Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I Raped Those Women; I Am Sorry

Marijuana is not addictive. It rarely makes you violent. Infact, cigarettes are probably more dangerous than marijuana. But still most states have banned Marijuana. The logic that is usually given is that Marijuana is an entry level drug. Once introduced to it, people lose their inhibitions to try more powerful drugs which are not really as safe as marijuana. This trend of one thing leading to another is responsible for a very strong correlation between the use of marijuana and cocaine.
The same thing is true for other aspects of life as well. The Park Street case, Nirbhaya case and the more recent Uber cab case which we saw in media have all left a deep scar in our minds. With every such news it’s not only the victim who suffers but also the millions of women and their families who have to live in a constant fear. We as a society have failed to provide ourselves the basic right of security and a life without fear. Very often we see debates on capital punishment, on police infrastructure and the role our government can play. What gets missed in all such debates is that the root cause of this enormously disturbing problem is our psychology and tendencies towards violence against women. Law and order authorities can only offer reactionary measures but cannot offer a solution to the root cause. Meaningful insights about how we changed from being a peaceful society to this monstrous form of today can be gathered from what influences us.
When a flower is thrown on a dancing Madhuri Dixit's ass in a family movie like Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, we find it funny.

When Salman Khan stops a stranger girl and rags her in Tere Naam, he is still shown as hero. A hero whistles at a beautiful girl or grabs her dupatta in public and still ends up impressing her. Yes, the hero never rapes. That is the villain's job. But the hero molests the girl in every other way. In reality the lines between a hero and a villain often blur and most people are in the grey area. The entry level crimes like grabbing the hand, passing remarks and pulling the dupatta lead to some men, blinded by lust, crossing the blurred lines and engaging in heinous crimes like rape.
What men can do to stop rape?
We must stop projecting the minor offences as acceptable and start treating them as they are. Disgusting. It should be made clear that a hero can not woo a girl by wolf calling or eve teasing. That is not real.
But the problem would still remain unresolved. Most eve-teasers know that they have no real chance of wooing the girl being teased. Why do they do such things if not to impress the girl?
To impress the guys. Yes. Eve-teasers molest the girls to look cool infront of their guy friends. It gives those guys a sense of belonging. Rarely would you see a lone guy teasing a girl and not telling about it to his friends. The whole excitement of eve-teasing is in the cheers from your friends and the applause you get. This has to stop. Staring, singing, groping. It is not cool.
We do not need a low budget art movie from Bollywood to put this point across. We need a 13 seconds scene in a mass market movie which makes 100 crores for no reason. A scene where the hero sees a beautiful girl and one of his friends passes a funny comment. A scene where hero turns to his friend with a disgusted look in his eyes and says "Stop being a chutiya". No beating. No police. We don't have to punish these offenders. That is quite a complex job. We just have to make them realize how miserable they are. If we can make farting in public such an embarrassing action, why cant we make staring at girls embarrassing.
We men have a huge role to play. Every group would have a chutiya who would stare at a girl and pass a comment. The other guys don't have to correct him or beat him but to just let him know how pathetic he is. That is all. Just give that disgusted look. Watching over women is cool, just watching them is not. The fear of being considered cheap amongst your own friends is a strong deterrent.
Am I to blame too. Certainly. Two years back when I was traveling with my friends in a bus, there was a beautiful girl sitting on the seat in front of us. When she got up to leave, a friend started singing "Abhi na jaao chhod kar, ke dil abhi bhara nahi". The friend was a nice guy and would not have done anything more. I gave him a cheerful smile. I did not know better. I contributed to the rape of women. For that I am ashamed. For that I am sorry.