“Rising Rape and Our Responsibility”
Rape is the fourth most common crime against women in India. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) annual report (2021), 31,677 cases of rape have been registered across the country, of which about 86 cases are registered daily.
These statistics are for registered cases. But in reality, the number of rape cases may be much higher. In many cases complaints are not filed by the victim’s family themselves for fear of stigma and stigma that may cause trouble for them in the future. How many girls do not let their family know about their molestation because of the fear that they will be banned from going out, going to school, college or tuition. There is nothing wrong in their thinking. Most of the parents consider banning the girl as an easy solution after receiving such a complaint so that this teasing does not lead to any major accident.
Hardly a day goes by without reading news about rape or molestation. Several such incidents have taken place within just a few days. Many horrifying reports of harassment and rape against women and girls came out one after the other. It seems as if the release of the criminals who crossed the line of brutality with Bilqis Bano has given license to the beasts of the society and this decision of release has become a reason of encouragement for them. After raping him, he was hanged from a tree, and when he objected to the woman’s molestation, he was pushed from a moving train, which led to his death. Somewhere a one-sided fanatical lover brutally took the life of a girl, somewhere a complaint of sexual abuse by two minor girls was filed against a Swami. Once again, a similar news came from Lakhimpur that two minor girls were lured to the field, gang-raped and strangled to death. There are so many sad events that we regret and forget. Rape in itself is an unforgivable crime. We cannot even imagine the physical pain and mental agony that those who have such painful accidents go through. Who has given these beasts the right to make a good and happy person the target of their lust and make him suffer mentally and physically for a long time?
No matter how heartbreaking news like this keeps coming. But in reality no serious consideration has ever been given to prevent this crime and ensure the safety of women. If any news of rap becomes the headline of newspapers and news channels or there is a strong reaction from the public, some temporary action is definitely taken. “Vavela” is also well received in Parliament. There is talk of bringing strict laws against rapists. But like every other time, the discussion on this serious issue also ends up on each other’s shortcomings and accusations. Within days, new news replaces the headlines and the public is distracted by other issues. This has been happening for a long time. The release of Balqis criminals must have had a negative effect on the minds of these barbarians that after committing such crimes and being caught, they too will be released anyway. The fear of law is leaving their hearts. To ensure the protection of women, the government and the opposition parties should seriously consider this issue and unanimously pass a strict law against those who violate the dignity of girls. It should also be ensured that the investigation and judicial proceedings in the case of rape are done without delay and the culprit is given severe punishment as soon as possible so as to instill some fear in the hearts of the beasts roaming in the society.
It is the responsibility of the law to punish the rapists, but we also have some responsibilities. Parents should train young girls and boys right from the beginning. Tell young boys in particular that it is not a “manly” thing to yell at, harass, or otherwise abuse women walking by. This will not bring them any respect. Their purpose in life should not be to harass women. It is not among their responsibilities to follow a wandering girl and take her home. Apart from these frivolities, they should invest their time in education and constructive works. Instead of restricting and stricting young girls, gently explain to them that it is not right to trust a friend and go anywhere with them. Blindly trusting someone is foolish. Make them aware of the current situation. Parents should take their children into their confidence. Tell them the difference between right and wrong.
The level of sexual abuse and molestation of minors is alarming. Firstly, they do not have the consciousness to understand people, secondly, they are easily deceived by anyone. It is not that they do not understand the difference of innocent touch. They get mentally disturbed by any such inappropriate behavior happening to them. Parents should kindly explain to the children that if someone touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable or does any kind of coercion with them. If so, don’t go near them, such people are bad. Make their innocent mind understand that there are some dirty and bad people at home, outside or in our neighborhood who misbehave with you. If they touch certain places, they do not hide it, but they tell their parents. Adolescent girls going to school and tuition need to be warned to inform their parents if they are molested or abused in any way. By exercising caution and prudence, the incidents of molestation and rape will not be guaranteed, but by caution and prudence, the opportunities easily provided to beasts to quench their lusts will be reduced to some extent. It will definitely happen.
_ Hamna Kabir (Varanasi)