The Death of a Girl in India?

It''s a story of injustice, oppression, violation and suffering

Dr. Quleen Kaur Bijral
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 23 2018 11:23PM | Updated Date: May 23 2018 11:23PM
The Death of a Girl in India?

Many women have sordid memories of being leered at, groped, violated and even sexually assaulted during their impressionable childhood days.  The trauma of it grows everyday as the victim with age realizes what transpired was repulsively immoral, a matter of societal shame, and an indelible stain.  It is boldly said, the victim need not be ashamed, but the humiliation hangs like a noose. The agonizing memory refuses to perish, as the victim lives and relives her trauma especially in the face of the insidious child rapes screaming in our superficially liberal society.

 Most women confront, fight back and take a stand on the very scaffold of their horrendous memory while some surrender due to obvious reasons of scandalous exposure in the society, filial pressure, and personal shame or even self-reproach. The victim as moulded and maimed by the society believes the crime committed on her to be her fault to begin with! How gut-wrenching these episodes are; even more shocking are their commonplace occurrence be it in broad daylight or the  poorly lit streets, the safe premises of home and office or the crowded bus stops, stations and every place humanly reached.   

The Temple Goddess? The Street Victim?

As we pay obeisance to our women goddesses, the violence against women in this country rips apart the sanctity of our cultural standing. India as a land of extremes has women in powerful and well-recognized positions with accolades and laurels in diverse fields. Conversely, in this very country, women are killed at birth, assaulted at home, harassed at work and home, girls below age of 10 years raped -  the direness of these recurrences and the direness of our growing apathy or should one say hopelessness is appalling. To further establish this paradox, in India we hear cases where a woman or a girl child walking on the street meets people who stop their cars for her to pass, offer to carry her luggage, give space in a queue, even open doors, pull the chairs and perform other most courteous etiquettes and refined mannerisms. Then there are days, when she is scoffed at, shamed and assaulted for being alone or in a group, with a boyfriend, or for having a job, or wearing a jean or a suit; any excuse to violate and put her in her place.  

No One is Born a Rapist

No one is born violent, that is understood. What then are the blameworthy reasons that make an eve-teaser, a wife-beater, and/or a rapist?

Aggression. Frustration. Hate. Inferiority complex. Idle wildness. The root of violence in India begins with home-grown patriarchal concepts as Boys don’t cry,  Boys don’t do laundry, Men are gods, Women their slaves and so forth.  A boy imitates his father and learns from him the ways to treat the other sex. If the father is reprehensible in his conduct towards his wife, the boy will replicate the same demeanour towards his own spouse or his female colleague or female strangers he comes across. 

Girl and a boy sitting in the park, dining together, taking pictures etc is seen as a sacrilege by many families even today. Do not make friends with the boys or the girls as goes the cultural toll in India. Such a mindset has turned the entire subject of human bonding a forbidden crime. This raises morbid interest of the children in these subjects which they learn from nefarious sources as Items songs in Bollywood or the Indian pop songs with objectionable lyrics. Such media demonise women as sluts who are eager to be abused as apparently it is a fashionable trend!   Parents, guardians and teachers are hesitant, apprehensive, careless and/or forbidden to sensibly throw light on these matters hence the case. Gir-boy interactions which the children should have learnt in a progressive manner are turned into vile, despicable and shameless topics which instead of prevention serve as lurid temptation. 

What to speak of the adults who shout in theatres during Item songs but take to lathi-charging on seeing a decent couple sitting together. These vigilante mobsters as ordained by the cultural mentality believe women to be chattel, romance to be a blasphemy, and their violence a divine right to cleanse the society. This mentality is, to be blunt, an integral germ of our society which has distorted, infected and completely mutated our once liberal culture into a rigid as well as a ludicrous dogma. Consequently, driven by it, where there should have been bonhomie between the two sexes, there is cultivated fear, shame, power equation and terms of revenge through acid attacks etc. Under the influence of such nonsensical ideologies, young boys to men vent out these imposed inhibitions through domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape, and so on. It is said, that Literacy can only solve this crisis which is partially unfounded. As this issue of morality needs to be taught at home. Home first. Parents and guardians need to be responsible in this case. A child learns by imitation, then it is paramount to serve right actions for him/her to emulate than feeding hostile, outrageous and sick theories of girl-boy interaction.   

 Death of a Girl in India?

One incident of being molested at a public place diminishes the spirit out of the victim. Girls and women who are raped undergo such an ordeal which is exacerbated due to the insensitive treatment of the society which makes them relive the torment over and over again. The education of the girl is suspected. Her moral sense is questioned. Even her family is caught in the calumny. Her choice of friends. Her behaviour at the moment. Her purpose to be outside the house. And many more absurd, abhorrent and insolent questions which criminalise the victim with brutal impudence. The height is when she is stamped as dishonourable that forces her to seek death than life. On the contrary, the culprit is hardly judged as a criminal. No question over his education, family circle, behaviour, peer group, his purpose to be outside, and character etc.  Deplorable. 

 It is a plea in this regard to ensure swift justice to the victim. To prosecute the case with utmost sensitivity. To dislodge societal branding of victims as sluts and to ensure the criminal is caught, indicted summarily, and punished as a criminal than let go scot free. It’s a plea. 

 

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