According to a 2016 report, India ranks 4th in the list of ‘Top 10 Countries with highest rape crime’– though this is not the best way to introduce a country’s status quo, this is the very horrifying truth that the citizens of India confront. Rape is the fourth most common crime committed against women in India. It is terrifying to know that in 98% of the cases, the culprit is someone known to the victim. So, it is safe to say that even the house is not a safe place for women. It is very important to discuss the rising cases of rape in the world, especially with the recent news of a 7-year-old Pakistani girl being brutally raped and murdered. The culprits simply lack any moral judgment. They look at the victim as an object, and in the most heinous way, cause harm for reasons best known to them.
Delhi is considered to be the ‘Rape Capital’ of India. Yet again, it is sad that this is the reality of India’s capital. According to its 2015 report, the NCR reported 3,430 cases among which Delhi alone reported 64%. Despite claims for improvement made by the government in 2012, not much has changed. There have been some laws like Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (2012) and the Criminal Law Amendment Act (2013) (read: Nirbhaya Act), which have helped in stricter reporting of sexual offenses against women. However, the number of cases that are reported to the police are fewer than the cases that actually take place.
Another issue that is often not discussed is the issue of assaults against of men. The patriarchal construct of masculinity makes many male victims hesitant in reporting cases of sexual violence. Many try to hide or deny the occurrence to escape the labels that the ignorant members of the society might slap on them. Though Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code describes rape as something done by a man to a woman, it is crucial for the country to recognize that males are often the victims of such heinous crimes as well.
Populist Indian politicians are numero uno in blaming victims. By either blaming their clothes or their habits, the food they eat or the time at which they’re out on the roads, they think they have made the most appealing statement. They genuinely believe that it is the victim’s fault that ‘instigates’ the criminals. Little do they comprehend that the culprit does not consider all that– A pregnant mother is equally unsafe as an unmarried girl; a 70 year old woman is as unsafe as an 8-year-old or worse, even a three month old! The sole responsibility for rape crimes is that of the criminal and no other factor that these populist elements consider primary, can be blamed. It is the perpetrator who should be held at fault and NOT the victim.
The recently ‘popular’ Hindutva ideology that emphasizes on epics and historical stories that glorify rape should be frowned upon. Such propaganda rots the thought process of already crooked minds. This atrocity will get worse and will see no end if the minds are not molded in the right way. If India’s men are not taught to respect women, then there is no veracity in saying “Mera Bharat Mahaan.”
-Contributed by Atreyee
Picture Credits: mashable.com.ng