When the Delhi Rape Case occurred in 2012, I was baffled and angry. I thought how could those men do things like that. But I didn’t give the case much thought because we had our own case of Sita Rai going on. You can read my reaction here. Three years after, when I watched the banned BBC’s documentary, probably illegally, I didn’t know how to react. Whatever you read from now on is how I reacted. It was originally send as an email to a friend.
I liked the documentary. Liked it in the sense that I liked how both the sides were shown in it. Liked it in the sense that it made me think (I am sure it made many others think too). It made me think about how a rapist is born. How s/he is raised. How s/he perceives or is perceived.
I have always believed that a human neglects all the consequences and crosses the line when s/he thinks s/he is so powerful that no one can touch him or her. Nor other people, nor the law. When that person thinks he or she is above everyone else.
That is the concept of those rapists and their lawyers. That men are above women and they should be treated like a dirt. And when women go out of their control they should be punished. This is the mentality of many such men across India and South Asia. Men, who are poor. Who has never received an education. Who were always treated like a king, in front of their sisters who were treated otherwise, more like a slave or worse some kind of animal. These men were always told they were the masters. By the society. By their parents. They have seen how their mothers were beaten helplessly by their fathers.
There are other men. Who are educated. Who are from the well off family. Who go to the most expensive college. But they too think the same. That they are better than the rest of the people, especially those poor women that they would be ready to cross the line because their dads are businessman and politicians.
And there are those poor women. Who are told that their husbands are everything. Even god. Without the husband, no one will protect them, it’s not worth living at all. They don’t know what to do without the husbands. Even if they think of living without one, the society will not let them live in peace.
And thinking all of these, I don’t know who is to blame here. A boy who has always seen his father raping his mother and beating her. Who is told by his mother that he is better than his sister. He will be better than his wife. Who doesn’t receive any education. Who lives in slums and is surrounded by other similar boys. And they all see women as an object. These people don’t care if their sisters get raped. Women are to be the object for men. They have been told, ever since they were a kid.
Or should we blame society who is such a hypocrite in so many ways that I don’t know how to start or where to start. Or should we blame the media. The movies that depict women as an object in an item dance number. The movies and series that show how men get women by pressurizing her, by stalking her and by harrasing her. Those movies depict women as weaklings who need to be saved by strong men. Or should we blame the law. Because somehow, the victims never get the justice. No matter what. That the criminals aren’t given the perfect punishment. But what is the punishment. Hanging the criminals or castrating them or killing them isn’t the perfect punishment. I know that because this will not solve the crime. But what is teh perfect punishment. For me, the perfect punishment would be the criminals feeling completely guilty that they would rather want to kill themselves than live with the remorse but that they aren’t allowed to die. That the torture shouldn’t be physical but psychological and emotional. That they beg to be hurt physically.
What I feel right now, besides anger and sadness and confusion is sorrow for the sisters of the rapists and the daughters of those lawyers. And scared too. I don’t know what kind of future will they have. I don’t know how will they live. I don’t know how many sisters and daughters like them are still living. I don’t know how many criminals are still roaming around. I don’t know how to make them see. I just don’t know anything and that makes me feel helpless. That just makes me off because there are many who thinks men are always better and men are always right and women don’t have any rights to live as they want. And many of these people think they have the power. And I don’t have anything to use against their power.