As a part of one of the first open blogs, women speak about rape in India and how much of that could be blamed on society and administration.
2012 Delhi Gang Rape Case, 2017 Unnao Rape Case, 2018 Kathua Rape Case, 2019 Hyderabad rape case- As the list goes on Indians will feel more casual about rape culture in their country. After all, it’s a domination of one gender over other, it is a mark of authority and ownership of that gender and it is a moment of telling the world that India is weak, broken and lethargic when it comes to the safety of women.
Disclaimer: This is an open blog, everyone is welcome to share their thoughts and contribute to the article. FaultLines would add it to the conversation.
In 2017, a teenage girl alleged that a prominent Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, Kuldeep Singh Senegar, raped her. She subsequently tried to lodge a case with the police but was refused. The police wanted nothing to do with her, deciding instead to protect an MLA from the ruling party. The failures of justice and abuses of power continued for a year and her family saw little action.
In 2012, a Delhi girl was gang-raped in a moving bus in the national capital, Delhi. She and her friend were thrown naked on the roadside in December while they were returning from a movie. The woman was raped for 3-hours in a moving bus that had crossed police checking thrice in South Delhi. A medical report later said that she suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines, and genitals due to the assault, and doctors said that the damage indicated that a blunt object (suspected to be the iron rod) may have been used for penetration. That rod was later described by police as being a rusted, L-shaped implement of the type used as a wheel jack handle.
In 2019, The four accused, who gang-raped and murdered a 26-year-old Hyderabad veterinarian, forcibly poured liquor in the victim’s mouth while sexually assaulting her. The accused, after committing the crime, took the unconscious victim to a truck cabin where they raped her again before heading towards Shadnagar town on the outskirts of Hyderabad, said the report.
The charred body of the veterinarian was found under a culvert on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Thursday morning.
According to the police report, they showed no mercy when the victim kept crying for help.
Indians, let us now talk about rape culture in our country. We are still a society of primitive thinking which does not want to understand that times have changed and we need to grow our mind-set.
“wear the right clothes” and “not look around.”
Teach every Indian, to respect women and give as much freedom to girls as you give to boys.
It would do that by teaching communication skills and helping young people develop emotional resilience to handle the rejection that sometimes comes when you express a desire. And it would teach all kids to expect that sex should be safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.
These kinds of sex education curriculum are the norm and start in kindergarten in other countries. They’ve been taught by Unitarian Universalists in the U.S. for many years. And they work.
Sex education is not about teaching boys that rape is bad. They know that already. It’s about building a new culture with new norms – one that’s a whole lot less tolerant of sexual violence.
Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2013 annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012. The Government of India has not updated the report since 2015. Yes! Since 2015 what has changed – Lynching of Minority, Passing of Section 370 abrogation bill to remove Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and Mandir Wahin Banega (We will make the Ram Mandir there only). Only these are our current national narratives, no debate has ever concluded in a useful step towards women’s safety. So, Indian women and girls are speaking out loud and LISTEN! Indians LISTEN!
How do you define rape-culture?
Tanvi Mishra says “Rape culture and India. The two have a relationship that cannot be messed with, they go strong and hand in hand and some men out there are just so proud of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if our society counted raping, be it a man or a woman, an achievement in the coming times. When ladies come out to say they have been victims of marital rape, they are hushed and told: “he’s your husband”. If one cannot help their family members what will they help the country in fighting the monster of rape culture?
To give more power to this ever strong going “can’t stay in the pants game” comes social media!
Yelling on your Instagram handles to hang the rapists will never eradicate the problem of brewing rape culture. And in cases where the victim is dead and screaming for justice for them and pretending you stand with them will not help either. Stand with those you are here right now, who need help and require help.”
Stop yelling and start acting.
I will refer to this as a monster at all times because we create this monstrous culture in our homes. Kill the misogynistic and patriarchal thinking and teach the boys for once to keep their urges to themselves before they see an innocent lady again just parking her Scotty to head to work and taking away another life and gifting it as a child to the relationship that India and rape culture share.”
What is a woman’s place in India compared to a man’s?
Kriti says, “India failed women. India failed me. We are oppressed but by the weight of being a female in a country that didn’t know what to do with its women. We are expected to do only those jobs that a women’s hands. Why should I? I am a law student- I want work towards making laws stronger for women.”
Vaibhavi Ghosh says, ” There’s so much we get to hear about women getting raped every day. Most victims are minors, 132 cases/day. India is the most dangerous country for women. Are we even safe here? You pass a day, you are bound to feel lucky that you’re fine. The laws here blame the victim and not the accused, responses are delayed. What’s sad here is, the victims’ faces are over the internet while the accused still have black masks on their faces. That’s when I know this is India.
