RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was in the news recently for infamously saying, “Rapes happen in India, not Bharat.” By Bharat he means rural India and by India, he means the urban sections of the country. After I read Bhagwat’s statement I found myself asking, so where does the border of Bharat end and the border of India begin? Statements like these highlight the callous and degrading sentiments a lot of men in Indian have towards women. To make matters worse, these are statements coming from political leaders, which is frankly disgusting and scary of you happen to be a woman living in India.
Rape happens all the time in India and across all segments and unfortunately Bharat and India are pretty much the same when it comes to such gruesome crimes against its women. I wonder what Mr. Bhagwat has to say about the rapes that took place in Haryana villages recently, rapes which happened in his so called “Bharat”? Dalit and tribal women living in rural areas are easy targets for men in the para -military forces, because they know, for such women, their gender and caste go horrible against them.
Rape is never about sex and unfortunately is not just physical violence, but is a tool used to batter a woman’s spirit, her confidence and her sense of security and equality. There is a certain section of men in India who are not comfortable and feel insecure with the idea of a woman leaving their homes and being part of a world where they rub shoulders with men.
After a string of derogatory and sexist comments that have come from politicians after the Delhi gang rape, including President Mukjerjee’s son, Abhijit Mukherjee, when he referred to protesting women as “Dented and Painted” and the Haryana Khap Panchayat who believe that eating chowmein causes rape, it is clear that a lot of Indian men are not comfortable with the idea of a woman stepping out of her so called “Lakshman Rekha” and being in step and working alongside men. As long as a woman sits at home and cooks and cleans and feeds her family she is keeping her “maryada” intact, but a woman who is educated and has a job and goes out at night to watch films with friends, is immoral and needs to be shown her place and that is where violence like rape comes in.
India needs to stop looking at its women like objects, India needs to respect and revere its women like it does its mythical goddesses, Indian needs to protect its women and most of all India needs to learn that if you hurt a woman, be prepared for the worst!