Can India put an end to rapes?
A recent rape case in Rohtak took us back to the December 16 gang-rape in Delhi. This time, the victim was a 28-year-old mentally-challenged woman from Nepal. Nine men with cruel intentions brutally raped and murdered the woman. While the details are horrifying, what brings an ounce of solace to the souls of enraged Indians is the fact that the cops were able to nab eight rapists out of nine for their alleged involvement. The ninth accused was on the run and committed suicide by consuming Celphos tablet before the police could catch hold of him. ‘I will not get caught’ – that’s one of the biggest motivations behind all the crimes that are ever committed. The Rohtak incident underlines the fact how a stronger law and order system and a stricter enforcement can help the cause of women’s safety. The case highlights that if the fear of getting caught, facing charges and action and the humiliation thereafter can force a rapist to end his life; then the same fear can also deter him from committing the crime in the first place.
Will social media shaming help? The anger and the distrust in a toothless legal system have given rise to this citizen’s movement where people are getting back via social media. The idea – spread the word, shame the rapist and help getting him nabbed. However, social media shaming has become a topic of much debate after an NGO Prajvala released a gangrape video. While the woman’s face and body parts were blurred, the rapists were seen smiling away to glory. But is this foolproof? Will this help curb the cases of rape? Here are some possible pros and cons of social media shamming. Pros: – The idea is to encourage women to speak up and not feel ashamed. – Videos are often used to threaten the survivor. The purpose will be defeated. – ‘No one will ever come to know’ will not be a motivation anymore for rapists. – Rapists make the video to further shame and humiliate the woman, but this will turn things around and help women to use it for their own fight for justice. – The angry reactions on social media from the junta will put pressure on the legal system to take action. – This will help make people aware and save future victims. Cons: – What about the survivor’s safety? – The video will get a wider audience, but will all of these people watch it for the right reasons or just for titillation? – The survivor has been brave and come out in the open about her assault, but what happens to her state of mind when she once again becomes a victim, this time of slut-shamming? – NGO Prajvala has been facing flak since reportedly, they haven’t taken permission from the woman in the video. In such scenario, will this shame the rapist or the survivor? – Will this help the woman in case there is no video or pictures to prove her claim? While the above video was from a real crime, there have been many videos (works of fiction) doing the rounds online since the past few months. They highlight the stark realities of our world – cases of eve-teasing and molestation and public’s apathy towards these, short films that urge women to speak up, fictional profiling of rapists and underlining their thought process to help women stay guarded. A recent video also suggests how rapists can be aptly punished. The video: A Proud Rapist Wakes Up In The Hospital shows a man, waking up in the hospital after being severely beaten for raping a school girl. But in his conversation with a female doctor, he shows no shame or regret and in fact feels proud about his regular acts of crime. He later bursts into tears when the doctor tells him that the angry junta has removed his ‘main part’. Will this shame and scare the rapist? We hope it does! We hope every man sees this video and more like these and is deterred from hurting any woman. Like the woman in the video released by Prajvala kept repeating, “I will not have any option but to end my life,” these crimes against women will only stop when the rapists start fearing the same.