On Nirbhaya Rape Documentary and related sentiments

Recently, an Israeli documentary maker, Leslee Udwin, made a documentary named “India’s Daughter” on the Nirbhaya rape case. For this, she interviewed one of the convicts ‘Mukesh Singh’. His interview, as known to us from some newspaper reports, revealed in him a cold blooded monster.His comments, as reported, chilled, disturbed and disgusted the nation to the core. As a result, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, has decided to act, decided to protect us the infantile nation that is India, tried to shield India from evil by banning the screening of this documentary.

What did Mukesh Singh say? Excerpts below (source: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31698154) –

“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy”

“Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good. People “had a right to teach them a lesson” he suggested – and he said the woman should have put up with it.

When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit the boy,”

“The death penalty will make things even more dangerous for girls. Now when they rape, they won’t leave the girl like we did. They will kill her. Before, they would rape and say, ‘Leave her, she won’t tell anyone.’ Now when they rape, especially the criminal types, they will just kill the girl. Death.”

The convict’s lawyers said the same things : –

“In our society, we never allow our girls to come out from the house after 6:30 or 7:30 or 8:30 in the evening with any unknown person,” said one of the lawyers, ML Sharma.

“You are talking about man and woman as friends. Sorry, that doesn’t have any place in our society. We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman.”

The other lawyer, AP Singh, had said in a previous televised interview: “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.

Horrible, Horrible just Horrible!!

That there could be such monsters walking among us is a thought which inspires fear of living hell. And while all of this is absolutely heinous and cringeworthy, I want to shed light on some other statements made recently in cases of other rape incidents.

“Boys will be boys. They will sometimes make mistakes.” http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/mulayam-singh-yadav-questions-death-penalty-for-rape-says-boys-make-mistakes/

“But she should have been more careful. She should not have taken a cab so late in the night. She shouldn’t have been drinking. She should have gone with a male, not alone. Girls like these, what do they expect!”

These are some statements which my well meaning, modern, seemingly liberal friends, men and women, have given when a woman was raped by her Uber cab driver which she hired at night after partying.

To me, these statements are equally heinous in their assertion of blame. They don’t venture very far out from the Mukesh Singh’s line of thought. They both blame the victim and exonerate the perpetrator. So while I was ready to puke after reading Singh’s statements, I was not so surprised to hear him say such things. A milder form of the same discourse on rape is the norm in our country.

We need to radically change our common discourse. Rape is wrong in any and every case. It is heinous and condemnable and deplorable act for which only the perpetrators, the rapists need to be blamed. Not the victim. Never the victim. We need to stop blaming the victim categorically. We need to start blaming the perpetrator categorically. Only then, we will even begin to plant seeds of change in the attitudes toward women which this nation desperately needs.!