Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Rape Issue

I have been following the debate on the Rape issue and feel that there is a lot noise and not enough substance. We are all trying to drown each others voices and views thinking that we alone are custodians of wisdom and are always right. The phenomenon of rape is really a form of violence and we have based our whole society and its values on violence.

It starts with birth and abortion when we allow a child to be killed legally as it is born as a consequence of sex before legal marriage or merely because the child is female or conceived with a defect detected before birth. Nobody seems to condemn that violence. Then we feed ourselves with animal products and milk, by killing the animal for our pleasure or stealing its milk and eggs and even going to the extent of unnaturally and artificially rearing the animals to use them for human dare I say "inhuman" consumption.

Then we daily rush to earn money so that we can spend and when we have excess, we spend excessively and indulge in all our greed. And the more we have the less it seems is left to satiate our never ending desires to posses and keep for ourselves and not lose  what we  already have. Rush, road rage, anger, competition and desire to win by all means fair or foul create a materialistic mind set. Let me state that this materialistic mind set which makes man crave for sense pleasures is only one step towards the increasing violence and the willingness to go against our real divine nature which is "sat" or existence, "chit" or consciousness and "ananda" which which is bliss.

Violence in our homes against women who are treated like doormats, children who are abused by their own parents, relatives who betray their trust and indulge in bestiality as bad as the one which has provoked this outrage, needs to be first condemned and then rooted out by one and all, before sitting in judgement others.

While freedom to dress as one pleases is granted, any freedom taken to extreme limits is not really permissible. No right comes without responsibility and it is not a medieval mind set but a respect for each other which makes one dress appropriately, with an aim to cloth oneself rather than use clothes to make a style or provocative statement. Aping of the western model of promiscuity and free sex and multiple partner sex is certainly not in our interest. Loud music with vulgar lyrics and vulgar gyrations and excessive show of flesh leads to a pandering to our lowest instincts and desires and demoniacal tendencies. Add to all this alcohol and substance abuse, with rave parties and wife swapping games, then we know that we are creating a climate where rape and bestiality of the kind we saw in the Delhi rape episode becomes a commonplace occurrence.

So where do we go from here? Is the outrage a temporary phenomenon? Can we introspect and address the root causes of violence? Or shall we continue life as usual? I think while we are right in the short term to ask the state to provide security and remove the violent elements in our society, we must understand that these violent elements spring from the same society and its values. So unless we recognize and reduce to a minimum all forms of violence in thoughts, words and deeds we can never stop the acts of rape in our society. 

Dr. Vispi Jokhi