Daughters and Sons

       Indians get very defensive when others point out our problems, perhaps we are not used to criticism, or we do take ourselves very seriously. Whatever it is, ‘India’s Daughter’ diverts the issue of rape to the issue of a foreign lady attacking India though she herself admitted that admiration and respect to India brought her her here.

     Rape is a universal issue, but unlike developed countries, most of the crime related to sexual abuse is not even reported here, let alone pursuing a case due to the social stigma attached to it, there are even cases where women had to compromise by receiving money due to financial and social limitations to engage into a long legal battle, sometimes even fearing a backlash from the accused. Again the ‘re rape’ at police station and court is humiliating and below the dignity of any human being.

       The pervert attitude of the rapist and the defence lawyer in the documentary is a mirror to our society that doesn’t have any respect for women. Even in big cities like Delhi women are tortured for giving birth to girl child, a boy is received with sweets whereas a girl is received with tears in many homes irrespective social/financial status.

     Women are considered suborninate not equal to men and public places are completely occupied by men.In my village whenever I would go to a local library, men would stare at my as if I was an alien and  in restaurants, they would look at you as if women do not have not hunger, so that not supposed to eat out.I recall an incident when my friends in my journalism class and I had gone to Steven Spielberg’s film, we were groped by few men at the theater premise amidst the crowd, when protested, they asked us why we were there on the releasing day of the film?Another time during the show of Mira Nair’s controversial film ‘Kamasutra’, we had been forced to leave the theater midway by unruly men who  targeted us with abuses, vulgour language and gestures as we were the only girls there(the unwritten law is that even if it is girl’s nudity, a descent woman would not watch that). Groping and misbehaving are common in public transports in India, so that women have to be alert all the time while traveling. Many times Indian women live in the fear of getting raped, so that we have to get into the safety of our home if it gets dark.

        I am sure those men never have seen their fathers respecting their mothers, or never have been educated about respecting women. In schools and colleges, we get information, not real education (that is another matter of discussion I do not want to elaborate on that now) besides real education begins at home where many times parents fail their children. I recall the incident where a sub inspector father beats up his adult daughter in Bangalore street for an alleged relationship and her teacher mother too support the father. How can our women live in dignity when such people as protectors of law and engineers of youth are around us?How  our children would learn to respect woman with such ignorant people?

      To root out an illness  one must know the cause, punishing the criminal is important, yet it is like modern medicine treating the symptoms of the illness, it may creep in again. We must go deeper to understand the cause of this disease called rape, and must treat the cause ie try to change the mind- set of the society and educate the men to respect women. There are some rapists who are men of low self esteem, financially and educationally backward and they do believe that they do not have anything to ‘lose’ in the act, but there are other men who are powerful and influential who think they can get away with this crime.Instead of treating children as properties parents must inculcate values in children, schools,universities etc., should continue this value based education  to build a modern and civilized society where women are respected. It may not happen in one day, but at least we must begin now.