‘Five-year-old girl raped and strangled to death in Kharar’ – 28th June 2011, Indian Express
‘Two held for raping minor’ – 27th June 2011, The Times of India
‘More rapes reported in Uttar Pradesh, 13 in 1 week’ – 26th June 2011, Hindustan Times
‘Dalit girl raped, minor stabbed in eyes while resisting rape’ – 20th June 2011, The Hindu
Just look at these headlines in all leading dailies across the nation. It’s a shame that India is among that handful of nations globally, who are extremely high on women abuse. Little wonder that India ranked as the 4th most dangerous nation for women, in a recent Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll.
I believe that these heinous deeds have roots in the way we are brought up. And I speak from personal experience. When we were children boys and girls were allowed to mingle, play and spend time with each other. But as we grew up the girls were told ‘Stay away from boys. It’s not too healthy to mingle with too many boys. What will the neighbours say?’ Boys were told ‘You have to concentrate on your studies and career path now. Stop spending time with girls. You’re going to be the man of the house and have to earn money.’ I’m sure whoever first came up with these fundas had the best intentions. But people took it far too seriously. Problem? Guys and girls started lying and meeting because attraction towards the opposite sex, even if strictly in a friendly manner, is inevitable.
In a country like India privacy is a huge issue, because we’re simply chock-a-block with humans everywhere. (no wonder we’re the second most populous country in the world) Even grown up men and women don’t spend much time with each other in private (even to bloody talk, leave alone anything else). Some of us have also had a bad childhood and developed hatred towards men/women due to some disturbing event(s). All these things lead to extreme levels of frustration and finally a disturbed mind. And then at some age, your inner demons take over. And we need a release. (no pun intended) All it takes is one weak moment and a hapless victim.
So, how do you take control of this situation? Or at least ensure that your kids don’t grow up to be abusive adults? First things first, teach them gender equality at a very early age. Sex education, should follow just before they reach their teens. Don’t wait till they reach puberty or till their school appoints some silly sex education doctor to come and give them a talk. Realise that even if you are uncomfortable with certain topics, your kids are most comfortable with you. And yes, just for extra safety teach your kids some basic defensive skills (even boys) like kicking between the legs, putting fingers in the eyes, screaming for help, etc.
All through my education I’ve been led to believe that we have evolved from apes. That with every passing evolutionary stage from Homo Neanderthalensis to Homo Sapiens, we gained more intelligence and ability to rationalize. That we are different from other animals because we don’t take our decisions based on pure instinct. But the recent spate of news articles relating to women abuse are a little too frequent for comfort. And lead me to believe that humans are the most inhuman species of the entire animal kingdom.