By Harshmeet Singh
Global headlines have centred around India in the past one week, owing to the Government’s ban on BBC documentary, India’s Daughter. Significantly, majority of foreign media has merrily bashed the Indian society by concluding that most Indian men agree to what Mukesh Singh (one of the convicts of the Nirbhaya gang rape case) and his lawyers think about women.
Is the International reaction called for?
One of the most scathing attacks on Indian men came from Kuwait Times which ran a story titled ‘Rapist’s views reflect those of many in India – Indian men ‘blame women for rape’. For Kuwait, a country famous for minimal women rights, a country with no laws against sexual harassment or domestic violence, such comments do not stand true to its self made image.
How do the developed nations fare?
7th March 2015, Leeds – ‘An 18 year old woman raped and ‘left of dead’ in Leeds assault’
8th March 2015, Oxfordshire – The defence lawyer of the gang of five men accused of subjecting six schoolgirls to ‘horrific’ sexual abuse said that the girls came forward because ‘it’s better to be a victim than a slag’.
A number of similar stories make headlines in national UK newspapers every single day. According to credible factual data, developed countries make up for majority of the rape cases recorded against women around the world. 1 in every 6 women faces a rape attempt in the perennial world power, USA. In UK, a government report released in 2013 stated that 1 in 5 women above the age of 16 was subjected to some form of sexual abuse.
Is India alone?
The menace of rape and violence against women exists worldwide and making India the lone scapegoat isn’t going to solve the problem. In Mexico, on an average, six women are murdered each day. So despicable is Mexico’s situation that the UN termed it as ‘femicide’ in the country. In 2006, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl was raped and killed by five U.S. soldiers near Al-Mahmudiyah town, Iraq. To destroy any evidence, she was shot in her head and the soldiers set the lower part of her body on fire. Known as the country exhibiting the best ‘gender equality’ stats in the world, Sweden holds the dubious distinction of recording the highest number of rape cases in Europe. The ‘sick’ thinking of men behind such crimes exists everywhere in the world, including India.
Can India get away?
India can’t breathe easy by terming it as a one-off incident and arguing that similar cases happen at other places too. ‘India’s daughter’ was much more than just about another rape case in the country. If it included the rapist’s point of view, it also brought forth the unprecedented unity shown by the youth across the country to come out on the streets and demand their rights. Never before had the world witnessed so many people on the streets without a single leader, all protesting peacefully, demanding what is fundamentally theirs, a right to a dignified life.
The rising emotions of people in India are entirely justified. The thought of the juvenile convict (said to be the most violent) getting released in December this year is in itself scary. It certainly calls for revamping of criminal laws in the country. The five convicts are a part of the same society where our next generation will grow. Isn’t worth asking ourselves, where did we go wrong.