This morning (09/01/13), Sudhir Kakkar had written an article in the TOI, Bangalore edition , in a gist, stating therein that women in India have not been ‘treated’ as a ‘PERSON’, but always are mentioned as a wife, daughter, niece etc.! I find this inference hilarious, as even men who have nothing more to themselves except as a relation to another person, are mentioned as so and so’s son, husband or even father! For example, i do not know Kiran Shaw Mazumdar’s husband except for the fact that his name is possibly Shaw or Mazumdar, but I know Kiran- as she is better known, therefore if i have to introduce him at any point, i would mention his name and add that he is the husband of Mrs. Kiran Mazumdar. When we have not created an identity for ourselves we are identified in a relational way with a person better known. Therefore to make a hypothesis that women have not been treated as a PERSONS, is nothing but lending a meaningless voice to the revolution which is going on across the country consequent upon the gang rape and murder of Nirbhaya.
From a person of such standing I was probably wrong in expecting a little too much.
No one except God can be everything to everyone!
If i am a father of teenage daughter, as an anxious father, i may tell her NOT TO WEAR MINI AND MICRO SKIRTS and walk around in areas where men are not accustomed to women in such attire. But those words of an anxious father to a callow daughter cannot be published in the media and be made to seem as if i have antediluvian ideas.
When a spiritual guru tells his followers who find themselves in such situation to call the potential rapists as “brother” he is probably offering a palliative to the perturbed girls and women – who run and rerun in their own minds the tragedy Nirbhaya had gone through. It appears in no way, to me, as suggesting to the victim Nirbhaya that her method of tackling the impending rapists was wrong. Asaram Bapu was addressing from a different stand point. He was not motivating people for a proper legislation to be put in place, as he is a Spiritual Leader and not a Legislator.
But when politicians, suggest measures which are not helpful in the passage of a stringent legislation against rapists, they are conducting themselves in a condemnable way, as each politician is a POTENTIAL or an ASPIRING LEGISLATOR.
Therefore the point that I am attempting to make is that, we should not condemn the protective measures suggested by parents, well wishers, executives who in their line of duty are anguished for the well being of the women and girls.
Rape is an offence under the Indian Penal Code and the definition needs to be amended to include the suggestions made by various women’s fora, as no man can fully understand what it is to be ‘raped’. Though I as a male might have an idea of how traumatizing rape could be, i may not ‘feel’ mentally the way a woman might feel. If we go back to Sigmund Freud, a man is supposed to have felt the fear of castration very early and the occasional knocks he receives in his crotch might help him to understand what ‘castration complex’ is, but to expect a women to “feel” the same way would be demanding a feeling not in keeping with her body structure. Likewise, a man is also incapacitated structurally to ‘feel’ the trauma as a women would feel, so the legislative amendments will have to be predominantly left with the women so that they define “rape” and that there is deterrence to rape. However, men should also ensure that the society does not relapse into primitive punishments like ‘quartering’ – even though there is a severe urge to inflict such punishments on perpetrators.
Men have to be taught that they have no right to encroach on the private space of women. I have said men, as women mostly are not capable of overpowering a man (except in remote circumstances). Education must impart that PERSONAL INTEGRITY OF ANY HUMAN BEING OUGHT TO BE RESPECTED! That is the crux of the preventive measure.
Instead of having these ideas in mind, the collective consciousness of the people seems to be moving towards brutal retribution, which needs to be tempered, but at the same time stringent laws ought to be enacted to put fear of the consequences of even attempt to rape (which so far is not an offence as per our IPC!).