Do urban women deserve rape?

Tags: Op-ed
Do urban women deserve rape?
COMFORTING MUCH? People light candles in memory of a gang-rape victim in New Delhi on January 5. Every time women sexually abused, bigots in our society seek to blame their defiance of the traditional maryada
Ever since the rape, brutalisation and death of the young woman in Delhi, the nation has been in ferment. But what shames are the callous, crude and bigoted statements made by the political class; statements that seek to blame victims for their plight.

In the past year, when there was a rape in Kolkata, West Bengal chief minister Mamata didi suggested that if women were alone on the streets after a certain ‘decent’ time, they were inviting harassment. In the wake of the Delhi gangrape, one of her ministers stated that what had happened in Kolkata wasn’t rape at all it was a ‘deal’ gone sour. Suggesting that a commercial sex worker has no right to denial and are fare game for rapists.

Every time women are raped or sexually abused, the bigots in our society seek to blame their independence, their attire, their western ways, their audacity in stepping out from the confines of the family home, their defiance of the

traditional maryada.

The president’s son, an MP, made a flippant comment, ‘Painted and dented wo­men…’ which created a big furore in news media and social media. During one of the agitations of Anna Hazare in the past year, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi of the BJP had ridiculed that all the “powder puff aur lipstick vaali auratein…” for making a tamasha before TV cameras and for hopping from studio to studio condemning the political class. Both these leaders need to be shamed and punished, although they have not said that such women deserve to be raped, but their bigoted opinion is just one step away from suggesting that if ‘painted’ and ‘dented’ or ‘powder puff aur lipstick vaali’ women are raped, they deserve it.

In the wake of the Delhi gangrape, the cacophony of bigotry has reached deafening decibels. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat suggested that rape only happened in India, not in Bharat, a modern-day two nation theory. Suggesting that urban Indian women attracted rape because they had abandoned the traditional maryada, were leading a decadent, immoral western existence and so the poor urban male was forced by these brazen westernised women to rape them; poor urban men.

Crime figures have since proven Mohan Bhagwat wr­ong. Majority of reported ra­pes occur in Mohan Bhagwat’s ‘Bharat’, the villages of India. There is more rot in the ‘traditional bharatiya samaj’ than in the ‘brazen Indian society’. The tradition bound bharatiya nari is raped more than the brazen ‘Indian’ wo­man, Bhagwatji.

But how much more bigoted can one be? Because if what Bhagwatji is suggesting is to be believed as gospel, then scantily-clad or non traditionally-clad women invite molestation and they are to be blamed for it; women who step out of the confines of their homes are harlots and those found in pubs and out on the streets late in the nights are whores. While men who punish them by molesting them, raping them and assaulting them are champions of the bharatiya sanskriti.

Member of the BJP and a minister in its government in Madhya Pradesh, Vijayvargiya has said that women who cross the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ of maryada are asking to be teased, assaulted and raped.

And who drew the Lakshman Rekha Vijayvargiyaji? What about the men who breach the maryada and reduce women to being the objects of their lust? Has Vijayvargiyaji conveniently forgotten that the same Lakshman could not recognise Goddess Sita because he had never raised his eyes to look at her. He could only recognise her toe ring because that’s all he saw of her when he bowed down to touch her feet daily? How come modern day Lakshmans are not maryada bound, Vijayvargiyaji?

Chief of BJP’s youth wing, Anurag Thakur takes the crown in the crudeness sweepstakes. I quote his rant verbatim, “The difference between India and Bharat is that India is the place where The Dirty Picture gets a national award. India is the place where Mahesh Bhatt talks about sex with his daughter. India is the place where Sherlyn Chopra gets her picture clicked for the cover of Playboy and says had my father been alive, he would have been extremely proud of me. India is the place where the media celebrates the birthday of a foreign porn star. India is the place where a woman like Poonam Pandey openly speaks about stripping herself naked, India is the place where the top leaders of the country are puppets in the hands of a witch (dayan).”

One cannot get more vulgar, uncultured and uncouth than the chief of BJP’s youth wing, I hope his maryada pradhan organisation will discipline the brat.

If all of these bigots are to be believed, all urban women, especially modern, independent, women of India must from time to time be raped to keep reminding them of their traditions, also that it is the ordained duty of the men of ‘Bharat’ to be the instruments of disciplining these wayward hussies, who deserve to be raped not once, but repeatedly till they become ‘susheel bharatiya naris’. Welcome, Bharatiya Taliban.

(The writer is founder president, Mahatma Gandhi Foundation)

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