Ji Mantri Ji

MotherIndiabyAnu

Sadly, this is not about that wondrous Hindi version of Yes Minister, the one that starred Farooque Sheikh in the role originated by Paul Eddington.  No, it is about our lovely MLAs and the lovely male chauvinist statements they make. They’ve made so many, and such brilliant ones this past month, that I thought there should be a commemmorative.

Reading in the news that there was a rape somewhere in India is one of those things that makes you angry, makes your blood boil, but not really something that particularly surprises you very much. Our, er, ‘mango people in a banana republic’  are certainly angered by it, but that does nothing to change the fact that

a) at least a few hundred rapes happen every day all over the country,

and

b) The law is doing absolutely nothing about it.

All you hear about most rape cases is that the ‘perpetrator was taken into custody, and an FIR filed.’  Nobody knows what ensues, but evidently, the law fails to run its course – if it did, at least some rapists would be discouraged. That is,of course, the whole idea of punishment  – to be a deterrent. It has clearly failed, because corruption means that a certain, agreed-upon amount can get you off scot free.

Haryana might as well be the rape capital of the world.  Log on to ANY Indian news website, and you will see at least 10 cases of rape, attempted rape, molestation, some sort of sexual crime or the other, every single day. Which is kind of ironic, seeing as we claim, as a’culture’, to think that sex is ‘gross’, ‘disgusting’, everything that is wrong with the world, and imbibed from that nebulous but iconic Godzilla-like monster Indians like to call ‘Western Culture‘, which is related to all things sex, which we shouldn’t talk about. Tauba tauba.

Haryana is extra special in that regard, as are its MLAs for whom misogyny seems to be a standing requirement, as does having as low an IQ as possible. This is evident every time they open those ugly, shit-spewing orifices of theirs. First, watch culprit number one, Haryana Pradesh Congress committee member Dharamvir Goyat:

Translation: ” I have no hesitation in saying about this matter that 90% of  girls go willingly, but end up meeting ‘criminal-minded people’ who are just victims of lust.  The girl does not know that further there are five, seven, ten… 90 per cent of girls go with complete consent and end up meeting criminals. This is what I would like to state clearly.”

Like all backward, woman-hating men and their statements, this guy and his eloquent banter made me absolutely blind with rage.  How is it WILLING when these hulking lumps of shit drag screaming women to dark alleys and whatnot and violate them in unspeakable ways, sometimes multiple men at a time?  When they’re mentally scarred for life and some of them even suicidal?

As for the rapists being ‘victims of lust’ – yes, poor victims. Poor victims, standing over the terrified form of a random person five or more of them have dragged in from the street, laughing and cackling away like a horrible 90s Bollywood film. Poor victims, like that piece of scum, Amar Jyoti Kalita, one of the main accused in the Guwahati Rape Case this past July, who tugged at her shirt, pulled her hair, and grinned and gurned for a camera he KNEW was recording every scene of a girl being raped in the heart of the town. Yes, poor fucking victim.

Proof that the law is utterly useless in these matters? From news coverage of the case: “The police reached the spot after half an hour and took the girl to her parents. The Assam Police has identified twelve men from the video footage, but they have only managed to arrest four so far in three days.”. It has since been three and a half months, and no news since.  [Proof that the law is useless overall? The fact that it has been a little under FIVE years since the Arushi and Hemraj murder case, and NOBODY appears to have an inkling of what actually happened.]

Let’s cut to another Haryana scenario (if I were doing this in order of stupidity, this would certainly be first).

Khap panchayat leaders blaming women for rape is pathetic and disgusting, but not really a new thing.  Awful as that is, it isn’t the stupidest thing one of them has ever said, but THIS may be:

                      “Poverty and intoxication are the main reasons for rape as well as young people sitting together the wrong way. But also eating chowmein causes a hormonal imbalance which is a big reason for rapes.”

That little nugget was brought to you courtesy Khap leader and clearly, scientist and rape expert extraordinaire, Jitender Chhataar.  I, personally, have no idea how to react to that other than to want tear my own hair out in ire.  I expect the thela-walas who sell ‘Chinese’ food want to punch him, too.

I would also very much like to know what ‘sitting the wrong way’ is. Cross-legged, one leg over the other, my ankles touching, or just like your average khap panchayat guy, legs open and crotch and balls aired to the world?