How do you explain these issues to young children?
Shivanshi Tomer says, “It is very important to teach both young boys and girls about rape. These are not part of our education system, But, has to be implemented from the grass-root level. Both, the rural and urban education must have sex education because it is one of those steps that would try to reduce sexual harassment cases. Also, I feel the problem won’t be solved only by giving sex education. It is the mentality of being superior that needs to be tackled. It is the mentality of ‘we can do anything and get away with it’ be tackled.
Don’t you think that if there is a straightforward set punishment for rapists it would instill some kind of fear in the minds of the perpetrators.
Our legal system somehow is the defaulter here with their slow paced judgments.
Punishments would just be a remedy, the root cause is the mentality. We would only be able to bring about a paradigm shift only when we we’ll be able to tackle the patriarchal mindset of the men.”
Akriti Saraswat says, “I definitely do not think that our law and legislature is doing right by the women but I also strongly disagree with people asking for capital punishment. The fight isn’t to kill the man, it is to kill the patriarchy inside of him which is so deeply rooted inside his head that a possible fear of death won’t make a difference.”
Isha Singh reveals, “Today I was in a dress and in a cab ,the driver was constantly trying to look at my legs which was decently covered with my bag. While I sat in the cab he was pertinently trying to check me out with his rear view mirror. Being in an unknown city like Pune I felt unsafe, as he was talking to his friend about me over the phone in marathi. I was feared that what if he would take me to an unknown lane and rape and kill me! I couldn’t send my live location to an acquaintance so that they know about my whereabouts. I feared that my would be burnt and dumped just like the recent event in Hyderabad.
It’s not a story of one day but everyday for every travelling working woman in this country. Scared of death, scared of being raped and scared of being victimised for being just a woman.”
Following the global coverage of recent rape attacks, what do you want to say to the world about how India treats women?
Aditi Tyagi says, “Theoretically speaking, the treatment of women in India has changed tremendously over the last decade.
But you know what hasn’t, the eyes of the men. Being a lady try standing out, right outside the main door of your house in a tight pair of jeans and it is guaranteed that any man passing by would definitely turn his head around looking down. Some mostly even come back for round two.
Rapes don’t disgust men the way they should. Rapes should disgust men how we get disgusted when they stare with those lusty eyes.
But what is the point of empowerment without any power provided.”
Triya Gulati says,” Well my opinion on this topic cannot be summed up in a quote. But where I agree that India is on the verge of being declared the most unsafe country in the world but that does not mean that there is no hope left.
I strongly believe that there is no point in begging for help from govt or society because your safety lies in your hand, keep yourself safe or remain unsafe.
Strict actions should be imposed on the accused but people who want to attempt this crime will attempt it therefore it is your responsibility to protect yourself. I know it is quite weird of a woman talking this way but Anshan, dharna or protests will not lead to any conclusion. During the course of this fight, there is no surety that we will get some fruitful conclusion but many women will become a victim of such a heinous crime. Therefore instead of all this, let’s make the world safe for ourselves.”
Gauri Shukla says, “No law, protest or a march is ever going to return that girl’s life back. I feel so sorry for this country, shame on it and shame on ‘We the people..’ BULLCRAP.”
Vartika Madan says,” The importanceh of the syllable ‘no’We need to tell young boys and girls that the syllable no very much stands for what it means. Men consider a soft no to be a polite yes and it is also a culture girls follow. Young girls are taught to feel shameful about sex, menstruation and their bodies, hence they think that saying yes would be character defining. This has given the rapists and sexual offenders a loophole to do as they wish. A soft no is not a yes, us Indians need to understand that, we are slowly extracting the power of that syllable, which is very harmful for our already shattered society.
Shreya Dhakal says,”Let’s be brutally shameful today since that’s the language we talk in.
Indian men are sexually frustrated. And they think their frustration holds the right to harass any women they walk past. And now let us cross the humane barrier rape kids and infants. Burn women because the need for sex made you do it!
The worse are we! The ones who watch and flip through pages. Rant for a while and let it go. Fear does not prevail until its instilled. And that does not happen when society stays shut in public because conservative nonsense and taboo have covered our mouths.”
