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

29 comments:

Vibushan Lakshminarayan said...

Good and Bold one. I too Have heard about a lot of rape cases. Thing is, our laws are a little less in terms of punishment and also.. the country is filled with corrupt politicians some of them are rapists themselves. let alone rape, If you take the case of the Mumbai attacks, what significant progress has taken place that one can be happy about? what can one do other than being careful? Probably points can be quoted as to why all this is happening.. but in the end, its our own caution that matters. Good post.

Vibushan Lakshminarayan said...

also about the incident that happened in Gujarat(if i'm right) between 2 men and a peggy lady. And the public just stood watching. What can one do? With such a crowd, I guess, these crimes will reduce only on arab laws.

vamsi said...

One of the point u mentioned abt the victim getting married to the rapist is such a pity...Really who said that the victim must marry the rapist...

Some People misinterpret that it is a part of culture that a girl who lost her "sheela" must marry the man who raped her..

Utter nonsense!! The scriptures say that the "sheela" of a person is that of the soul and no way related to the body..Even in our culture and religion, such concept of marrying the rapist is not present..phew!! People in present India really need to grow a lot...

nice topic to come out with..good work..

Nethra said...

Its sad that few women still undergo these things. Now that sex before marriage and live-in relationships are legalized, hopefully men will try to find a better way to feed their lusts than raping innocents.
Anyway, very nice post. It was though provoking. :)

Pooja Menon said...

@Vibhushan.. Thanks for your comments. :) I swear! No progress is being made on such fronts these days. Even th public in general have to be responsible enough. I failed to mention this point. Thanks.

Pooja Menon said...

@Vamsi.. Happens in villages where the gram panchayats are the ones which govern. It's a shame that the second fastest growing economy in the world still is so backward. Women are still looked upon as the weaker and more vulnerable sex.

Pooja Menon said...

@Nethra.. Thanks. Men will be men. :) Sex before marriage or not. This wouldn't stop till they fear the laws which is not the case now.

Vibushan L Narayan said...

Have you staged rallies/ Marathons ? :P

Garf said...

There can be only one punishment for this crime: Death. Even a life long imprisonment would fall short.
As for what you wrote, kudos buddy. I still feel, our constitution in the way it identifies a case and the law which envelopes it is at fault.
Provocative dress is all shit. Justice, if delivered, should make an example.

Pooja Menon said...

@Vibhushan.. If given the chance & resources, nothing can stop us. :)

@Garf.. Thanks for dropping by. Yeah, death can be a punishment. But then, it won't be that painful. For such a crime, criminals should be castrated. But ours is a democracy. :)

Garf said...

@Pooja: Good one. :)

Sourav C. Pandey said...

What a post, I am now following your blog after reading this!!

Even though rape involves forced sex, rape is not about sex or passion. Rape Is Rape and sadly is an everyday occurrence. A single act of rape is barbaric but it would be naive to assume that rape just involves squalid acts of sexual assault in dimly lit alleyways late at night.

Rape is no longer just the stereotyped gun-to-the-head or knife-to-the-throat situation, contrary to what a large portion of the population believes but an ever growing proportion of rapes and sexual assaults are carried out by attackers who are known to their victims.

Funny that isn't it? Or rather not funny but in a macabre and sordid way, slowly but surely the lid is being lifted on what has hitherto been viewed as merely a woman's problem.


Rape is an everyday occurrence. A single act of rape is barbaric. Rape is not about sex to the rapist; it has to do with control and power. Rape is truly an abomination no civilized society can tolerate.

The bad news is that the reality of rape is not simple.

Sourav :)

Pooja Menon said...

@Sourav.. Thanks a lot for following me. And yeah.. Rape is all about how men think that women r the weaker sex and try to establish their power over us! It's a shame that such zombie-like thinking exists! Thanks for your comments. :)

Sourav C. Pandey said...

That really wasn't a comment, that's the reaction your post got out of me .. inspiring post really! :)

Pooja Menon said...

Thanks for that again. M glad I could evoke the desired response for my write-up. :)

Advaita said...

This one is well derserved.... i want to highlight some points-

1. a raped woman should not shy away from 'embarrasing' questions.... because if thats the way to reach the rapist then so be it..

2. a rapist doesnt spot women because they are wearing revealing clothes... even women in burquas get raped.... its in the mind of the rapist and not in the clothes of women... but yes definately a women dressed up scantily can entice a raper!!

3. i wish the Govt of India awards the death penalty to the rapist without delaying the trial... in case of a rape, justice delayed is indeed justice denied..

