Is it possible to prevent it?
Awarness, education, equality, courage and confidence will eventually curb rape incidentsLast week, I attended a debate contest in Delhi University in which students from 17 colleges had participated. The subject was “Can rape be prevented.” The debate has both girls as well as boys taking part in it. During the course of the debate, I found one common factor in every participant — that the Indian mindset of both sexes needs to change.We all keep harping on the same old line saying that rape is inevitable and how we must educate and spread awareness amongst every part of our society. But what we tend to forget is that we live in a vastly populated country where most live in slums and villages. We also have been trying our best to reach out far and wide with these messages. But sex in this country is used to vent out frustration, anger, and is also a part of entertainment for the poor.The men in this country have still not got used to the fact that women are now aware of their rights and are now getting more independent. Since time immemorial, men have used women as doormats and also as someone who have no feelings and emotions but should be used, abused mentally and physically. There are very few men even today in my generation who treat women as equals. It is the younger generation that is more aware of the fact that women are not only sex tools but are as brilliant and maybe even cleverer than men. That the female instincts are much sharper is a known fact in most cultures now.Most men would blame a women’s attitude, clothing, or mannerism if she was raped. They insist either her attitude forced the man to rape her, or her bare skin, or she was giving him those “come on signs”. These are what we generally hear in court when the rapist is defending himself. How absurd is this? The lawyers then grill the victim with all kind of embarrassing questions. That is the main reason that most women who have become victims to this heinous crime do not even report it. In villages child molestation is a common issue. A child, be it a girl or a boy, is abused by close relatives too. Some keep quiet because they are scared, and some because they are lured by gifts they receive in return.How many of the victims go without justice? We all close our eyes to cases of sexual abuse which come everyday. We have NGOs by the hundreds who rarely take any action. We do need to give our women much more confidence. And this has to come from the time they are born. Our daughters should be taught not to take physical cruelty which shows her down. A boy should be punished for not treating his sister or girlfriend as an equal. But most important is financial independence. Only then will the fairer sex be confident. Parents should realise this and spend equally on their sons and daughters. Awareness, education, equality, courage and confidence is what will eventually prevent rape.