP.As far as I could see I don’t see any element of westernization in its culture.On the other hand, it’s one of the most Indianized (I wouldn’t call It conservative ) society where the stigma of casteism and male-chauvinism is still prevalent and let’s take the rape took place in Orissa which was orchestrated and authorized by the village Panchayat head and what is even more shocking is that the people who raped her were people she knew in her own locality whom she called as ‘brothers’ . Are these villages westernized too?
Just because these rapes happened in a society that happens to be Indian can we infer that the Indian culture is totally bad? No, not at all!! Nothing can be far from the truth than squarely placing the blame on a particular culture be it ‘Western’ or ‘Indian’.
Let me ask you another question.Do you think pornography is an evil? If your answer is yes, let me ask you another question (if your answer is no, no problem you can still continue to read ).Is the book ‘Kama Sutra an evil too? If your answer is no, aren’t you using a different yard stick for each of these, aren’t we suppose to measure them on the same scale. If you ask me why do I make such a fuss about it and call this book ‘an abomination ‘or something that isn’t good.Let me ask you something , why do we consider ‘Porn’ to be evil? isn’t it because it desacralized the nature of what sex is meant to be and undignifies the human body and exposes that which isn’t meant to be and exhibits that which is meant to be private and sacred. The only difference is that this book was written during a time when photography wasn’t invented otherwise had it been the present time it would have contained gross images of men and women which would be nothing short of ‘porn’. Did Western ideology influence the writer of ‘Kama Sutra’? Even as we ponder over it let me take you to another leaf in the history of India
There is a place called “Dohnavur’ in Tamil Nadu which is quite famous for the transformational story it produced.If you are someone from the south of TN you are perhaps more familiar with this place than me ,a Chennai. It’s said that before Amy Carmichael, a missionary came to Dohnavur there was wide-spread temple prostitution ,girls as young as 8 or 9 were sent or perhaps forced into those place well before the age they knew anything about sexual relationships to be temple prostitutes.What is even more ironic is that in most cases they were sent by their own parents all for money ,how pathetic and tragic!! .The ones who were meant to be their patron and guide became their antagonist! This white lady whose story you can read on Wikipedia stood against the society that threatened her when she tried to rescue these young girls and give them life. This is a story of a western ideal transforming a culture that was otherwise a corrupt eastern ideology that women are nothing but slaves to their men.
Let’s case the case of polygamy in India.In villages it’s still common to see a wealthy man having more than one wife, isn’t he cheating on these women by depriving them of what rightfully belongs to one, will such a person accept his wife if she has more than one husband, will he be willing to share his wife with another man,if not then how can he expect his wife to share him with other men. While the former case where a man is polygamous is always accepted as part of culture the latter isn’t .Aren’t we using double standards to describe what a marriage is and shouldn’t be? Then there is this issue of prostitution which pathetically is considered to be among the oldest profession, which was prevalent in India well before any other culture influenced it.
The Child marriage system an age-old practice, whose ramifications are unfathomable.Even before a boy or a girl understands what a marriage and much worse they are married off even before they attain puberty and as a result women especially ones married to much older men are subjected to brutality in other words these young girls are sold are sex-slaves under the pretext of marriage, I firmly believe many of them would have been subject to sexual harassment which may not never have surfaced since after all it’s her the husband who is doing this to her.
There are perhaps many such examples but I’ll stop with this last one. Most of us would have either/read and some might have even witnessed the evil called ‘Sati’ one of the sadistic practices where a widowed woman is cruelly burnt alive to death. Still some might know the role played by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in eradicating Sati, but few however would have known about the influence Lord William Bentinck and William Carey (both of them British citizens) had on his life and ideals.Here is an example of a western ideology influencing the Indian culture in a positive way, this isn’t of course to deny the ill-effects of west’s liberalization as much as the goodness of our very own culture. But in the end, isn’t culture man-made and influenced by the masses?
