The nation has again plunged into the streets with the same vigour and anger, if not less, as it had in the beginning of the year gone but for completely different reasons this time. Nation is outraged, angry, embarrassed after the recent rape and death of the medical student in Delhi. The political and judicial classes have reacted to the nation’s mood by taking many steps like setting up of Fast Track Courts for the speedy trials of rape cases, institutionalizing stricter punishments for the offenders, setting up hotline for the needy etc. But, as the days have gone by we are still reading about many other rape cases coming into light, many more victimized by the dreadful, inhuman act. Many victims have even tried to commit suicide.
Here, there is a need to pause and have a re-look at what exactly is going wrong and why the society is not kind to the fairer sex. TN has vowed to give death sentence (or in some cases chemical castration) to the rape offenders, so does this mean in coming year or so the rape cases will come down regularly in TN (if not drastically)? The point, here, is not that there should not be any strict punishment to the hideous crime committed. There should be, but, the point is that whether this would suffice or bring in any significant change? Such steps should be looked as short term implementations against the crime. There should be an approach that will look at the cause of such incidents rather than looking just at the effect. As Praveen Swami of The Hindu rightly notes in his article that there are many contexts ‘as possible keys to the production of India’s urban-male dysfunction’.
A system where there will be a detailed case study of the convicts of rape in the past will help in better understanding of the socio-economic background of offenders. A psychiatric analysis of the convicts to understand the psyche or mental condition may lead to clearer ideas in understanding the contexts better. Once the case studies are done, deductions can be made to understand what exactly is wrong with the male dominated society of India. These studies will not solve the problem in a snap but it will certainly provide the guiding light needed to walk towards the probable solution. Also these studies should have some statutory or legal backing or else it will be just another case study done by any NGO which never gets read, let alone, getting governmental recognition and implementation. With many men believing that the victims of rape invite the crime on themselves showing them the mirror through these studies becomes important.
Indian women are, by default, house-wives by profession, and thus there are very less number of women visible in the workforce of the country. The minority catches the eye of the people. In India, even now, a women working in any domain is an eyebrow raising issue(except say in IT industry but the workforce there is mainly single women, most of them who quit jobs after marriage to become house-wives). The patriarch ego of men condemns such presence. The possible solution to the problem can be to increase the women workforce. Way forward in this could be implementation of existing legislation strictly or drawing more legislation for the upliftment of women esp. girl children from the shackles of male oppression. Quota for women in Parliament might well be the first step in this direction.
The change of the hour is not quick, hasty, ad hoc decisions but thoroughly thought, long term, ‘cause’ based decisions which will have long lasting and permanent effect on the society for its betterment.