4. women have to be educated as u just wrote in ur blog... there should be tv ads, lectures in schools, etc..

5. lastly, i am sure you would love to contribute in this area yourself too... visit some near by schools and talk to their principals about including this lecture in class rooms by the councillors of the schools... the lecture should be handled in an interesting way otherwise not many girls would like to attend it.. I got this done in a couple of schools near by, and trust me it makes a difference... :-) go ahead.

Advaita said...

This one is well derserved.... i want to highlight some points-

1. a raped woman should not shy away from 'embarrasing' questions.... because if thats the way to reach the rapist then so be it..

2. a rapist doesnt spot women because they are wearing revealing clothes... even women in burquas get raped.... its in the mind of the rapist and not in the clothes of women... but yes definately a women dressed up scantily can entice a raper!!

3. i wish the Govt of India awards the death penalty to the rapist without delaying the trial... in case of a rape, justice delayed is indeed justice denied..

4. women have to be educated as u just wrote in ur blog... there should be tv ads, lectures in schools, etc..

5. lastly, i am sure you would love to contribute in this area yourself too... visit some near by schools and talk to their principals about including this lecture in class rooms by the councillors of the schools... the lecture should be handled in an interesting way otherwise not many girls would like to attend it.. I got this done in a couple of schools near by, and trust me it makes a difference... :-) go ahead.

Pooja Menon said...

@Advaita.. Good to see u here again. The 5th point you mentioned above.. kudos to you for that. It's a real good step taken by you. And, yes, there are quite a few schools in my vicinity. Will try to do what you said. Thanks a lot! :)

Lunatic said...

In a country (like ours), the plight of a raped woman is aggravated as she is seen as an inglorious misfit in the society. This post traumatic damage is considerably low in a country where the society is more liberal and progressive.
I just wanted to know your view on whether this societal effect should influence the gravity of punishment for rape. [For instance, the penalty in India should be far more than that in more progressive country for the same crime.]

kamma said...

Hi. Very straight and sensitive post. I salute your courage and effort to write this. I believe, its all in the mind-set of people which is almost ruined by the corrupt leaders of our country. Everywhere its business nowadays. Even public is looking for business in their every moves. Few people are there who respect our culture, the way it was. I dont accept that women belongs to a weaker sex. They have their strength somewhere else where men dont have. Its all about exploring oneself!.

Pooja Menon said...

@Lunatic.. Agreed.. Ours is a very backward country with more than 70% comprising of rural areas.. First of all the panchayat system needs to be improved.. And Whether the punishment improves or not the victim is gonna suffer the same way! The society should also be made aware! That's y i highlighted the media issue above.. A holistic overhaul is needed!

Pooja Menon said...

@kamma.. I'm glad you liked the post! And m glad that u agree with me! :)

Abhyudaya said...

When it gets to this question, we turn into total hypocrites. The criminals are born everyday with the kind of society we are building. Certain human qualities are now turning into "Virtues" and non human traits are the new "human" traits.

Pooja Menon said...

@Abhyudaya.. Well said! :) Thanks for dropping by! :)

deepa kashyap said...

1st time here
its one of the best post i could ever read on someone's blog..
i loved the way u tried to initiate.
yeah its the most cruel act did by someone just to show his superiority.
me too agree with you for all the points. don't know when this society will understand that "She needs love, counselling, and NOT publicity." she have to go for insult session again n again."
its really so sad aspect of this socity :(

well i could not stop myself from following your blog..
keep blogging :)

Pooja Menon said...

@Deepa.. Thanks a ton! Yes, I am glad you agree with what I've written. And thanks for following :)

Restless poet said...

After a long time I came across a blogger who has great insight of writing,the topics u have chosen the poems u have written have an art rather than fantasy which is common in juvenile bloggers.
keep it up.
"Rape of senses convert a human into animal but the intrepidity is to rise above your senses".
regards
Restless sun

Pooja Menon said...

@Restless Poet. Thanks a ton for that! And well said! Rape indeed is one sin that mere humans can't commit. It takes him to be an gruesome animal to do it. Thanks for dropping by. :)

mk said...

blog with a strong message...u must have done a lot of research and lot of thinking, emotions with it..
yes, our judiciary, system and society is not as effective it should be...
but yes, counselling is required, they need to develop their individuality, soul never dies , it just get covered by all those emotions, guilt, fear that revolve around this sin. They need support, to overcome it..and yes system need to be strong...!!..
once again kudos for such a bold topic!!