Rapes have been happening since centuries, it induces some sympathy and a flash of anger, some discussion and debate and we go back to our lives after that. But once in a while a case comes along, a particularly graphic and shockingly brutal case, which forces us to think not just about the victims but how society seems to be propagating a culture of rape. Nirbhaya was one such case and the immense energy shown by the people, the anger towards existing conditions, I was one of the naïve ones to think, to think she would be the last one; the last girl to ever get raped. Everyone thought the society would change, at least those who were a bit gullible. The word rape that was spoken amongst hushed whispers had now come out in open. Everyone expected a utopian society after Nirbhaya or at least I did.
But we were wrong.
Today, more than six years after Nirbhaya our blood is boiling yet again and the reason is the brutal rape of little Asifa in Kathua and an unnamed minor from Unnao, one brutally murdered while the other fighting for justice. The two cases have the strong media behind them, making us aware of each and every horrific detail. But there are so many that are not even heard off, so many that are much more brutal and graphic, so many that are brushed under the carpet.
The country is livid and it is sincerely hoped that the anger does not fizzle out for a very long time.
The two issues are heavily politicised, there are certain things that must be done and it should not stop at simply making tougher laws, there is a certain amount of moral responsibility that should be established as well. The following are a few suggestions that can help to establish that moral responsibility:
- EDUCATION: education shouldn’t simply mean teaching the basic subjects or establishing literacy. Education should go beyond learning alphabets or understanding mathematics. Education should involve teaching young students the idea and concept of consent, having an independent sexuality and what constitutes as a violent gender crime. Education should involve sensitive issues of rape, important cases and an emphasis on the fact that rape as a crime can never be justified.
- AWARENESS PROGRAMME: polio, corruption and so much more has been curbed or been reduced due to extensive awareness programmes through infomercials on television and on billboards. Similar measures should be undertaken for curbing gender based atrocities. The movie industry should invest some on a mega project, a movie that has a wide reach and has the power to alter the prevailing conditions and mind-set.
- CURBING RAPE CULTURE: cheap songs discussing women in lewd details, movies depicting women as subservient, subordinate to heroes and books that discuss women as soft spoken and submissive are all promoting a rape culture. There needs to be a stop to this, a conscious effort on our parts to boycott mainstream entertainment sources that promulgate a definition of women synonymous with the definition of an object of pleasure.
There is a lot more that can be done and it is high time conscious effort is adopted in curbing this epidemic problem. We as people have to fight for our own safety because clearly our leaders, either from opposition or in power are doing nothing but settling scores amongst each other. An effort to vote the right candidate should also be made, anyone who does not value humanity and its dignity should not be given the privilege of sitting on the chair of power and change.
Author’s note: I am disturbed by the frequency at which the cases seem to be taking place but I am done venting my anger and I am done crying. I will take conscious measures myself, educating whosoever I can, curbing every issue that is physically possible on my part. It is time to take action and not stop at just simple typing a post on social media.