It’s high time we stop blaming the government for rapes
A 12 year old hearing and speech impaired girl is raped in Chennai by 17 men. A 10 year old girl is raped by ten school boys in Champaran, Bihar. This is what is printed in the newspapers, posted on social media, and discussed on news channels day after day, perhaps because this is what our society has come down to. It is indeed horrifying to comprehend the magnitude of perversion which has unfortunately crept into our society over the past couple of decades. Over-exposure to technology and the rampant use of social media platforms has contributed significantly to the demise of morality and ethics, and has led to increased incidents of crimes against women. The silver lining is, however, the fact that technology has also enabled us to read about such crimes and become more aware about what is happening around us.
Yes, there is a problem, and every individual in their right mind will and should condemn crimes against women, be it rape, molestation, dowry, bride burning, female infanticide, or any other despicable act of violence. Our glorious civilization has the distinction of being the progenitor of the concept of Stree Shakti and Matru Shakti. Womanhood is celebrated in its highest form in India through the worship of Devis. Having said that, it is admittedly also a country where minor girls can’t be left without parental supervision and women don’t feel confident enough to travel by cabs on secluded roads.
There isn’t a second doubt in anyone’s mind that rapes have to be condemned, and who on earth will support the rape of minors but the opposition going ballistic over the government’s inability to “control” rapes sounds childish. How on earth is the government supposed to convince a 66 year old man to not rape a 12 year old? Are ministers supposed to go to every man and plead them to not look at women as objects of lust? Is the Prime Minister supposed to develop telescopic vision to see which girl is being abducted from which corner of the country? Is the BJP party president supposed to conduct counseling sessions for perverts? If the answer to all these questions is ‘No’ then why blame the BJP for increased incidents of rape? Unless and until cases are reported, even the police cannot help the survivor.
Rape is a social evil, not a political evil for which the party in power needs to be shamed and blamed. Rapes are a sign of societal degeneration abetted by exposure to various forms of visual filth. Politics over the rape of minors is yet another kind of degeneration to which our political class has contributed enough fuel. The opposition, the intelligentsia and the biased bigwigs of the media have successfully dragged rape into the political conundrum, thereby, insinuating that the country has suddenly become unsafe for women under the BJP dispensation. Societal degeneration is a long-term process determined by various factors. It does not happen overnight, or over a period of four and a half years. Fixing the blame and passing the buck is a good enough way to get even on political grounds but social issues need to be tackled in a differently, and blaming the government is definitely not a solution.
When Nirbhaya happened in 2012, no one blamed the UPA or the Congress for not being able to prevent the incident. The entire nation cried in unison. We all mourned her death, and we all shouted “hang the rapists.” It is high time we introspect and stop blaming the BJP dispensation for incidents of rape. Laws are in place and laws are being implemented by the right authorities. Violence against women is an all pervasive phenomenon which goes beyond the realm of the legal system and governmental restrictions.
Rape signifies the death of the social order and instead of crying hoarse over what the government should and can do, we need to blame ourselves for becoming perverse monsters.
Dr. Chandni Sengupta is currently working as Assistant Professor with the Department of History, Amity School of Liberal Arts, Amity University Haryana. She holds a PhD degree in History from IGNOU, New Delhi. Her area of specialization is Medieval Indian History as well as World History, especially the analysis of political institutions and socio-cultural processes.
Dr. Sengupta holds a Master’s degree in History from the University of Delhi (affiliated to Lady Shri Ram College for Women) and Bachelors in History from Lady Shri Ram College for Women. She was the recipient of the University of Delhi South Campus Endowment Scholarship for the academic year 2006-07 and 2007-08. She also holds a PG Diploma in Folklore and Culture Studies from IGNOU, New Delhi for which she received the university Gold Medal.
In the past she has worked as a Research and Programme Coordinator with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and Information Analyst and Assistant Editor with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
She has a number of publications to her credit in the field of history, Indian philosophy, religious institutions, culture, heritage, and gender studies. Dr. Sengupta has also authored four books for children, and has written several articles and columns for magazines and online blogs.
She is passionate about changing the historical discourse, and it is her vision to contribute significantly to the process of redefining Indian history.