One would assume basic education should be a necessity for any leader, whatever level they may be on. Obviously education, intelligence and common sense all seem to have eluded Mr. Chataar ( and, evidently, every MLA in Haryana).

Here we have a rape-related statement from another Khap leader:

“”When asked why rapes are occuring at this scale in Haryana, Sube Singh said that movies and television are to be blamed for rapes. “I believe this is happening because our youth are being badly influenced by cinema and television. I think that girls should be married at the age of 16, so that they have their husbands for their sexual needs, and they don’t need to go elsewhere. This way rapes will not occur.”

According to Mr. Singh (and, I’m sorry to say, several, several other people also), rape is sexual, it’s all about the sex, the penetration, the act of intercourse, the lack of which, to them, is the root cause of rape. Also a cause of rape? Short skirts, no? It isn’t the perverted, sick criminal who is to blame, but the girl whose ‘dress is above her knees’ (seen on the TOI comment board), the ‘slut’. She is to blame for giving the rapist ‘come fuck  me’ vibes, apparently.

Here’s some news – it’s not. It’s about the power, the sick, perverted ‘happiness’ the rapist feels at finally having had his/her way, the ability to have controlled something, the exhilaration like some awful, awful drug. It’s about having violated someone and subsequently having gotten away with it, in the full knowledge that here, you can do it again, and nobody will care a damn.

Speaking of MLAs, one would expect them to have marginally more intelligence or education than your average Khap leader, and a less backward way of thinking, having grown up in more civilised, socio-economically privileged society..but no, out they come to prove that statement ridiculously wrong, in the form of Om Prakash Chautala, the former Chief Minister of Haryana (?!?!),  not for one but THREE terms. Really.

Now Mr. Chautala here compared the Khap ruling to the (clearly wonderful, not violent at all) Mughal era, and said “….During that period, people used to get their daughters married at a very early age fearing somebody will abduct them. A similar situation prevails in the state. Teenage girls are being gangraped and the government is doing nothing. I have seen young girls getting married due to this fear. In such a situation, if Khaps have suggested lowering the marriage age of girls, I think it is correct.”

Let’s process that for a moment.  Again, I cannot reiterate often enough how much I truly hate the concept of arranged marriage, which really has no place in a civilised world, but might as well be the norm here.  I have heard of several cultures within India that think of women as ‘paraya dhan’ , which translates roughly to ‘somebody else’s wealth’ – and this in 2012. The idea is that the woman, who was insofar the responsibility of one man, daddy dearest (or daddyji if you prefer) has now been, er, bequeathed, to her husband who now has to ‘take care of’ her.  Because women aren’t educated, don’t work, and something with boobs taking care of itself? Holy hell! How could that happen?  What is the solution to all of this? Marriage, DUH.

So, to the khap and Mr. Chautala, marriage = rape security because by their logic, one man ‘owns’ her and will protect her from those poor darling ‘victims of lust’.

Yet another Khap leader echoed Chautala’s sentiments, saying rape was a ‘result of boys and girls attaining puberty and their sexual needs not being fulfilled’.  That speaks volumes, and not just about Khap Man here.  A LOT of people in our country think ‘pre-marital sex’ is something awful, a penis-or-vagina shaped Tyrannosaurus Rex that threatens to engulf all of our ‘values’ and ‘culture’. And god forbid boys and girls got into relationships – that would mean the apocalypse is nigh.

Oddly enough, the one country that makes the biggest song and dance and issue about sex in general is the country with the second highest population in the world. It’s not like those children are giving birth to themselves. We have paintings and sculptures and (yes, this has been done to death) the Kama Sutra, the world’s foremost, most ancient sex manual.

But while it’s been 65 years since we gained independence, we seem to have been stuck with Victorian ideals while the rest of the world has moved far ahead.

Case in point: this guy, who thinks women should not have cellular phones because they will ‘get distracted’, and one of our most esteemed politicians, the CM of West Bengal, according to whom rapes are on the rise because “men and women are interacting more freely….. …. It’s like an open market with open options.”

I’m going to leave that one open to the world to take apart, because I have no idea what to say.

India is slowly becoming a Talibanesque society with regard to women, but with crazier leaders,  leaders who seem to be in competition with one another and the Taliban themselves for the title of ‘most regressive ideals ever’, leaders who neither deserve nor have any idea how to use the power they have.

