Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A civilized rape
Rapes are as commonplace to the Indian landscape as a man urinating against a wall. As the brother of twelve sisters in a joint family, it was only the sense of humor that my sisters kept whic tempered the psychological damage done by the daily dosage of eve-teasing they got as soon as they stepped out of the gate.

But what shocked me here was that the rapists were not gang-members with a plan to abduct in broad daylight and rape. They were a group of boys coming from a cricket match who happened to stumble on the opportunity.

Just as Goebbels reached for his gun whenever he heard the term “civilization”, I reach for the city pages of the newspaper whenever I hear of “the great Indian civilization” – and inevitably find them full of rapes.

Thee are two contexts I hear the term “Indian civilization” in.
One are the artists or the philosophers who have delved deeply into our rich tradition and are usually temperate in their tone and have a brightness in their eyes when they speak of it. When they speak of Western civilization, they speak of its own richness and the fusions and the blends they have in mind.
The other gentleman who speaks of the great Indian civilization versus the Western decadence has a frothing madness in hs eyes and only one thing in mind – sex.

Just lean back and think what do most Indians have against “America” – not their politics since we understand little of it and personally we like that they end up killing lots of bad, bad Muslims. Not their art – in fact we are slaves to even its worst forms. Not their people – if a foreigner comes peeping into our lives we stand beaming at them, serve them our best dishes, reveal our entire lifestory, have photographs clicked with them and willingly become the stereotype that most of them come bearing in mind.

The problem we do have is that their women get to wear really skimpy clothes and have lots of sex with (supposedly) lots of men.

It’s as simple as that.

It’s simple because patriarchal mentalities are that simple. And they are that simple since they lack the intelligence to be more complex.

Whenever you hear the term “civilization” being screamed, you can rest assured that by the term, the screamer does not mean the condition of “being civilized”, but against giving women the right to choose their partners; and change them.

Patriarchal societies run on the idea of forefathers – forefathers on legitimacy – and legitimacy on the feminine virtue.

A simple term – virtue – and all the great religions have screamed their lungs out against the sin of being a woman; or rather a woman with healthy sexual appetite. Feminine circumcisions, the original sin, the deliberate expurgation of Mary Magdalene, the veil – generations and generations of men have hidden their tyranny and insecurity by donning the cloak of religion – and authority from a being greater than anything.

The rape is not a symptom of our hidden diseases, it’s a characteristic of how we are.

The ten rapists are not hardcore criminals, they are the next generation that has been bred on the diet of our patriarchal crap and sexual frustration. They treat women as game because they have been reared to regard them this way.

This is the reality of the civilization that we regularly burn people up for.

1 comment:

pankajunk said...

that was the exact thing that struck me. these were not hard core criminals, these were just any other group of youngsters. even without manifesting in its extreme form, one just needs to look around to see the norms and principles a "normal" group upholds - violence is lauded and considered to be manly (the more "pangas" you can recount or are part of, the more popular you are), groups are fighting with "rival groups" (which are exactly like them) all the time , flouting the law is a cause of pride (helmetless drivers everywhere, recklessness on the streets), get a bunch of youngsters together and rioting ensues (the recent riot outside an mtv roadies venue), valentines day is a female groping fest for maurading groups, females are referred to as objects ("kaddu katega to sab mein batega", "uski leni hai yaar")as soon as we have sanction, or anonymity, an even more sinister demon emerges - the godhra riots (i remember someone recounting the fate of a 15 year old girl in the riots - "we tried with all our might to keep her inside, but they pulled her out, and as soon as she was outside, the entire mob descended upon her like flies on a carcass).

and these people are not outliers, these are the norm. the west may be somewhat better, but i wonder. i saw this video of two rival groups of youngsters egging on two females to fight. the stronger one was beating the weaker one brutally, ruthlessly, repeatedly. not one youngster stepped in to stop it. they were simply screaming and egging them on.

i dont have much hope for humanity. were a lot less civilized than we would like to think.