Everyday, when I hear of crimes against women – an acid attack somewhere, a rape somewhere, a forced marriage somewhere, a dowry death, I feel a deep sense of helplessness. In a country where people worship so many women Goddesses, why are women treated so badly?
The problem lies somewhere deep within us, behind the happy smiling faces and seemingly perfect families. Don’t we bring up our daughters teaching them that their brothers’ and father’s wishes and desires are of supreme importance in the house? Don’t we teach our sons that they can order their sisters around according to their whims and fancies? The problems lie in our upbringing and the example we set in our own homes.
Indian girls are automatically taught to be docile, obedient, they should not have strong opinions. In other words, from childhood they are moulded in such a way that they can be easily manipulated and fooled. When guy misbehaves with them the first time, they are told to hush up and not speak about it as it will lead to loss of face for the girl, not the guy who performed the shameless act. Even if a girl was raped, till not so long ago she was told to hush up and not complain as nothing would happen except her losing her reputation. Let’s face it. Only after the 16th December Gang rape did people start taking this issue seriously.
A very well known lady wrote in the Mumbai Mirror newspaper that capital punishment for the Shakti Mills rape accused was a harsh punishment – inspite of knowing that they were serial rapists.
What is the solution? Here are my views on it:
1) First and Foremost, teach your sons to respect women from childhood. It is not ok to speak vulgarly about a woman even in jest.
2) Stop blaming girls for the rape and crimes against women, it is not the clothes they wear, it is not the time of the day or night that they venture out of their homes, it is not because of them going out with men friends. There is no excuse for rape. Women can’t be blamed for it. It is the mindset and perverted thinking of a man which is the culprit.
3) Teach women to be strong and confident and respect themselves. No man has the right to misbehave with them. Even if they are in a relationship with someone or married to someone, he doesn’t have the right to force himself on her. And it also not ok for him to raise his hand on a woman. You have every right and you should hit back and not take it silently.
4) Another form of subjugation of women – Marriage and Dowry. Stop treating daughters as a burden, educate them, make them independent and don’t think of marriage as the ultimate goal. Don’t offer heavy dowry and refuse to marry your daughter into a family where dowry is being demanded.
5) Women policemen should only be allowed to write the FIR of a rape victim. She will be more comfortable giving out the details and God forbid if the policeman turns out to be a typical MCP who will grill her like she is at fault, it will be like being raped again.
6) Capital punishment should be the only punishment for a rapist. No circumstances can explain away this crime.
7) Lastly and most important, something that still has my blood boiling when I think of it. Do away with the Juvenile law in the case of Rape. If he is old enough to rape, he is old enough to be bear the same punishment as an adult. In the 16th December Gang rape case, the Juvenile was the most brutal. In three years, he will be out on the streets and raping someone else. The thought itself makes me want to kill him with my own hands. The Juvenile law needs to be changed yesterday – the time has long passed.