I found it hard to believe when I read in the newspapers that a woman was thrown off the train by a disabled man and then raped brutally. For the entire world (at least in India) it would have been yet another incident of rape had it not been for the fact that it was done by a disabled man. But, what difference does it make? He was disabled. So what? He got around doing what he wanted even with that one palm missing of his. He certainly did not need it for this cruel, humiliating and disgusting act of molesting a 23 year old woman’s self respect and causing her death finally.
Many women get raped some time or the other in their lifetimes. Now, don’t think of this as a scandalous statement. Haven’t there been times, dear friends when a woman has stood before a man in a public place like a bus stop, the bus itself, the mall or some official place and has been forcibly undressed to the barest minimum by just the lustful look of some stranger? The resultant feeling is of anger, frustration and shame. And there is nothing that can be done about it. After all, you are fully dressed. If this is the mental state of women who get mentally raped every other day, then you can very well imagine the plight of women who get raped physically. And worse is the state of rural women who are humiliated and discriminated for no fault of theirs.
Disrobing women comes easy to us Indians. If Draupadi, the wife of the super five Pandavas could get disrobed then, we are but ordinary mortals. Draupadi was treated like a commodity in a game of gambling. Today, it is no different. A woman who attempts to try her hand in male domains or, succeeds in life both, personally and professionally is often accused of having slept her way up. If a man succeeds, he is appreciated for being talented and hard working!
When a woman is molested or raped, her tattered clothes symbolize the humiliation of her self-respect. The marks on her body will take some time to heal but what about the bruises on her mind and soul? Will they ever heal? Today, we hear of more and more women being raped. Are there too many male sadists or is the value system in the society gone kaput? Women, little girls and even children are known to be raped for lust, for enmity or just for no reason at all. The kind of trauma that children undergo when they are physically violated is just indescribable.
Women get raped, some complain, others just carry on with their lives. What has happened to the men, you may ask. What has gotten into them? Why have they suddenly become so sexually charged? The most terrible part is that many rapists go scot-free to sow their wild seeds elsewhere. Not all want to file a report for fear of what the society will say or maybe a fear of the rapists themselves. So, the soiled clothes are silently washed and life carries on as if nothing happened. But, it is a fact that the trauma of such an incident never heals and if the raped woman does get pregnant then, she goes in for a hush-hush abortion and that’s the happy ending for you!
But, what could be the causes of such offensive deeds? An egoistic man’s idea of self-respect, a male chauvinistic attitude of showing a woman where she stands or simply a sadistic man’s act of temporary physical superiority. Today, a woman likes it if she is called sexy. It is a compliment for her and some times it is this very compliment that turns her life upside down. The problem is that both men and women have forgotten that a lakshman rekha exists for both of them. Until the rules of self respect are followed in society, we are going to hear more of such cases. Let’s hope good sense prevails and men and women stick to their limits.
Till then, women like that lone woman in that empty train compartment will continue to live in fear and terror. She for one, did not want a sexy compliment at that time of the night when she was only returning home after an exhausting day at work. At least, death seems to have been kind and brought an end (temporarily) to her earthly suffering…….