Enumerate instances of rape in India in the past few years have put a spotlight on the issue of gender-based attacks. Deep-seated patriarchy has created a second-class status for women in India.
India is a traditional society, where tradition is a euphemism of entrenched patriarchy. Yet with more women turning self-reliant and stepping out of their homes to work, a patriarchal mindset is facing an emerging challenge. Indian women have begun asserting their own choices, rather than letting men decide for them. Men who feel threatened by these newly emancipated women are countering the power shift with an aggressive dominance, manifesting rape. Though the executive and judiciary have endeavoured measures to help end rape, but these measures are ineffective in itself.
Legislative measures following the “Delhi gang rape” have been ineffectual in abating acts of sexual violence against women. What is the root of such heinous instances? It’s the inhuman instinct. Some Indian jurists, like Markanday Katju, justify rape as “natural urge”. Isn’t such mindset skewed?
Each time a bloodcurdling case of rape and murder makes the news, the familial and societal response is counter-productive to women, such as, greater restrictions put on their movements by their families and universities. Instead of such conventions, women should be taught self-defence tactics.
Technology should be appropriated as a means to ensure greater safety for women, as in, the sexual harassment apps. Its’s high time to change the patriarchal structure of society and conservative mindset of the people.
Right from the Delhi gang rape to Kathua, Telangana, Unnao and now Hathras rape cases, how many more to occur next in a row? Who is next? Is it you or me?
It seems like rape has become an accustomed culture. Every year a rape occurs, citizens protest with flaming candles. These flaming candles are yet to reach the hinterlands where feudal rapes bound in impunity.
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Opinion by: Shahin Ahmed, The North-Eastern Chronicle