December 10, 2014

India's Rape Problem : Why India needs to shed its notions of masculinity

As has been the trend for the past two years after the rape of a paramedical trainee  in New Delhi on December, 16 2012 ,the net sphere was quick to respond to the Uber rape case. The news channels were abuzz with their usual taglines " The Biggest debate of all time" . For Indian Electronic media everyday brings one such news where they can bring superlative adjectives to their best use.  All  the channels covered the incident with elaborate reporting in their panel discussions with participants from the women rights groups , legal experts and of course the political commentators.

The debates were replete with the usual cliches but what caught my attention was the point raised by a lady that it is time that India should discard its notions of masculinity. Men in India seem to celebrate being a man just for being born as one. A more conscious look at the 'masala' movies of Bollywood would suggest the same. From the 'dabangs (Influential men ) 'of UP to the 'Bhais (Mafias )' of Mumbai all seem to have one thing in common, The ultra solid screen presence complete with choicest swear words from Hindi. Without uttering those no man is considered man enough. The movies from the south are not an exception to this trend in fact it is the Telugu movies ,the script writers resort to when they want the 'masala' that will make the cinema goers whistle and applaud. The promos of the latest release of Ajay Devgun feature this dialogue " She appears whenever I unzip my pants" is an evidence of the same .Movies are said to be a refelction of society .


The boys while growing up in India realize this early that they have got to walk the walk and talk the talk that a 'man' does. This is specially true for the badlands of western UP and Haryana.  On the contrary the girls realize this even earlier and most seem to give a tacit acceptance of the trend and develop a strong sense of security . They learn the difficult art of decoding the male gaze very early if life. I do not want to suggest that this is the only reason behind India's rape menace. There have to be many factors behind it. It is time that we learn to value our women. There seem to be truth in the argument that some men in India just cannot accept the rising status of women. Violence against them becomes as easier way to establish their  self conceived notions of superiority. I feel incompetent to suggest any solutions but do feel that the need of the hour is a big change in the way we look at women in India. We do not need 'feminists' in this country the way the west defines it , all we need is giving the Indian women their right place in the society.But that is going to require a big change in Indian men . Do we want women who want to be paid for their duties as a mother like many women want the western countries. Will Indian women ever demand so , the answer is NO . Indian women are one of the most compassionate in this world and most 'Selfless' as well . It is time we value them not just in words but in our actions as well . They can find many alternatives in this world but going by the reputation Indian men have not many ( from the rest of the world ) will 'tolerate' us. 

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