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Rampant rise of rape cases in India


There is little doubt in any ones mind that in the past decade or so; rape incidents in India have become a common occurrence for people and nuisance for the Government. From Sari’s case of 2003 till the recent gang rape of a Swiss tourist, high profile rape incidents have plagued the Indian society. The Government has failed to show its resolve and the judiciary is under fire for a lenient attitude. The truth however is not so simple.

It is important to understand the mindset of Indian people first before an actual appraisal of the entire situation can be done in a satisfactory manner. Rape cases are rarely reported in South East Asia. This stands true for India as well; The National Crime Records Bureau reported that only 24000 cases of rapes were registered in 2011. The true figure may be at least 5 times higher than this reported number. The reasons are simple; it is never easy for a rape victim to survive in India. She is generally looked down upon by the society and is often alienated.
Rapes in India

For a female victim it is extremely difficult to lead a normal life, get married or acquire a decent job. The general attitude of the masses is that she must have done something to incite such behavior or she is an ‘easy’ one. The actual feelings of the ‘subject’ are overlooked and even her own family tends to be unsupportive. They feel that the victim’s ‘conduct’ has let them down in their own community. The first impulse therefore is to hide such an incident effectively. Another common issue is the fear of repercussions often at the hands of perpetrators who are generally more powerful than the victim. It reminds one of the scenarios where a pigeon closes its eyes upon seeing a cat assuming that it will never be attacked by it.

On the contrary looking the other way has made Indian society a ‘playground’ for such atrocities. Apart from this reason there is another underlying issue which has got more to do with the rampant corruption prevailing within the Indian society in general. From law enforcement agencies to the judiciary there is always a ‘way’ out of the mess if you are willing to spend the money. The ‘doctors’ play a vital role in undermining the evidences as well. In short from top to bottom everyone is corrupt. These theories can provide a psychological and social basis for rape incidents involving local population but what about the foreigners.

The recent rape of a Swiss woman who was camping in a forest along with her husband is in a different context. The notion prevalent in Indian society about foreign women is that they are ‘liberal’ and ‘open minded’. These terms are cover ups; in other words majority of Indian men feel that ‘sexual sanctity’ is not an issue with foreigner ladies. This ‘wrong view’ often encourages Indian men to make passes at foreigners and they feel that even if they impose themselves on these women it will be treated as a ‘one night stand’. This mentality needs to be addressed and Indian community must understand that western or foreign women have their own moral standards which may be different from theirs but nevertheless it does not include ‘nonconsensual sex’ of any form.


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