How to Stop the Rape Epidemic in India — Part 3: Proactive AND Reactive

Stop this epidemic before it gets out of control. Now!
Stop this epidemic before it gets out of control. Now!

To stop such an enormous, extreme and all-pervasive epidemic, we must address it in both proactive and reactive ways.

Treat rape and violence on women in India as a horrific epidemic: just like cholera, plague or small pox. Address the long-term, all-pervasive sociopolitical and economic evil relegating women to zero respect and zero honor and zero equality as apartheid: just the same way they had it in South Africa or America.

As we all know, proactive means measures taken before the fact — to prevent and to protect; reactive on the other hand means steps taken after the crime — to arrest and punish the criminals and provide medical treatment, health and psychological counseling for the victim and family, and at the same time create an economic safety net for the people who suffered.

We need to understand how to react when an act of terror happens on a woman. Indian middle class has shown that they are angry at how the criminals and their underworld connections have taken away any sense of safety and security from the women, they are furious how the people in power — including politicians and police — have miserably failed to protect the society and bring justice to the victims and their families and at the same time, protected some of the well-connected, powerful perpetrators, and they are tired of the crocodile tears the rich and the powerful and the celebrities are shedding now, when in reality for decades, the same people have supported, promoted and glamorized the status quo where violence on women, police brutality on men, and pathetic corruption and black money and mafia connection have all become a part of the Indian society.

The Intel Education picture below charts the reasons behind a health epidemic and their interconnections. Let’s see if they make any sense to compare with the epidemic or rape and violence on women.

We are going to talk about just a few reasons and leave the rest up to you to draw your conclusions on. Further, there might more reasons that one can think of and include in this diagram to make it more meaningful and conclusive. In this limited space of my blog, I’m only trying to highlight some of the most important areas. Now, the criminals — especially in the Indian context — are often used and sheltered by the powerful people — business magnets, corporations, smugglers, hoarders, politicians, black money brokers, building promoters, police and such individuals and institutions. The criminals know about their protection and thus they unleash their violent acts freely, with little or no consequence to get caught or punished. If and when, by a stroke of bad luck on their part, they are caught and forced by the society to get punishment (as in the case of the Delhi gang rape), the same people who are in power and have protected the criminals — directly or indirectly — cry for the most severe punishment (death penalty in the Indian context) and quickest possible trials, because (1) they want to show (i.e., both the ruling party politicians and the opposition, in a melee of competition — touted by media) to the ordinary people on the street that they are able to provide the strongest delivery of “justice,” and (2) a quick trial and killing off the criminals eliminate any long-term investigation into the reasons behind the crime, connections between the criminals and people in power including police and military, and any scientific exploring of psychology and modus operandi of the criminals with planned use of the criminals to understand the process of criminality — to prevent similar crimes in the future.

Death Penalty Does Not Deter Heinous Crime.
Death Penalty Does Not Deter Heinous Crime. Plus, the people in power use it to eliminate evidence of sinister nexus between them and the criminals.

Most advanced countries that abolished the death penalty routinely do the above type of research, but in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan or places like them, this discussion especially after such a media-acclaimed act of barbarism would be considered impossible and futile.

Plus, criminals under more fear of a death penalty or other life-threatening, brutal consequences meted out by the angry mob get the news: next time, they will make sure the victims do not survive to identify them.  The sinister, powerful connections they have will also make sure the victims do not survive for the fear of getting exposed of their connections with the underworld. They will kill the victims first, and then, the criminals. Violence will recycle on and off the street.

The above are some reasons death penalty is so counterproductive and does not deter crimes. As we’ve documented in part two of this blog (click here to see numbers and frequency), even after the December 16 gang rape followed by media explosion, there has been no respite in gang rape incidents across India. It is unlikely that hanging these rapists would put fear in the minds of other rapists and violent criminals. If anything, the future criminals will be even more violent as I indicated above.

