My daughter’s school recently staged the Mahabharatha. As she was rattling off how successful it was, she also talked about Draupadi’s Cheerharan, which set off a thought process in my mind. And the persistent questions that kept recurring were these- Has the situation of women changed from the ancient to the modern times? Has there been any change in the way men view them? Do men value them?
Personally I believe that not much of change has happened between then and now. The only solace for Draupadi was Krishna, who saved her modesty. But in today’s India, there is no one to save a woman, because she was, is and always will be viewed as an object of lust.
It was as usual a field day for the TV channels who were discussing how to punish the Delhi gang rapists. But the questions I wish to ask are: How many members present in the discussion panel and the members belonging to the TV channels are ready to do something to change the laws of rape in this country? How does it matter if rapists are given death sentence or are castrated chemically, unless and until they are put to use through speedy trials and sentencing without scope for bail or further appeals?
I heard people arguing saying an eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind. Here I pause to ask-Will they say the same if their family member was gang raped and brutalized? It is easy to talk and offer platitudes, but one can feel the pain and the trauma only when one goes through it or sees their loved ones going through it. Personally I think that barbaric laws will hold good for rapists. Lynch or publically castrate them, let them feel the pain of their victim. This would be an apt deterrent for future rapists. And for once I really don’t care what the Human Rights Panel or Amnesty International thinks about my view.
As a mother of two daughters I feel scared. I chide myself for being so paranoid, but rape has become so common in today’s India that I have a right to be paranoid about my daughters’ safety. Whom will mothers like me turn too if God forbid! Our daughters’ are molested, abducted or gang raped? To a chief minister who says girls and women should not venture after dark? To Khap Panchayats who say that girls and boys should be married off young so that they don’t have impure sexual thoughts? To an insensitive police force, who have the audacity to say shamelessly that the girl should not have boarded the bus at such a late hour? To an ineffective and slow justice system where the victim needs to run from pillar to post to get justice? And finally to a society who ostracizes the victim instead of the perpetrator of the crime?