Thursday, August 29, 2013

The rise and rise of rape in India.

There has been an alarming rise in the incidence of rape of late. This is causing much bewilderment and trepidation in so far as the crime is keeping pace with the measures taken to arrest or lessen its occurrence as well as the widespread publicity generated by the epidemic. 
I discern at least two equally powerful triggers for this intriguing phenomenon.
First among equals is the galloping pace of pro-feminist reforms and the accompanying fanfare they receive in media and word of mouth. This raises the anti-feminist’s heckles. They yearn to strike back. And what better way to do it than to go rape, molest, insult, humiliate “those pesky bitches”? Rape is a crime of power, not passion. In the present instance, it is the rapist’s response to the women’s increasing empowerment.
The second trigger is the nationwide – nay, worldwide – media coverage that each succeeding gang rape in India has been receiving of late. In the rapist’s sick mind, committing this horrendous crime of power in the company of like-thinking comrades seems to be an easy way of getting and basking in his fifteen seconds of fame. Labyrinthine and convoluted though this logic may seem, that’s the way the cookie crumbles in the rapist’s twilight zone, I’m afraid.
If both these triggers are currently at work, what is the way to slow down the occurrence of rape in India? Should the pace of pro-feminist reforms be slowed down? Should the fanfare that is their due be somewhat subdued? My off-the-cuff response is No to the first course of action and Yes to the second. My Yes response may be owing to my antipathy towards the way Indians and Indian media respond to anything: way over the top – so much so that for the potential rapist, rape has virtually become a cult!

Is there a way to nip a potential rapist in the bud? Caution and vigilance on the part of women stepping out of the safety of home and workplace as well as the law and order functionaries seems to be the partial – though not totally satisfactory – solution. Is there a way to identify and tag potential rapists before they crawl out of the crack and go on a rampage? Truth to tell, I don’t know.