Both the political power and their cronies are now crying blood for blood. Yet, at the same time, so many thousands of such barbarity — gang rape and other grotesque violence such as bride burning, dowry deaths, police brutality, military brutality, brutal beating of maid servants or child workers, mob lynching of a real or perceived street thief — violence absolutely commonplace in the Indian society — are practically unreported especially outside of the activist circles.

In a country like India, the poorest of the poor victim would be lucky if the people in power, politicians, business tycoons or police even listen to their complaints, let alone do anything about it. Every single day, out of the numerous unreported stories of violence and injustice on the poor and unknown, a few feature the newspaper, radio and TV — these “lucky” stories report how the poor victim banged their heads against the wall of justice, and then, how the big business magnet, political or movie celebrity or police commissioner graciously spoke and took “action.” Common experience in India is that out of a hundred cases of unspeakable injustice, maybe one or two ever get reported in the media or to the police — with a fraction of the one or two percent finding any iota of justice.

(Please read Parts 4 and 5. Click on the numbers.)

Think about reasons behind the rape epidemic. They are similar.

6 thoughts on “How to Stop the Rape Epidemic in India — Part 3: Proactive AND Reactive

  1. For most ills in India one of my friend said the reason is Absence of the Rule of Law, and I add lack of Enforcement. The violation of Law is encouraged in the name of democracy, laws are made complicated for people to get protection against violation, enforcement is retarded by both lack of infrastructure and willingness. The people who violate laws know that the risk of getting caught and penalised is low. The victims of violation know that redressal is most difficult, time consuming process. On top of this, in the case of rape, there is no mechanism that the society has adopted to prevent incident of rape or cure men of the disease to commit rape. All analysis and protest that we do must lead to rape risk mitigation measures implementable by potential rape victims, the watchdogs in administration and the public at large so that the incidence of rape declines , if not get eliminated. What are these measures? We have to apply our mind to design them.

    1. Suggest your ideas. I have suggested mine. Abstract ideas would not do it. Educate our children and teach them equality — great thought but abstract. We need concrete actions plans and we need to force the people in power — government, corporations, police, military or media — to accept them.

      1. whilst i am inclined to go with your theory of probable increased violence, the objective of seemingly serving justice with the death penalty, i do believe a speedy delivery will address the issue short-term and will put some fear (once again short term) but it does buy us some time to initiate reforms for the long term. one suggestion is all the political figures and religious leaders coming up with their rubbish should be removed from their positions and put away. with electorate nominations underway any one with any crime should not be given a ticket accused or not .. if they have a case or a police charge sheet no ticket. there should be a body that conducts a research into the family background and social back ground for any one being nominated into any leadership state. no local body should be allowed to formulate its own laws for women such as the recent panchayat announcement in udaipur, or other similar announcements announcing women should be banned from using mobile phones .. How dare the government even allow for something like this to happen. the decisions take in these ill educated towns and villages are not democratic it is feudal and stupid. and that is where the govt need to start their longterm projects.

      2. Thanks for your valuable comments. If you carefully study the causes and effects of the death penalty, you’ll come to the conclusion that it is a stop-gap measure that never solves such crimes long term. In fact, as I said, corrupt people in power with connection to criminals and mafia create public sentiment in favor of capital punishment, often to hush up those connections and silence the public outrage. Civilized countries have done away with the death penalty long ago. Only USA, India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Russia practice it. Even some more civilized states in the U.S. such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota abolished it.

  2. First, make pornography illegal in India and ban it as China has done it. The recent rise in rape epidemic in India is directly correlated easy availability of pornographic material on mobile phone, internet. Second, begin sensitizing young men and children towards respect for women through religious and social programs. Bring back old values.

    1. Thank you for writing. Education, gender equality and breaking free of patriarchy are keys. Not banning pornography. India is one of the most patriarchal places — if not the most — in the world. That is where the problem is. Saudia Arabia and Talibans are perhaps violently patriarchal too, but we do not want to go that route in the name of chauvinistic Hinduism. It doesn’t work. It stifles equality.

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