If you have begun to be impatient and are asking me ‘What is your point anyway?’ it’s quite simple, west or east, Las Vegas or Lahore, the depraved nature of man is universal and is at the core of the problem of evil (The issue of rape is one of its by-products). What is perhaps, even more, disturbing is the way we see our society at large. While, on hand there are numerous protests and slogans raised against rape and voices on how hanging the rapists /making stricter laws is the solution to the menace.I often wonder why barring a few voices, why is there not an out-cry against the objectifying of women (and sometimes men too though in a different way) on screen, pornography, portraying illicit and extra marital relationships as normal and acceptable, and why are few willing to address the inherent evil within us?
Movies these days, in order to increase their profit margin are resorting to the use of these so-called ‘Item Songs’ which in my language portrays the depraved and cheap-mentality of these movie makers.
Steven Spielberg -the director of ‘The Jurassic Park’ series once said that he would never take his kids to watch his movies (due to the perturbing violence in these movies) Wow! But how is that he allows the kids of millions around the world to watch them? Is he not being hypocritical where his only goal is to make money at any cost? I read an article on how a female actress who supposedly acted nude in a movie while being interviewed said that she lied to her parents when they asked if she did so, she had told them that it was her body double that acted in her stead, how ironic while at the same time she is embarrassed to let her parents know the nature of her job is willing to compromise on those values for the sake of money!!
It’s a known fact that movies and perhaps any other program on TV are resorting to the use of sensual and sexual language and/or nudity in order to increase their profit margin.Most of the movies today are based or eroticism and are frivolous in its approach appealing to nothing more than the sensual appetite of both men and women alike. Isn’t it a reflection of the ignominious nature of our society today and the violation of what is sacred and glorious?
Is it the media that is influencing the youths of today or is it the youth that decides the nature of media or is it both? Think for yourselves!
The issue of Rape that at present is gripping our nation and causing us embarrassment the world over even as our nation is being looked upon as one of the two emerging super powers of the world is much deep –seated than what it seems to be and a shallow approach to it will only offer temporal solution if not no solution at all. Changing laws and making them stricter to eradicate rape is akin to cutting off the tip of an ice-berg ,which once cut will only be replaced by the now tip of the ice-berg which was earlier sub-merged.It’s a much deeply rooted issue than it seems to be ,I’m not saying that we shouldn’t introduce stronger measures to combat it ,no that’s not my point ,I’ll be among those who’ll advocate it very strongly ,however what I see is a much complex and intricate issue much like the ice under the ice-berg. With stricter laws the perpetrators will only find cleverer ways to evade the system and perhaps the ones with the power of money will end up spending a little more to get over the system. Don’t you now see it unfolding?
Every action that a human engages in is a result of both ‘premeditated ‘(well-thought of ) and ‘impromptu’ (not so well-thought of ) ideas in his/her mind .’As a man thinks in his heart so is he’ reads a passage in the Bible.What we are is a product of what we think and what we see and hear. Jesus Christ once said ‘If a man looks at women to lust after her in his heart ,he has already committed adultery with her in his heart ‘ in other words what Jesus meant was that every act is preceded by a thought ,and so giving room to a thought is equivalent to having done that act itself. It looks like a pretty challenging statement but pragmatically speaking is the truth.
My argument perhaps is that while we seem to condemn the result of an act (in this case the issue of rape) aren’t we taking a double standing and are contradicting ourselves by using different yard-sticks by ignoring the very things that causes such acts (the thoughts/imagination fuelled by pornography, unrealistic sex and sensual language in the name of entertainment).
Has Mankind’s sexual nature and desire which I firmly believe is a sacred gift from God for the continuance of the human race been objectified and therefore desacralized and made to lose its sanctity? Aren’t we beings with moral absolutes and therefore different from the rest of creation or are we just another race like any other animal species whose only reason for existence is perhaps procreation?
As I pointed out earlier this is a very complex subject that can’t be dealt with in a few paragraphs and is akin to a sub-merged glacier and hence find it a little hard to give a concluding statement and prefer to give you my readers the right to write it. I perhaps would be more than content if this article has caused you to think in a dimension you have not thought in and has stirred in you a new revelation and a desire for a change from the inside out.