Viren Tak says, “Let us be practical, but aren’t we all appreciating the minor and not-so-funny jokes that our dads and sons crack in a prudent fashion. Well, that is where it all begins. I am not saying that they grow to become rapists but its the culture that they establish and we tolerate, that rape is not so criminal in the minds of so many. So basically what I am saying is that all the rape cases that happened they did not happen in isolation. They took place in a surrounding cultivated by each one of us. So did we commit a crime too? That’s a thing to wonder…”
Writava Bannerjee says,”This happens every time such a case happens. And it’s awful to see people using real names of the victims and perpetrators. Their families get involved and they face a hell lot of trouble for no fault of their own. And every time we need a kick on our asses to be awake and think about women’s safety. Would the death penalty solve everything? Do you really think these monsters have any kind of fear for punishment while committing the act? No. We need to fight the patriarchal mindset because that is a permanent solution to this problem that doesn’t require breaking international humanitarian laws.”
Shravak Shakya says, “India is a country with a very broken system. Broken Government, a broken education system, broken judiciary, and broken ideals. People are very ignorant of changing values and modern ideals, especially in rural areas and still heavily prevalent in urban areas as well. And people just don’t seem to get the gravity of the situation and the importance of education and awareness and especially ACTION around it. And the Government doesn’t care either. Not even a bit. So obviously it becomes very hard to avoid such cases. There is no collective effort to fight against sexual abuse in this country. It’s only people going against an entire system that does nothing to prevent these cases or provide justice. At this point, I honestly feel this country, not all of it, but most of it is hopeless when it comes to the safety of women. This country is a mess when it comes to gender equity. As a man, you can’t feel sorry enough about the representation of your gender, and most importantly the safety of the girls around you and the constant fear and threat under which they live in.”
Tushara Samarajyam says,” I hope we don’t forget about this like we have every other incident. I hope we won’t act like the next one is a rude awakening as well. Because we’ve been awakened enough. Nows the time to act. To try and remove the “culture” of rape that we have accepted over the years. To teach boys how to stay in control rather than control girls. To stop supporting movies that glorify rape culture, or even objectification of women for that matter. Cause that’s the stuff that normalised such behaviour in the first place. It’s also time celebrities took some responsibility and made cinema that is more aware of its influence. No, don’t do the role *just* because it appealed to you as an actor, check the social message your character gives out; because more than half your audience has no education or the capability to intellectually process and discuss the scripts progression/ message.So yes, celebrities have a responsibility because they have the power to influence. Simple. You know? “With great power comes great responsibility”.But if you feel like it is promoting something harmful and you as an individual have the brains to deduce that. DON’T support the film. It may feel like it’s too small a start. But hey it’s a start. It’s fine to start small but start now.
Harshit Jain says,”Being a Law Student, I’d like to express my opinion which has a certain legal connotation along with the social and psychological perspective. There’s a huge outrage regarding the amendment in Punishment for Rape laws. Yes, definitely Rape’s definition was very narrow previous to the 2013 Criminal Law Amendment which was a result of the outrage of the people following the horrific Nirbhaya Gang Rape in 2012.
If we talk about the laws, the layman fears the rape laws, not talking about the influential and the mighty but yes a normal Indian Citizen fears the law. Once an accused is booked for rape then bail is really difficult to obtain. Therefore, I can say that laws are not the reason for the Rape culture. Definitely, execution of the laws and a possibility to escape can be one of the reasons a person might think of, that is due to the inefficient machinery of execution agencies such as the police.The major reason is the sexual frustration in the country and lack of awareness.For instance, an agricultural labourer comes to a city in search of work who has grown up in an environment which is even till now run in what we intellectuals of city call orthodox and rudimentary environment, where women rights and freedom are still just a misnomer, they come to city, see women’s approach whether it be the attire, work culture, independent attitude which is highly different from the village which he came.Such people are highly sexually frustrated since most of them are married at a young age and are used to sexual intercourse, they cannot bring their wives to the city due to economic obstacles. These all reasons bring up the sexual frustration on the pinnacle and that moment when it is there, the psychology is such that no law, no punishment fears them.In the instant situation, law amendments cannot bring deterrent effect as we’re witnessing the rise in rapes after the Criminal Law Amendment, 2013. The deterrent measures for such can be awareness and sensitisation.
Kanan Parmar says, “The internet is full of ‘Don’t think about your outfit girl. Wear whatever you wish to’. But why is it that every single time I dress myself to go out I have to rethink if my dress is appropriate?It’s all in our thinking and mindset. If you find pedophile and rape jokes funny and you share them over the internet then you definitely are promoting rape culture. People in this ridiculous society can’t speak a sentence without abusing mothers and sisters.After any such incident in our country, we start protesting and campaigning over social media which is definitely not fruitful. After a few weeks, we’ll all forget it and it just feels like we wait for another such heinous crime to take place.The rapists commit such crimes thinking that they won’t be punished for what they do. Are they right? Is there no punishment for them? Well, even I’ve started to believe that there is no punishment for the rape cases in India keep hanging in courts like property disputes.