If these leaders have their way, we will be there sooner than we think; and we’re already there in some ways, because you can be arrested for having an opinion and wanting to show it, even if it IS in a cartoon or three. Or you can be thrown in the slammer because somebody up there doesn’t like you, or what you did.

There are lots of horribly retrograde ideals held exclusively by these mindless mantris, ones most Indians protest, but there are also others, fundamentally ingrained into our society somehow, that need to be worked upon, one at a time, as does our legal system, which needs to be effective – is the whole idea of punishment not that criminals, current and potential, are deterred from committing crimes? If there is no fear of retribution or punishment (which is currently the case), they may as well have their own free rein.

In the meantime, these idiots need to be held accountable for what they say and do – being a politician should no longer equate to being above the law.

Having seen a fair number of Indians protesting against this backwardness, I sincerely hope we’ve got somewhere to start from, so we can live in a country where it is the rapists who feel guilty and are punished- not their victims. Not one that thinks women are a different, highly inferior species of being, not a human with equal rights.
Changing those ideals in what has been a largely patriarchal society will take a lot of time and effort, but we’ve got to start somewhere, and the start is always, always with education, whether at home, at school, or as a nation.

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About abohemiansrhapsody

Writer, reader, musician, crossword puzzle addict, social scientist, funnywoman, traveller and Beatlemaniac extraordinaire, I enjoy the first of those things the most. I write about society, culture, feminism, politics, economics, film, advertising, of things that affect the world at large. I love to sing, and play the piano and a bit of guitar. I also love taking photos. Of anything and everything. My food, a dog on the street, a panhandler, a piece of trash. If I likes, I strikes. Whenever and wherever the inspiration strikes. Currently at the LSE, being a social scientist and writing every moment of my life. When I'm not writing news articles, blogs and essays, I like working on a bit of fiction. You can find my short stories and other general musings at: www.anuthebeatlegirl.blogspot.com or http://anuthebeatlegirl.wordpress.com My photography and poetry at: http://www.schizoiddeviant.deviantart.com And my music at: http://www.youtube.com/anu2601

7 responses to “Ji Mantri Ji”

  1. Brook says :

    This is horrifying…but you speak truth. *Thank you* for standing up for violated women. Bravo!!!

  2. Brook says :

    And *girls* as well….it’s truly heart-rending and outrageous. Maybe we can make a difference, one voice at a time.

  3. Karan says :

    I’m zapped, to say the least. I cannot agree more with you on everything.

    One – I’m ALL for having CASTRATION as the punishment and a possible deterrent for rape. I cannot tell you how angry I feel, and helpless too (due to the facts pointed out by you in the post – these outrageously moronic ‘leaders’, the idiotic khap, and many other idiots who have no respect for women in away way, at all), but I seriously feel that there is a lot that needs to be done.

    Two – The problem of rapes stems from many things like lack of fear of punishment, and one major reason can be the skewed sex ratio. The lunatic men, not being married (although this doesn’t make their actions pardonable), can lead to such outrageous acts. And, even if they’re married, I don’t know how would they change their very mindset of ‘having their way’! But, then again, these issues stem from the same source – the idiotic patriarchal mindset, which gets more strength due to lack of a strong law…

    I sometimes feel resigned, and don’t know what to feel, or say, except feel the seething rage.

  4. Raashi says :

    I agree with it all. Also, if I may add,
    – The Politicians are criminals themselves. They need to be put behind bars first. Unfortunately for our country it is a deathly cycle. Most of the population is not educated, and as “Developed” as we would like to appear, there is nothing really being done about it. Uneducated people means uninformed decisions while voting, which leads to uneducated politicians who do nothing to implement laws regarding education. Therefore the cycle continues.

    Also,
    – It needs to be pointed out to these hooligans called politicians, that marriage never stopped a woman from being raped. As disgusting as it is there are pedophiles and then there are scumbags who won’t even leave elderly women. All they see is meat.
    Don’t forget the husbands that rape their wives.

    • abohemiansrhapsody says :

      Absolutely!! Especially marital rape, the issue itself is not highlighted enough. The fact remains that for these men, women are meat. Marriage then just means that it’s meat they think they ‘own’, and so are free with to do as they please. A major, major issue that is definitely not given enough attention! Will try and write about it. Love your comment, and completely agree.

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  1. New Delhi, Rape Central « abohemiansrhapsody - December 19, 2012

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