“Rape is such an offence which causes the victim and his family to suffer for all the life where the victim is totally an innocent party.”
Rape is one of the most heinous crimes committed by a person to control, dominate and force the other to their own will. It is a world-wide phenomenon. Whatever reasons might be behind it- social, religious or in wars, it carries the same crushing the same crushing shame, anger and emotional trauma. Rape is such a barbaric and inhuman act which makes the whole life of the victim a hell, several instances come to the light where the victim prefer to commit suicide than to live in this world of rapist.
Still worse, she is forcibly threshed out to Kothas for flesh trading where she dies many times a day. Those lucky enough to escape from the hell live an unknown low profile life at some distant unknown place. And in many cases, her family and society refuse to accept her as a normal member. No real sympathy for the victim except shouting slogans by some NGO’s or Human Right activities or other such organizations. The victim further suffers physically, psychologically and socially as well.
The 1994 Home Ministers’ National Crime Records Bureau shows that in every 52st minutes a woman is sexually harassed. Every 54 minutes she is raped, and every 102 minutes there is a dowry death. These are conservative estimates as they don’t reflect the crimes that are never reported and if they are often no registered by the police.
Case of Maya Tyagi, a 6 month pregnant lady who was beaten up and dragged to the police station, there she was assaulted and raped by three policemen. These policemen were acquitted due to lack of evidence by the court. In much famous Mathura Bia rape case, the Supreme Court could not convict the accused as the victim was admittedly proved to be a consenting party, what was in reality a gang rape. Recent case outside the Siri Fort Auditorium New Delhi a foreigner, a Swiss diplomat was raped in her car is yet another chapter in this shameful sage.
In our country the woman’s sexuality is still a very taboo thing. Most Indian women are still much oppressed and don’t have equal right leaving aside the 10 % belonging to the upper elite. While most men already have a sexual experience before their brides to be virgins with a clean character (?). Now in such a scenario, a girl who is raped, on top of the grief caused by the actual incident has to face the ruthless treatment meted out to her by the society and on the other side the rapist is declared innocent by the court even. Usually the girl is treated as some sort of an alien and is subjected to lecherous and curious looks.
And if she is unmarried, she can conveniently forget an out marrying. It’s very hard to get a marriage proposal. Not that marriage is the ultimate goal for any woman, but a single girl is treated worse. The saddest part is Indian men give more importance to the hymen than a girl’s personality. Though the mindset of people in the bigger cities is changing, it is still the same in the towns and villages which constitute a major chuck of India.
A movie released recently in Andhra Pradesh which dealt about rape. In that there is a dialogue referring to marrying a rape victim – “How can a man eat in a plate in which someone has already eaten?” (sick!). This clearly reflects the typical Indian male’s mindset. The rape victim is looked upon as if she is at fault and somehow asked for it. No wonder 60 n- 70 % of rape cases go unreported. If it’s an already married woman, the fate of the woman depends upon the husband. If he is a bit broad- minded he keeps her, if not – he dumps her. It’s not only the men; even the women have the same attitude. The women have an ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude and wouldn’t hesitate to shred another girls’ character to shred just to portray themselves as ‘good’ girls. First of all, we as a society must stop ostracizing rape victims and give all the emotional support they need.
The conviction rate of rape in India is abysmally low: 20 percent. Unless the conviction rate goes up, there is little to deter the criminals.
Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code 1960 says “Whosoever commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall be not less than 7 years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.” It cannot be right approach or to say, the punishment provided under section 376 of IPC 1980 is not proper for such a barbaric act. One who is an innocent party, the victim, has to suffer for the whole of her life which the culprit is acquainted after 7 to 10 years ! It is nor justice! Even after 50 + years of our independence, we are unable to provide the basic Human Rights to the women of our country.
It is said, we have laws, but what do our laws do? It is also a known fact that general inefficiency and corruption in the police force are responsible for the low rate of conviction in most of the cases relating women. If as a society we change our narrow mindset, thought we cannot cut down the trauma caused by the actual rape, we can give all the emotional support that the victim needs and see the rapist is behind the bars. This would at least result in the reduction of rape crimes in the country.
There are many other factors which result into such perversities. Obnoxious and deplorable portrayal of women on screen and in advertisement, coupled with almost uncensored displaying of female anatomy are some factors responsible for encouraging the ordinary men to commit crimes against women. Increasing number of Beauty Contest, excite ordinary men to explore the otherwise unreachable women body.
Certainly the battle will have to be fought in other fields also. But still the law must be the strictest to deal with such cases. Quick and effective administration of Justice is also required in such cases. We must remember that IPC was framed in 1860. Today age old IPC has been proved to be an ineffective deterrent to this growing menace. Nothing less than a death penalty would work to check such kind of barbaric acts. It is very difficult or seems impossible to transform such devils who are extreme psychic cases or professionals. Only fear of death may deter them from indulging in such heinous crimes. One death penalty will make thousand other fearful of even thinking or dreaming about committing rape. There must not be anything less than death penalty for the culprit who destroys the whole life of the victim and her family.