Sunday, December 30, 2012

Shame on us!

Two weeks ago, on Dec 16 to be precise, a 23-year-old student boarded a bus in New Delhi. While on the moving bus, she was assaulted, beaten up and gang raped. She died a few days ago.

In another case, in Punjab, a 17-year-old teen committed suicide after being pressurized to marry her rapist.

In case you think these are just two isolated occurrences, think again. In India a rape is reported every 20 minutes. How many go unreported is anybody's guess.

What is different with these cases is the widespread protests that have resulted.
More stringent punishment, capital punishment for rape has been called for. My gut tells me that moving towards a penal system like the one in Saudi Arabia is not the solution. But in this post, I would like to talk about the social situation in India

In India, the rape victim is considered 'damaged goods', unfit for marriage, ostracized by the society. In the Punjab case, the victim was actually pressurized to marry her rapist, seemingly to absolve the victim of the dishonour! What kind of society do we live in?

Yes, we need a penal system that deters potential rapists. But we as a society need to discard our antiquated and inhuman way of treating the victims. No amount of legislation can force this societal  change. We as a society need to change. How many more victims have to fall prey to this warped sense of 'purity' before we change?

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