A lot has been said and written already, and I don’t think I have much more to add possibly. But as a citizen who looks forward to a progressive India, I cannot stop myself from penning down some thoughts, and share some personal experiences as well.
Everyone knows that the Bengaluru incident on New Years eve shouldn’t have happened, and also hundreds of such other ones that make us cringe on opening our newspaper every morning. In a way even the culprits know how wrong they are, and that they are putting themselves in danger of imprisonment by committing such crimes. Then why tarnish the dignity of a woman just for the sake of sexual pleasure? Or is it that at all? Is it only libido that drives men to commit such heinous crimes even to toddlers and aged ladies? I am sure it isn’t. What causes someone to rape and then do unimaginable things to a female, and then even murder her? Is he a psychopath, a necrophile, or just frustrated enough to exert his power on an innocent human being? In any case he is a demon. And the sad part is, we do not know who are these demons hiding behind the mask of a normal human being. It could be a colleague at office, a random guy on the street, a jilted lover, a trusted friend, and even a family member. They all know they will end up in jail if we open our mouths, but they do it any way.
Let me analyse the psyche of a molester or a rapist from my point of view. I am no psychologist, but I have had my share of harassment multiple times in buses or on the street while walking alone. There have been cases when a man over the age of 50 has elbowed me in a crowded bus, a man in his 40s sat right beside me in an empty bus and tried to show me a porn clip, random guys on bikes have passed by throwing lewd comments at me.. and the list goes on. It doesn’t depend at all whether you are attractive or not, and even less on what you are wearing. In every case I have reacted sternly and fortunately they have budged, but it could have been otherwise. I guess that is the difference between petty offenders and desperate ones, not that I am saying that any such offence is petty. But what exactly makes a man force himself upon a woman (whether he knows her or not) without her consent?
There seems to be only one answer: the illusion of superiority. It is an unknown fact in any part of the world how men have always been given a higher position in society, and women have been called the ‘fairer’ or ‘weaker’ sex. Yes times are changing. Women have much more freedom now, and are acknowledged for their efforts everywhere. But this is also turning out to be rather confusing. If we genuinely have the freedom, why should we get brutally raped if we went to watch a movie in the evening with a male friend? Why molest us if we are enjoying at a late night party? Yes I know, not all men. But why any men at all? We do have the right to go out, we very much have the right to wear what we like, but in constant fear, because it might be very very dangerous. We are being advised to carry peppersprays or knives, and most often not to venture outdoors at all. But why is it on us? Why are WE the people being advised? It is no point telling a murder victim “Don’t die”. One should stop the potential murderer from committing the crime.
So the point is, there is a large section of men amongst us, who believe that they deserve to be the demon they are, by virtue (?) of their XY chromosome. They can rob you of your entire life because they have been endowed with a “gift” by chance, while they could have otherwise been like you, also by chance. They want you to abide by the standards they have set for you, or sometimes not even have any standards at all. And the best (worst) way they can exercise their illusory superiority over you is by using (misusing) their penises. The very organ that is meant to create life is being used to destroy life, all because they want to exhibit its worth from time to time.
Things need to change big time, it is true. People, both men and women, have to be educated, and taught how to be good human beings. But nothing can be achieved overnight. Till then, women have to take stand for themselves in these dark times. No, not by carrying knives or avoiding going out. We do not want to promote violence. But I think it is a good idea to incorporate compulsory self-defence and martial trainings in schools, higher educational institutions, offices and neighbourhoods. It should be made suitable to cater to the needs of girls of all ages as well as girls with disabilities. If a nation-wide programme like this is initiated, the predators will at least think before looking for a prey. It is important to instil a greater fear in them than the fear of legal punishment. They should know that the person they are attacking is no less strong than they are.
Enough said, and sorry for the unusually long post. I would like to end with this wonderful poem by Amitabh Bachchan from the movie Pink: