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Why is Rape an Epidemic in India?

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On any day in a given year, your favorite newspaper carries a news item (however small) of rapes and molestation across the country. It reported such news before Nirbhaya and it continues to do so even now. The steam gathered since Nirbhaya, tolerance levels among the citizens went down and public outcry was a result. We witnessed how Indians came together at the India Gate to protest.

Despite all the sounding of harshest possible punishment, the number of rape cases does not seem to have gone down. Tourists from outside India are targeted by gangs, leaving a bad taste against India, and prompting advisories by respective foreign governments. Things are going bad by the day, and on the outset, it looks like the Indian government is not able to contain this mishap, and has given into accepting the fate.

Why is the act of raping an epidemic in India? If you think it is an epidemic in India, it is an epidemic elsewhere too. Going by the proportions of India’s population with the number of rape cases, other countries may outnumber India by a huge margin. But, that is not the point here!

When you look closely at the rape incidents, youngsters find it an attempt to experiment with their adulthood, adults find it a way out to enjoy life and groups or gangs look at it as a team game they are indulged in.

Here are a few reasons why I feel rape is on a rise in India:

Lack of Sex Education

Since Independence, India has seen itself as conservative, pointing fingers at the Western countries at their openness of talking about sex and the freedom that is attached socially to sleeping with other than their partners. This so called conservatism is our omen today. Lack of sex education is leading to increased experimentation in youngsters. They first experiment on themselves, then on others, and then with others. Finally, it leads to a habit that requires constant exchanges to keep them satisfied.

A thorough sex education may not nullify experiments but it will definitely bring down the counts of forcing one on the other.

Male:Female Ratio

It is no secret that there are more males than females. The disparity exists more in North India than in the South. Due to a number of reasons ranging from dowry that has to be paid to the bridegroom during weddings, to a woman not being there to support the family, Indians have grown allergic reactions to having daughters. Either they are aborted during pregnancy or deserted to fend for themselves post birth.

Coming back to the ratios. More men folk than women mean that many men will end up spending the rest of their lives in their bachelorhood. Being single does not mean that men will forego the acts of bonding. As they do not have a committed partner in life, they look for avenues which possibly result in rapes and molestation.

The voodoo of a girl child is still existent in North India and this must be shunned by proper education. The Indian culture where bridegroom expects and brides deliver must be cast away. Equality of sex must be propagated through solid governance.

Legalize Prostitution

If cricketers can sell themselves to teams and be auctioned and transferred between the IPL teams, what is wrong in shedding clothes for the sake of a payer’s pleasure? Prostitution must be legalized in India, and this goes back to the so-called Indian conservatism which is the cause of the rape epidemic.

While prostitution is legalized, steps must be taken to curb the emergence of pimps and un-willfully forcing anybody to turn into prostitution. It must be a profession that citizens can willfully enter, and retire peacefully when they desire to. The idea is that it must not be institutionized but rather freelanced.

Physical Castration

I thought over physical castration for a long time before I decided to put it down here. While the act of castrating one’s sexual organ seems inhuman, the act of raping is no lesser. India must follow the lead of Arabic countries in introducing harsh punishments for illegal sexual acts. Not only bring in the governance, but make it known to all its citizens that these harsh rules will prevail and no offender will sift through the guillotine.

Concluding Thoughts

The actions that I have mentioned are just a few pebbles on the beach. Indian government can do a lot more to take this act to its brink. But, it won’t. It has better things to fight for – like saving its chair, protecting dynasties, safeguarding sponsors and winning the upcoming elections.

The day the right priorities are set in order, is the day India will lift its head from the blemishes of heinous crimes. For the priorities to cast in stone, our system which takes into consideration only numbers to rule a country must change. Rather than quantifying who governs, quality of governance should be the rock of our next government.

Yet another plague in reforming India is the short term memory. Indians fight tooth and nail for sometime and forget all about it when something else comes by. We have seen this most prominently with Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement.

Abhinav Krishna Kaiser is a published author. He works in the IT industry as a management consultant. He is a globe trotter, with his work taking him to newer places. He currently lives in Bangalore.

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