Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Page Mail

On punishment for rape

Dear Madam,
This is with reference to your editorial, “Inadequacies of laws” (NP, July 6, 2018). There are inadequacies of laws, inadequacies of implementation of existing laws and more importantly inadequacies of social awareness to identify machismo as a primitive, bad and ugly thing. All these contribute to the sharp rise in the number of crime and violence against women in the figures released by the National Crime Records Bureau. There have been 3,38,954 cases of crimes against women in 2016 which indicates a marked increase in the number of reported crimes since the previous year. Of these, 1,58,528 cases are still pending since 2015.
To check rape, molestation and stalking is indeed impossible so long as we cannot ensure quick justice delivery system and keep on pampering machismo or to put it more correctly ~ baboon – gender – stereotypes. Baboon males are often very aggressive towards females and these animals have unfortunately been branded as our gender models. In many popular movies, courtship begins with eve teasing and that helps those movies get box-office success because both men and women are comfortable with regressive gender models.
This fact has come out in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS – 4) for the year 2015 – 16. According to its findings, the national average of women who support domestic violence against them at the hands of their husbands stands at 51.1 per cent!
This also explains why boys outnumber girls when it comes to ragging and bullying. We have been brainwashed with such nonsense as ~ a real man should not cry. A man can be angry, vulgar and violent to prove his masculinity but he cannot be emotional. If he becomes emotional then he will be branded as an effeminate person. He can be naughty and that will add a feather in his cap. So, molestations are well suited to such male – baboon – stereotypes.
Our prejudices, some films and advertisements as well as the actions and utterances of some political leaders bear testimony to our regressive mindsets. One of our political leaders said, “Rape accused should not be hanged. Boys make mistakes.” Another political heavyweight commented on rape that it was sometimes right and sometimes wrong ~ while another one went on to say that both the boy and the girl should be punished in a rape case.
To make our boys free from such animal tag, we should ask our sons how they felt when they had faced cruel ragging and what must they say about those brutes. And we should remind them that there is no reason to suppose such sadists and rapists ~ human beings. Instead of making our son ~ a man, we must try to make him ~ a human. Moreover, we need continuous movements to press the demand for quick justice delivery system that can nab the rapists without delay and keep them behind bars till death. And if he is a killer rapist, he needs to spend rest of his life in an isolated cell. Their spending the whole lives behind bars or in isolated cells need to be projected as the fate of badass machismo. It will act as a more effective deterrent than occasional “rarest of the rare” capital punishment for a few rapists and some years of confinement for all others.
Sujit De, Kolkata