As a teenager, for me and some of my friends one of the most interesting things to read in newspaper supplements was the relationship advice columns. I use to get totally baffled at the reader’s dilemmas and more astonished by the piece of advice that the agony auntie/uncle gave to the questioners. A lot of problems were related to sexuality and it generally went like “When I was in 11th std. I had sex with my best friend….” and so on. I often envied those questioners for their early “getting laid” experiences and wondered why the fuck they waste their time writing letters to newspapers.
Later a journalist friend told me that many of those letters are totally fake and written deliberately to attract attention of the young adolescent readers.
I have always liked to read about relationships, sex and human psychology. Different people think differently about the same situation but yet somewhere there is a common thing that generally connects the different interpretations. In many cases human evolution plays a very crucial role in shaping our thought processes.
The recent gang-rape incident in Delhi has really made me very upset. The news reports might suggest that such incidences are on a rise in India. Even statistically this might be true. Our law and order situation is worse than ever. The moral fabric of the society is torn. However I wonder if the real cause of rapes is different. Compared to 10 years back, today’s India has plenty of opportunity for women who want to be independent, who want to live on their own and who want to be totally unconventional. This results in lot of women coming out of their homes and being free. This might be contributing cause to the increased rape statistics we see besides the fact that today the victim is lot more likely to speak up against harassment.
Causality must not be mistaken with blame. Women must be encouraged to be independent, work and be at par with men in every aspect. If women coming out of their homes makes them unsafe, it is the responsibility of the state to provide them adequate protection.
However in our nation every government institution seems to be entangled in an endless web of regulations and “due process” conformation and as a result they have abandoned their core responsibilities.
Take the example of a girl getting arrested for a Facebook post. The police exists to protect our rights which includes our right to criticize someone like Bal Thakare. Even if every Shiv Sainik starts rioting in the state, the police force must protect that girl’s right to express herself and bring the rioters to justice. The police instead chooses the path of least resistance. They arrest the girl.
After the Delhi gang rape the home minister has applied more tighter regulation on how buses operate. If a rape takes place in office next time, the regulations will be forced on the office spaces.
I am hopeful that these incidences will decrease with time. India is going through a rapid change and our society which has very deep roots finds it difficult to cope up with this change. Our traditional marriage and family system is losing it’s sheen. Which means both male and females, married and single want to try new things. In some case a young single man working in call center wants to have casual sex over the weekend and a married bus driver too wants something to excite him. In case of white collar workers like us we are more adapted because the kind of environments in which we live it is lot more easier to find partners for casual as well as long term relationships. The reason is, a lot of middle class women are now working in white collar jobs.
But if we contrast this with the blue collar jobs the situations is different. Girls from poor families are still not working. Which means men working at the bottom of the pyramid are finding it hard to find a female. Often, their frustration leads to their animal instincts taking over.
Rape is a heinous crime. Swift prosecution and strong punishment will reduce the rape statistics in short term. But what will really bring it down in short term is more and more women coming out of their homes to work, mix with the society and men at all social levels.
I hope speedy recovery to the girl, hope she understands that the world has not ended.