So. Another day, another rape.

Same old. Same old.

Yet another rape in yet another Indian city. Yet another round of fresh, steaming ‘outrage’ being served up. Mostly on the internet. And in TV studios. Yet another flurry of articles on different news websites dissecting the psyche of the ‘public’ and the rapists and the system. Yet another Women’s Commission ( or something) crawling out of the woodwork, (or will, just you wait) . Yet another politician will issue either an apology of an apology (hah!) or else a statement that sounds  horrifyingly  like victim blaming.

Once upon a time, NRI’s were treated with a mixture of envy and disdain for ‘leaving’ India . Maybe even a little by me.

Now, that I am one, and am older and wiser, I can see why anyone who could leave, would. Especially  a young, single woman like me.And while I used to nuture (and still do) dreams of returning one day , I see how that’s starting to become the more foolish option.

I live in a country in Western Europe now, and while this country is in no way rape-free, the swift descent of EVERY rape into a sorry farce is UNTHINKABLE here. It’s safe to say that in this society, I’m more conscious of my RACE , not my GENDER. And guess what, I’d rather have it this way. Really.

I’ve gotten out. And I’m sure as hell staying out. So long, dear Bharat Ma, I know it’s not your fault.

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6 thoughts on “So. Another day, another rape.

  1. I lived in Europe as well and not just the west. One of the reasons rapes don’t end up as some kind of political circus is because there is a far greater sense of social justice in such nations than in India.

    They have a far less tendency to blame the victims in general, a far more efficient and responsible law enforcement system and a political class that is far more accountable to their people than ours are. Unfortunately, we are lured into the trap of thinking that treating crimes against women as a special class crime and invoking harsher punishments for it is the way to ensure that country becomes safer for women.

    As anyone who has seen how that pans out in the tribal justice systems of NE India, it hardly works that way. A society with less socio-economic injustice and lower rates of crime would have far fewer rapes and molestation (even if the said society has sexist attitudes).

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    • Also, I think if rape is viewed as a crime, like assault or arson – as opposed to some extraordinarily act worse than murder- it’s easier on the victim as well. Acting like ‘something has been lost’ can only add to the trauma.
      That sort of chest thumping and near-mourning for the victim is also one reason the west deals with sexual crimes far more effectively.

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  2. Pingback: Rape 101 « Desi Daaru

  3. I’ll rephase my first sentence.I meant, “I lived in Europe as well and not just the western part of the Continent.”

    The west DOES treat rape as a special crime, at least before the case reaches a conviction. Rape, sexual assault and crimes against women are perhaps the only class of crimes where the conventional ‘presumption of innocence’ doesn’t exist when it comes to a woman’s word against a man.

    We had the same thing in North East Indian tribal societies. Most of these societies are matriarchial, which have zero tolerance policy on rape. However, rape is perhaps the only crime with a zero tolerance policy (just like how the protests in Delhi are limited to rapes and not the high rates of crime in the capital, in general). Eventually it meant a spike in ethnic, economic and politicial crimes, which reduced the power of the Khas and now, we see a rise in rape rates (although a far cry from the high rape rates in India, or for that matter, the United States).

    Dipankar Gupta posted a good article here, on why we should target a low crime society rather than a ‘rape free’ one.

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