Endangered Gender

The newspapers have left me with a new question – Is India on the brink of being declared a terrorist state yet? Consider this. The government of India endeavors to be merciless with regard to the issue of terrorism. The hugely popular Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt was not spared for possession of illegal weapons and connections with alleged international terrorists, however late justice was done. But what about the new form of terrorism that has sprung up in this country? This terrorism is as lethal as it is perverted. The only objective of this particular terrorism is a calculated attack on women of our country – the victims range from 5-month old infants to grandmothers irrespective of caste, creed, and religion.

This gender terrorism is just as vicious as terrorism fuelled by religious or political motivations and perhaps more by victimizing women systematically ultimately resulting in rape, brutal, torture and death. Perhaps one of the most heinous crimes in the world where the perpetrators may even be friends, relatives, neighbors, or acquaintances. Do these men deserve capital punishment?  Is capital punishment severe enough? Gender terrorism has now become a chronic ulcer of Indian society. The Delhi rape case and gender assaults only brought to light the ongoing attempts at disruption of peace, security, and public safety. More and more cases of rape, assault, brutality, and murder are now being reported from all over the country. Public awareness and media attention has opened up a can of worms. Previously unreported or ignored cases of assault by law enforcement authorities and society in general are now coming to light.

The gang rape of the Swiss national in Madhya Pradesh or the narrow escape of the British national who jumped from a second floor window of a hotel to avoid being raped, have caused worldwide outrage. India now runs the risk of being blacklisted as an unsafe destination for women travelers and families. Can we afford this?

Why is rape so prevalent in India? Explanations are varied and numerous. An imbalance in the male-female ratio where the number of men far outdo the women, causing a case of male sexual repression leading to perverse and crimes such as rape. But this is again a vicious cycle. The imbalance in the male-female ratio is again caused by years of gender discrimination and random female foeticide. The very theory that rape is connected with sexual repression is contentious. It is merely a sadistic act of male domination reducing the victim into an object of sexual torture to be finally killed in order to suppress the evidence.

Rape is terrorism against half our population. Rape kills more people than terrorism does. Should not our laws reflect the severity in appropriate proportion? But to add to the cruel torture that rape and assault are, the victim is treated with evident distaste by the society and law enforcement agencies are known to turn a blind eye. In most cases the perpetrators get away scot-free. Will the government get harsher where rape and molestation crimes are concerned? The law should be such that the real perpetrators be identified and given exemplary punishments. Can we counter this gender terrorism?