Where do I start?
Everybody knows what Delhi Gangrape was. How the girl was raped. Beaten. Violated. Humiliated. Killed. We have concluded that those people who did that to her are monsters. They deserve death. The juvenile too. After all, if he is mature enough to rape, he is big enough to be hanged. But what is the real monster? Rapist? Uneducation? Social setup? Mindset?
What gets me in shock is the BBC documentary. Yes, it was banned. I saw the footage on youtube.
Edited to add: The video has been taken down from youtube. It is not releasing in India, as earlier intended by BBC.
For those who have not followed the case or are international readers: On 16th December 2012, a girl and her friend (boy) were going back home after a movie at 8 PM in Delhi. They boarded a private bus which sometimes drop people if their destination falls on the way. The girl was gangraped by 4 men (who were the only people in the bus apart from the driver – all 5 of them knew each other well) in inebriated state (including 1 juvenile). A rod was inserted in her vagina causing her intestines to rupture and part of her intestines was pulled out. Her friend was beaten up severely. And they were thrown out of the bus. The gangrape saw historic protests and a fast-track court was set up. (It is ironic that even in fast-track court, 2 years has passed and the death penalty given to accused men is pending before the supreme court). The rape is significant in Indian backdrop because of the commonly used warnings given to girls in India to not get raped – wear decent clothes (jeans and skirts are automatically indecent). Don’t go out at night. Don’t have boyfriends, etc. BBC had made a documentary on the case, which was to be released in India on 8th March 2015. But they released it in UK on 4th March. The documentary had interview of one of the main accused. And her parents.
After watching the video, the first thing that hit me was “he is not repentant at all.” (the accused) After being sentenced to death. After having seen what the crime symbolizes in India, today.
He still believes that women are responsible for rapes. That women need to be in their limits. they are meant for housework and things like that. That only 20% of girls are good. (Who is he to judge girls?) That she was wrong to travel alone with a boy at night. That it was correct of them to teach her a lesson. He says that giving them death sentence is wrong because now, the rapists will not let their victims live. They’ll kill them.
It also eludes my pea-brain that these people got lawyers to defend them. Who also blame the victim! One of the lawyers begin by saying some complicated stuff like women are flowers, beautiful performance (?!), pleasant. Men are like thorns. Flowers need protection. I am inclined to believe that this was some code language for saying that he knows men like the people he defends, are thorns and deserve to be separated from the society and destroyed!
He also says something more disturbing. You are talking about men and women as friends. Sorry, that doesn’t happen in our society. A woman means I immediately put sex in my eyes. We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman.
Yes, take that. Digest it. I’ll give you a short break.
Now, back to the rapist. He has two advises for all the women out there. 1. If someone asks you why are you out so late in the night, it is their business to know. Because they are the upholders of our culture where housework is the work for a woman, not roaming at night. and 2. If he were to rape you to teach you a lesson, you have to let him do that and after that, keep your mouth shut. Because then, you get to keep your life. See, simple? Isn’t it?
There’s another lawyer who says If my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight.
I want to ask this man what does he mean when he says “lose her face and character by doing such things”. What things? Watching a movie? Being with a friend? I never knew watching a movie was a “premarital activity”. Damn my GK. And on second thoughts, I want to slap that man hard. Very hard. Because even if I had a boy friend and we were out late in the night, it is none of anyone’s business, except our parents’.
But the thing that hits the hardest is: Apparently, there are a lot of people with these thoughts. Who would not have raped the girl or killed her but who still place more importance on the girl being out in the night with her friend rather than the heinous rape. The enormity of the problem stumps me. How is there going to be any change when people don’t put the blame in correct places!
We say education is the key. But those lawyers are educated! In fact, more educated than the parents of that girl. But even then, the parents are in favor of equality and those lawyers are not! Why?
The documentary shows that these men have grown up in a social setup where women are not people. Not important. There is domestic violence, there are rapes, there are red light areas, women are submissive, women are lowest cadre in the social setup. They have seen women being used as commodities rather than persons with feelings. So they think “why us”.
How do we remove that? Education? Social education? Where are affordable schools who can teach this? Apparently, the lawyers studied, got educated in schools that could not teach them that women are people. So what kind of an education are we talking about?
I have so many questions. And no answers. I am angry and I am scared.