Apr 27, 2010

RAPE: Death of a Soul & its Murderers

This write-up was written by me long ago. The urge to post it now was due to a heated argument I had with one friend on this topic..  

Death is described as the termination of life when the critical organs of the body cease to function after which the soul is believed to live on forever in the universe. In short, in death, the body gives up, but the soul lives on. What happens when the reverse occurs? The body lives.. but the soul dies. This can be better explained by somebody who has lost his/her dignity due to some unfortunate event.

RAPE.. A forced sexual assault by a person on a victim, involving sexual intercourse without the victim's consent. When such a heinous activity is inflicted upon a girl, her body becomes a burden because her soul breathes it's last. It leaves her bereaved.. bereaved because she mourns silently for her soul which gets robbed.. by some shameless zombie-like human who derives pleasure by inflicting pain upon her just to satisfy his unexplained monstrous hunger. She is left without any feelings, without any emotions. She does live, but a dead life.

The female could be someone who was supposed to get married, someone who was supposed to appear for her board exams, someone who's the mother of a kid, someone who was supposed to get back home to her ailing parents after work. I've heard of females of all ages getting raped.. from infants to 70+ yr old ladies. Not even pregnant ladies are spared. How much more to go? According to National Crime Records Bureau, in India, 18 women are raped every hour. The number of rapes a day have increased 700% from 1971 to 2006. And only 1 in every 70 cases gets registered. Why the apprehensions ? Why don't the affected women come ahead and bring the perpetrators to book?

Think about this.. Most of the rapists are people who are close to the victim. They could be the victim's friend, relative, uncle, neighbor, brother, father, etc. This makes it much easier for the rapist to lay a trap for the victim. The victim, in order to preserve the dignity of her family and herself, keeps mum. Add to this, maximum victims are from the lower strata of the society, women who are not well-educated, and young teenagers; hence they are not brave enough. Forget being brave, they don't even know what an FIR means! The rapists take advantage of this vulnerability of the victim. Further, in some rural areas, the punishment to the rapist is 'marriage to the victim!' I mean.. WTF?? What you're doing is, preparing the victim for getting raped lifelong. Now look at this.. a particular guy likes a girl and she rejects his proposal for marriage. What he can do is, go and rape her; the system will eventually get them married. Great!

Next, let's take the case of educated women, young adults and women with some power. Can they escape. The answer mostly is NO. Remember the Marine Drive rape case! We are expecting those people to solve our problem and give us justice who once upon a time were the ones who themselves committed this crime. It's like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Now let's focus on our media and our urban judiciary system. Imagine a victim who has gone through this odious act. She gathers some courage and registers a case. A trial is carried out against the alleged. She, first of all, is asked questions which are so shameful that she prefers to live her life in solitude rather than face all those people who know what she went through. The trial drags on so miserably, that, all the victim wants is to get over with it. The best part is, when the alleged is someone who's kin have high connections, like the son of some education minister of some state. The trial comes. Furor is created. Media-hype follows. Solidarity activities gain momentum. Candles are burnt. The trial goes on. Months pass. Years pass. The alleged is forgotten. What happens next is not known. Either the alleged gets away with an imprisonment for some amount of time or some compensation is given to the victim. All is forgotten. Again a major case of rape is brought to light. Again these series of activities get repeated. All past similar acts gain publicity. GOSH..!! Where is the victim in all this? Does anybody feel what she goes through when, she, day in and day out keeps seeing & hearing about her miserable fate? The only positive things that happen in such a case are that TRPs of media channels shoot up, people unite for a common purpose and; politicians, NGOs and Mahila Mandals get a chance to do some social service and get a name for themselves.

What does the victim want? Some peace. She's gone through something horrendous. She needs some solitude for some time, some months. She needs love, counselling, and NOT publicity. The relatives of the victims shouldn't treat them as outcasts. When it comes to the media, they should see to it that unwanted hype where in the female is projected as pitiable, miserable and helpless should be avoided. Solidarity activities without much fanfare are needed, only to generate awareness and to pressurize the judiciary system. Along with all this, she needs justice, without any loopholes to it. For justice, what is needed is a preventive set of laws coupled with laws that aim towards punishment. The punishment norms should be such that prospective crime-doers feel goosebumps even when they think of committing such a abysmal act. That is when the number of such cases would diminish and women would be able to live freely.

Increased number of NGOs, awareness about the available laws, is needed. When it comes to women in rural areas and slums, the governement should see to it that they focus on creating awareness even in the remotest of areas. When we can have advertisements issued in public interest for eating eggs & domestic violence, then why not RAPE? Why not include this as a subject in schools and teach 14-15 year olds about this crime and the mechanism in place to get justice? Why not forcefully get young females to attend classes for learning self-defence tactics? Why don't we have more number of female police officers? Even if you have one for every police station, that does it!

Adding to all this, some people raise arguable points.. One; that women should be watchful and avoid wearing alluring clothes. Two; that India is better off as compared to countries like USA, where 1 woman is raped every 2 minutes (approx.). As far the former point is concerned, aren't saree-clad women raped? Don't women have the right to freely move about and wear clothes that they wish to? Agreed, killing the cause serves the purpose; but here, the cause isn't the attractive appearance of some women. The cause is the attitude of the crime-doers who feel that they can escape with some minimal punishment. Some men think that it's something natural, something that's to be blamed on their hormones. How sick can that get! This is something that should be killed with stronger preventive laws. Considering the second point that India is well-off than other countries, let me say that any problem whether small or big, has to have a solution. Belittling the statistics will do no good. If progress is aimed for in every sphere then why not this issue?

All said and done, I neither mean to criticize any legislative or judiciary body when I say all of these things nor am I censuring the media or the power of people. All I want to say is, when some sensitive crime like rape is committed, why is it that the entire thing gets bloated up and the focus is lost? The focus is justice.. to the victim. And the harshest punishment.. to the criminal. All activities should be streamlined towards these two issues, taking care of the fact that the victim gets as much privacy as possible. Getting famous for some positive achievement gives a lots of joy.. But fame generated out of loss of dignity is no delight! 

P.S.: This article is centric only to one crime. I have full awareness of the fact that our judiciary system has to improve when it comes to not only 'rape' but also all other crimes in general. Also, I have covered only the male-female type of rape with full knowledge that it represents a larger part in the pie of 'rape' as a crime..

Sources: http://www.4jat.com/jat_community_article.asp?jat_community=149

Apr 14, 2010

Target 17-17 in MBA-CET GD PI

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