Every now and then we come across some political leader rubbing the good Indian Culture on our faces. At the same time they appeal to save the moral soles from the evil brought upon us by the West. However, looking at the rise of rape culture in India, I doubt the authenticity of goodness of the Indian Culture.
Synopsis Of The Rape Culture In India
Rape Culture is not India’s cultural entity, neither is it taught across Indian schools. We can’t even call it an acquired skill! Or maybe a deliberate attempt towards stardom? The answer is clearly a NO to all above questions and statements. Then why is it so prevalent in India?
There could be many factors responsible for it actually. Let us look at them one by one.
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Cultural Aspect & Value System
India is a culturally diverse country, probably more diverse than any other country on this planet. It has its mystically beautiful aspects but at the same time it also has a downside. Now let us try to understand how these diversities promote the so called rape culture without naming any one in particular.
People coming from a rural background
It is common in any rural settlement for women to have more modest lifestyle compared to the urban dwelling. It could vary in its intensity, but generally, women in rural India keep their bodies covered. Most of the times they have their heads wrapped or covered too. In some more orthodox places, after marriage, a woman keeps her face covered too from other male members of her family.
Now, this, for people coming from the villages, is a standard appearance of a woman and how she should be. When they see a woman with her hair open and even can brush it in public, they perceive her to be a woman of no respect or dignity. When they see a woman wearing jeans or skirt, where they can see the shape of her behind or her legs, they take her as a shameless woman.
According to their logic, you can not disrespect someone who doesn’t have a respect. People often sit together and talk about such independent women and label them as whores. This is one of the reasons where most conservative people from India come up with an argument that the girl could have prevented the rape or she was wearing provocative clothes, or if she was asking for it.
From the childhood, in the schools, kids should be taught about diversity, acceptance of others who are different than us and how to respect one another. As a whole, the society must be made aware of what the victim goes through after they get raped and how they carry that scar for the rest of their lives. Some people really don’t know that the rape victims really do suffer. It is surprising but it is true. Education and awareness is something that can fix this problem.
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Society governed with fear rather than values
It is very common for the Indian parents to beat their kids in order to discipline a child. Only till recently the schools would beat the kids for this purpose too. It supposedly became much less after the court decision in 2000 to stop the corporal punishment, however, it still goes on. Sometimes, it is parents who come to the school and ask the teachers to beat the kids if they don’t listen.
Some people might argue that it is really needed and it must be done or else the kids will not turn out to be good. On the contrary it is completely opposite. When a child is small, they look up to a parent for responses for everything they do. That is how they develop a sense of right or wrong. Sometimes, as parents we make a lot of mistakes. We give our children mixed signals. We might tell them no for something they do one time but the other time we will just ignore it. Next time the child will question your no. As a result you will get angry and hit the child. Now the child will listen to your NO, but it will be so because of fear, not because the fact that it was not the right thing to do.
As that child grows older, they will put this into practice everywhere. If someone is watching them, they will never do anything wrong and when no one is watching, it becomes okay to do it.
First of all, instead of fear, we must install values in our children. As a parent, we must be consistent in our approach towards their behaviour. Secondly, we must take out time to explain to them the reason of not doing the wrong thing if it is a repeat offence. Once they understand, we can tell them that we expect them not to do it any more. This should be repeated till they develop the sense of right and wrong.
Equal treatment of the male and the female child
A child learns more from what it sees rather than what it hears. No matter how much we tell our children about something, unless we are not doing them too, it will not follow what you say. It will follow what it sees you do. Same goes with our good ole’ Indian Culture. A son holds a spacial place in our society. He is the name bearer. That is what every child starts to believe, irrespective of their gender.
I have never come across someone dumping their male child into a river. I have never come across parents opting for an abortion if the baby was diagnosed male. Maybe in just one odd rare case you’d witness a mother applying more butter on her daughter’s bread. When the children see their own fathers treats their mothers a certain way, they learn.
When the male child, since he was born, witnesses women of his own household being treated like second grade human beings, how can we expect him to treat them as equals?
Once again, awareness plays an important role. We should include parenting as a subject in our education system. Almost every individual grows up and becomes a parent. Why do we not have any system in place where the person, upon becoming the parent would know the right thing to do. They will have a personal interest in it since they love their own child and would love for it to grow up into a good human being.
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Rape Culture Is Not The Indian Culture
Every time there is a rape case that gets highlighted in the mainstream media, many experts and people of great importance come to show their faces on the big TV screen. They all play like a broken record reiterating the same thing over and over again. The blame game continues. Every single time it is the same thing. One side has invented the term Rape Culture and the other side blames the system. Finally, emerges a third group that blames the girl. In the modern times, we have even seen people holding rallies in the support of the rape victims. The agenda is their personal fame and popularity. Who knew that Tom, Dick or Harry before that protest? Now they know the Thomas, the Dickinson and the Harold.
The unfortunate truth is that nothing changes still. Next time, it will be a set of different people with the same old rhetoric.
Urgency: To realize our faults and fix them
It is about time that the Indian media and the Indian politicians quit harping Rape Culture of India rhetoric and focus on the key issues to fix the problem. It is of grate importance that we make this country safer for our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. A girl of any age should feel comfortable to wear what she wants, go where she wants and to do what she wants without anyone trying to teach her a lesson for being an individual. It is about time we had values installed in the minds of people rather than fear. One must be taught the importance of Ought to rather than Must. When that happens, this world will become a better place for our girls.