[Warning: When I had travelled abroad, I was in a process to board a British Airways flight. The BA ground staff girl started talking to me. The first sentence she uttered was – “Sir, I am now going to ask you a series of questions pertaining to what’s in your cabin and check-in luggage and pertaining to other safety concerns. Please note that you are not allowed to joke about it as it may lead to your arrest.” I became alert and like an earnest school boy, I answered all her questions straight.

Now that I have your attention, I would humbly say that if you consider violation of a woman or her rights, may it be in the form of sexual rape or oppression of any kind, is not a serious issue, please read no further. Please do not joke about it; if you do, you won’t get arrested but consider yourself stuck at very premature stage of intellectual development!]

I read news of rape, practically every single day, in the news. I am baffled. I have been reading newspaper for the past twenty odd years. Have the incidents of rape increased in the society or the reporting of the same has increased! We will never know. We Indians are bad record keepers and ‘why bother at all’ is the attitude! In the past and to some extent even today, it is believed that the woman who gets raped must have invited the rape. I started reading about the subject. What must be prompting a man to perpetrate this crime? During my short research, I stumbled upon this article in New York Times. ( )

I believe that the article was published in 1991. What I read in this article was not what I expected about the mentality of a rapist. I always thought that most of the rapists hate women or are angry at them. But ‘anger’ was found to be a driver for rape, only in case of, measly 11% rapists. Also very surprisingly, the anger was not against women in general or against the specific victim but it was found to be anger against the society at large. 32% were found to be falling in the ‘vindictive’ category, where the purpose of physical rape was to humiliate and degrade the victim. Also, almost quarter of the lot at 23% were found to be ‘opportunists’. These were the men who never had anger or intention to rape but when opportunity presented itself, they just exploited it and raped. The remaining percentage was occupied by rapists, who were true sadists, taking pleasure out of agony and misery of the victim; the rapists, who had an insatiable urge to stay in control at any cost and the most dangerous ones, according to me, who had a fantasy that they can win a woman with physical force.

In the past, in one of my earlier blogs, I have expressed my resentment for movie ‘Ranzanaa’. There are many movies which depict ‘pehle takraar, baad me pyaar’ (First resentment and then love!) May be true in few real life cases but it can’t be a cardinal rule of winning a girl’s heart. Half-wits will always keep on believing that if a girl is rebutting the advances, she is actually in love and hiding it under the garb of pseudo-anger. Unfortunately, our Hindi filmdom will also keep fuelling this stupidity.

Much has been said about what should be the punishment for rape. Suggestions range from physical, chemical castration to capital punishment. The question that bothers me is why we are not doing anything to sensitize men about this issue. Every movie theater is playing National Anthem to increase patriotism. There are also anti-tobacco campaigns everywhere. I do not see any conscious effort on any front for sensitizing youth/men.

It is not that rapes are happening only in countries with suppressed sexuality, they are happening in every part of the world; rape just happens. No research so far has any conclusive evidence as to why rape takes place.

Rape is a crime. A rapist can be punished under prevalent laws. The neglected aspect about violation of women’s rights is mental violation. I will call it as a ‘Psychological Rape’. Every woman, at some or the other stage of life, suffers from this. Since the very young age, a girl is told that she is different than the boys. I have seen most affluent of the homes, unwilling to give at par status to daughters of their blood with their male siblings. The justifications provided in such cases are sometimes more appalling than the act of discrimination itself. Everyone around a girl, harps of her wellbeing. As if, that girl is inherently incapable of deciding what is good for her. Girls are generally not allowed to make mistakes. They are grossly not allowed to make mistakes in any kind of relationships. Larger part of India still has control over thoughts of a woman. This ‘Psychological Rape’ is going on rampantly all around us. No law can be framed to tackle this rape. We collectively need to change the mindset to stop this.

I feel that if your mind gets right kind of nurturing, you can grow up to be a sensitive person. I ask you my dear readers – how can we start sensitizing men in our beloved country?

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