I shudder as I chose a topic as scary as this to write about. I’ve been dodging it of late as it nauseates me to death but the recent events compel me to pour my heart out and force me to hit my notepad.
How does the law stand on rape?
Rape has been a matter of Historic concern in India. Several laws have been made and amended to provide better protection to the female section and punish the convicted. The recent amendment made in Indian Penal Code, Section 375 which retains the word ‘rape’ and sometimes refers it to ‘sexual assault’ made several amendments and broadened the range including trafficking, the extent of vaginal penetration and even touching of private parts were included in the act of sexual assault. Even a new section got added Act 375A which states which states that if a person committing the offence of sexual assault, “inflicts an injury which causes the death of the person or causes the person to be in a persistent vegetative state, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, which shall mean the remainder of that person’s natural life, or with death.” In the case of “gang rape”, persons involved regardless of their gender shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than twenty years, but which may extend to life term and shall pay compensation to the victim which shall be reasonable to meet the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim. The age of consent in India has been increased to 18 years, which means any sexual activity irrespective of the presence of consent with a woman below the age of 18 will constitute ”statutory rape”.
And we are still not safe?
Even with such strict laws, fear of rape looms around us. We feel unsafe and vulnerable to the hostilities and fail to trust even if a good Samaritan offers us help, faces our ridicule. There have been innumerable instances, not forgetting the infamous ‘Nirbhaya’s’ case and now the Kerala’s law student’s brutal rape and murder. To add to this every day when I open my newspaper, not to my surprise, there are at least 2-3 cases of rape across the country. Every day every woman reading the news feels the same what I feel by the horrific act of vandalism.
Statistics claim that 92 women are raped daily in India, 4 in Delhi ! According to the figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau, the total number of rape cases in India has gone up from to 33,707 in 2013 from 24,923 in 2012. adding to the figures, if they still not make you feel ashamed we have numerous instances when the rapist was a known or a relative to the victim sometimes even her own Father !
These facts and figures nauseate me, make me feel sick and want to open fire on all rape convicts. If that was not enough, their mentality and their guts to do the act in first place horrifies me. Whether it’s inserting a rod into someone’s vagina or stabbing to churn the intestines out after raping her, I have nothing but a feeling of immense hatred for these inhumane creatures. Every late night when I return home I feel pity for myself, that’s the only time I regret being a ‘girl’ and trust me, I hate myself for doing that.
Amidst the ‘Nirbhaya’s’ hustle I somewhere read one of the accused rapist’s statement which I’d like to quote, not to glorify him but to bring forth the sick,grotesque and absolutely fetish thinking. He said ”When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back.She should just be silent and allow the rape.A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy”
Such are he words of a criminal who shamelessly talks about how women are themselves responsible for their heinous acts. They have the audacity to commit the crime and roam around freely. Some claim to rape the victim purposely, as an act of revenge. Excuse me ! who made your biological male part a tool/weapon to take revenge ?
As a girl, I feel insulted every day when I hear/read/discover about rapes every single day. I have friends who work abroad, who have been questioned about India being the rape capital. So much for the development that we still are recognised by this vandalism. I feel vulnerable in my own city, in my own lane, my accustomed streets haunt me and compel me to run and enter my house. But then there are strangers living in the building as well. So much has happened that door knocks at an odd hour run chill through my spines and my mind races with every vile thought. There are so many girls out there who want to study, work and be independent but this fear of getting ‘raped’ compels them to confine themselves within four walls of their houses. Is it justified ? Does prevention is better than cure work here ? Why this logic of ‘don’t step out, you won’t be raped’ seems completely biased and illogical. Why not curb the crime, which is the ultimate need of the hour.
Several reforms have been implemented I agree, numerous helpline numbers have been generated, several laws protecting women rights have been introduced and the government is trying real hard to eradicate this evil. But with every step to suppress it, it rises more vehemently. I guess the lack of strict rules and sluggish dispensation of verdicts is the prime reason.
If you ask a woman, what punishment should be given to a rapist, I guess most of them would suggest cutting off the ‘part’ that make them feel superior and in the position to commit a crime as this in the first place.
How can we do our part to prevent these atrocities?
As a responsible citizen, we need to stay alert, carry some sharp object all the time with us, stay fit and agile, whatever come may. There are laws, there are forces and there are people working for it, it means there is something wrong in people’s heads ! Male patriarchy, male chauvinism, and egoism are potential causes responsible for a barbaric act like this. I believe if we join hands and become some real kick-ass ladies, the evil eye will surely shun away with fear. Educate people around you, spread awareness about the helpline numbers, support if you see a victim and help her raise her voice because Fear of something bad leads to increasing its strength.
DON’T TELL ME HOW TO DRESS, TELL THEM NOT TO RAPE. BECAUSE RAPE IS NEVER THE VICTIM’S FAULT.