Saturday, 20 April 2013

Rapes are sour

Swami Gulagulaananda wondered:
"Sāma, Dāna, Bheda, Danda - Which of them is the most effective of all?"

Sāma, Dāna, Bheda, Danda
This is a political methodology to approach a given situation. Start with conciliation or gentle persuasion (Sāma). If that does not help, offer money/material wealth (Dāna). If that still does not change the status quo, use threat or cause dissension (Bheda). Use punishment or violence (Danda) to resolve the situation where the previous three fail


Media in India has lost all credibility. And just like the boy who cried wolf, it has become difficult to judge when the media is being aggressive with an honest intention and when they are messing with our minds. Of late, every day I see a report on rape, and I wonder if the rapes have been happening with this frequency all along or if it is being reported more frequently after the ghastly Delhi incident that made the entire country livid. Whatever the reason be, it is not pertinent to the discussion, it was just a point I was pondering on. Indian news channels repeatedly hit rock bottom, the latest case being India TV interviewing 5 year old children about rapes, a tweet that I saw said...
This is what Indian news channels have drooped to! India TV, u piece of shit...how can u interview 5 year olds regarding rape!
I was wondering why it is that so many rapes are happening. When I think of breaking the simplest of rules, two things cross my mind. The wrongness of it and the fear of repercussions. It is like this. Most companies allow unrestricted internet access. This means that it is possible for me to download movies or some personal files using the office network. But the good guys don't do it. Firstly, because it is wrong to use something that is provided to you with the intention of being used for official purposes. Just because it is open doesn't mean you misuse it. Sir M Vishveshwarayya used to use his personal pen while writing personal letters even when he was the Diwan of Mysore and refused to be driven by an official car after his last day at work. This behaviour cannot be enforced, it has to come from within. This is driven by ethics, conscience and morality.

Fear of repercussions is the next thing. If I was using the office internet to download movies, and if I got caught, I could potentially lose my job. That fear serves as a deterrent.

I wondered why these rules are not getting applied when it comes to rape? People who are forcing themselves upon somebody else, beating them up viciously and going to such extents as bashing them ruthlessly with iron rods or leaving them to bleed and die clearly throw the idea of conscience and morality out of the window. However, if good behaviour is reinforced in the minds of children as they grow up, it becomes firmly rooted. I believe this definitely works. Recently, I saw a young boy from a village talking to another young boy as I stood in the line for the Aadhar card - "Why are they making us fill out these forms? Anyway they are going to throw it away. It's a waste of paper. Unnecessarily they are chopping off trees" I was pleasantly surprised. He looks like one of those uneducated chumps from the outside, but they were not joking when they said "Don't judge a book by its cover" because his attitude is something that most of the so called educated people don't have. The principle of reinforcing good moral behaviour in the minds of people, in my opinion, aligns with Sāma of Sāma, Dāna, Bheda, Danda.

Perhaps in this modern world of growing decadence, prurience of the lecherous cannot be checked by the mind and since they seek an outlet, I wondered if prostitution should be legalised. This has always been a major topic of discussion and it came to my notice while I was looking up some facts that in India, prostitution is legal but not regulated and running of brothels is illegal. If you look at prostitution at the very outset, it seems like a simple transaction, where one seeks sex and is willing to offer money while the other seeks money and is willing to offer sex. Assume for a moment that things are indeed this simple. Then, would prostitution help mitigate rapes? I doubt it, because of the stigma attached to it. People think of prostitution as amoral. Therefore, a person who frequents a house of ill repute will fall in the eyes of the society. What if, for arguments sake, there is no social stigma attached to it? I would like to think that then there would be a decrease in the number of rapes because now you have a legitimate outlet. However, things are apparently not as simple as this. There is in fact a very good website that discusses the pros and cons of legalising prostitution with views of scholars supporting both sides with statistics and data. If it would work, however, I would think that it aligns with Dāna of Sāma, Dāna, Bheda, Danda.

The main reason for a number of laws being openly flouted in India is the pace at which the legal machinery works - The speed of continental drift, or snail's pace to use a more common analogy. People are more or less confident that you can do anything and get away with it. And the media likes to believe that justice is dispensed only if it creates a hullabaloo - and sadly, many times, it is true. Without external pressure, without people coming out onto the streets holding placards and shouting slogans, things simply don't seem to work. Imagine a country where justice was speedily dispensed, a country where fear of repercussion and fear of being brought to justice scares the hell out of people who are on the verge of committing crimes, fear of the Batman or Dexter or Yagami Light (Many times, I wonder if vigilante justice is the way to go) - The same Indians who throw garbage wherever they please in India like the whole country is their personal fief quiver in their pants when they visit a middle eastern country out of fear of being flogged. It is remarkable that the same rule breakers don't break a single rule in a foreign country - Fear, a primal emotion is indeed a powerful motivator. When you are right, you have nothing to fear and when you are wrong, you should fear the weight of the legal machinery, a country such as this will be an ideal state. Yes, I understand that India is no ordinary country and for a country with a population such as ours, it is understandable that things are not as fast as in one of those puny European countries. At the same time, knowing the problems is half the solution. It is remarkable that we still don't have faster justice being dispensed, with cases remaining unsolved even after 15 years - Not the ordinary ones, but high profile ones. Fear of repercussions aligns with Bheda and Danda of Sāma, Dāna, Bheda, Danda.

All of this is purely armchair debate, and I have not even the faintest of ideas regarding the kind of pain, suffering, humiliation and trauma that the victims suffer, not just physical but mental and emotional... The purpose of this post is merely to look at it objectively and is merely a reflection of thoughts. If you do have any comments, do leave them here. And it would be great if you can participate in a simple poll.





1 comment:

Confused said...

Its a good article,however,I would like to express my POV. As far as legalizing prostitution is concerned, i doubt it would solve the problem.People who rape don't do it to satisfy their libido.I can't imagine someone satisfying their urge with a 2 year old kid. Its more to do with the dominance.It has been a male dominated society and its in the psyche of few men that, they can do whatever they want with impunity.Its more to do with their state of mind( my bet is losing sanity).I also doubt that they would be concerned about the repercussions.As far as deterrence is concerned it works to a certain extent.USA has highest no. of rapes in spite of stringent regulations!. The way out of it is to educate people.knowingly or unknowingly one learns to respect everyone(including the dignity of women) in the process of education.Our current literacy as per 2011 census is 74%. we still have a long way to go.I have no idea ,as to, how we can tackle this issue until we reach cent percent literacy.Criminal amendment bill has been passed and the judiciary has been equipped with the power to confer capital punishment under certain circumstances, but i doubt this message would reach those guys.