On Women, Rapes and Medieval India

December 19, 2012

There’s something very wrong going on with the world we live in. No, I am not talking about the abysmal performance of the Indian cricket team, Sachin not retiring, or even global warming. This is about the increasingly horrid news stories we’ve been hearing these past few days.

There was a trauma center in the Indian capital where four people died in the ICU because its oxygen suply ran out. A politician who killed a cop for trying to stop him from molesting the cop’s daughter. A 14 year-old who raped a 7 year old girl. A man who got sent to jail for raping his own, gasp, daughter. And the latest - a young girl battling for her life after being gangraped in a moving bus, again, in Delhi. An assault so brutal that even doctors treating her are shocked. And these are all stories that get reported; there’s no telling how much more worse stuff is happening in our cities and villages.

Calling the perpetrators of these ghastly crimes as people would be wrong, for they are clearly not human. More like some abomination straight out of a science experiment gone wrong in a Hollywood thriller. Or results of a defect in god’s assembly line that their QA team failed to catch and discard.


Maybe somewhere down the line, the human evolution graph reached a local maxima (which probably coincided with people like Gandhi and Ambedkar), before starting its slow reversal back to prehistoric times, which brings us to today. Of times where a brother cuts off his sister’s head for bringing dishonor to their family. Of times where khap panchayats are going strong and people get killed by their own families for marrying someone the elders don’t approve of. Of people who get away with dastardly crimes because of flaws in our law enforcement, and others who try to pin blame on rape victims, because apparently men turn into animals at the sight of skin. If only their mothers had slapped them when they first made a crass comment about a girl, the criminal might have been nipped in the bud.

It’s all very depressing. There can’t be much hope for a society that can’t respect its women. It all probably starts from the environment at home, where husbands treat their wives like a servant whose only job is to bear boys, cook food, wash clothes, and get beaten up when they are upset. Because the pati is parmeshwar, isn’t he? Their boys grow up seeing this, and for them women are mere objects to be dominated and controlled. They then get into schools and colleges where they start off teasing and making rude jokes about their female classmates. The cycle goes on.

What is the way out? Outraging on Twitter for a week about the Delhi gangrape, and then forgetting all about it? Candle-light vigils outside India Gate? Baying for capital punishment/castration for rapists? Letting the Parliament not function for a few days, which seems to be how our elected representatives get work done?

I don’t know, and I doubt there is a simple answer. We definitely need better law enforcement, a legal process that acts as a deterrent and doesn’t let people get away despite committing heinous crimes, and very importantly, a political establishment that gives the matter its due importance, and doesn’t think that its job is done after a trip to the hospital and announcement of a lakh or so in cash to someone who got pushed off a running train by people trying to rape them.

Above all, we need a change of attitude. Men need to start treating their women with respect. Parents need to teach their boys that girls are their equals, and it is never acceptable to abuse them. Meanwhile, women need to learn some basic kicks and punches, just in case, and always remember that most men will not be able to stand straight after a kick in the nuts.

It might also help if they stopped showing all the regressive nonsense that passes off as real-life-inspired soaps on TV. The other option is that we start aborting the girl child, because clearly we as a society don’t deserve women anymore.

[Image courtesy: The Hindu]

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5 Responses to “ On Women, Rapes and Medieval India ”

  1. Narendra Vikram Sing on December 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    completly agree but can we not castrate such men who commit such horrific crimes.the sad part is that rape is not treated as a crime as per Indian laws .We have a delay oriented Legal system cases drag for decades & the accused easily gets BAIL under Indian laws.In this particular case we have already heard a statement from the authorities that no one is guilty unless proven otherwise so we know now how this particular case will be handled by the investigating agencies.Even if the Supreme Court gives a verdict there are provisions for a full bench hearing and then appeal for review and review so no end to a case Yet we say Justice delayed is Justice denied.MERA BHARAT MAHAN.The above was devised by the Britishers so that NO INDIAN gets Justice easily when Britshers are involved.

    • ms on December 20, 2012 at 10:46 am

      chemical castration should be mandatory for all rapists. the second best thing would be lobotomy. imprisonment doesn’t work since the mindset is not treated and these men are damaged goods. so hanging is the next option. but i think involving the rapist’s entire family in his punishment will work wonders. your son is a rapist? so you no longer work here. your property has been confiscated. your ration card is cancelled. no one from your family is allowed to travel across state lines. your passports and driving licence has been cancelled. since the training to be a rapist begins at home, thanks to the attitude of the male head of the family and the subservient behaviour of the females in the home. let them sink or swim together.

    • Narendra Vikram Sing on December 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Thanks Sir.Considering that you have access to newspapers & your articles are regularly published if only what you have suggested is part of some article so that your suggestions get wide publicity though we all know the Govt. is too timid but atleast some begining is made.if not the Govt maybe the neighbours of sucpersons may implement the same to the extent of boycot from society

  2. Vikas Goel (@vikaspgoel) on December 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Fully agree. Also, I am not sure if the gang-rape incident is a tipping point or just so brutal that it may change things for good. Let’s hope that this brings some quickfix like fast track courts, severe and deterrant punishment. But, this should only be a beginning. As a society, let’s give the respect women deserve, starting right from our home. As a society, let’s standup, speakup and be there when some one else needs our support. Let’s not be under impression that this can’t happen to us. Regarding that politician killing the cop, for once, I wish cops get together and teach him the leson their style which they are infamous for.

  3. ms on December 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

    the debate is between nature vs nurture. if it is in his nature to be a rapist, then proper nurturing will guide him towards non-criminal behavior. if it his environment is conducive to him turning out to be a rapist, then his better nature should prevail. but unfortunately, we have sociopaths being brought up in abusive homes. they learn violence and bullying. you are so correct - eveteasers if not checked grow into rapists. i want the term eaveteasing to be erased from the indian psyche - it is only molesting. forty years ago, winking and whistling at girls was eveteasing. over the years, our legal system has included pinching, grappling, snatching off the victim’s clothing, stalking and making obscene gestures, beating up the girl’s family members. the increasing severity of attacks is proof that the country accepts the treatment of women as ok and recognises the superiority of the males. i blame the media too - sensationalising such topics and then moving over to the next has trivilised crimes against women. TV dramas continue to propagate the belief that a man can treat women like crap.

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