Leslee Udwin of BBC had made a documentary on horrific Delhi gang rape incident that occurred on December 16, 2012. The government of India responded quickly by banning the BBC documentary from public viewing and the sole reason given was, it contains repugnant comments made by the convict, blaming the victim for rape and murder. Unfortunately, all this will once again cover the views of typical Indian men towards women. The other side of the documentary is completed ignored and misdiagnosed by giving prime focus to the response of the convict. Although it is true that, it is not morally and ethically correct to justify the horrific crime by convict without any remorse, blaming the victim and saying that, she would have survived if she not resisted the rape. Measures taken by the government like, banning the documentary, making the changes in the law and amendments to the criminal procedure code does not alone provide the solution for ongoing problem. Documentary was the actual reflection of the “Great” Indian society and culture and acting as the mirror for our attitude towards women. We can see many people around us, sharing similar views and stance taken by the public prosecutor and defence lawyer in the documentary and I am quoting the lines of them
“In our society we never allow the girls to go out of the house after 6.30 in the evening”
“There is no place for the friendship between boy and a girl before marriage in Indian culture”
“Girl is like a sweet and if it is on streets, dogs will come and eat them”
Till to date most of the men believe that women and men are not equal and housework and housekeeping is the work of women. Most of the women are not allowed to work after their marriage restricting them to house. Similar type of views were expressed by the convict Mukesh and according to me approximately 50 percentage of Indian men use to think like that only. So there is no much difference between the root line thinking of convict and Indian men. The explanation given by the convicts for rape is “they want to teach them a lesson that women are not allowed coming out after 6 pm”. How their attitude towards women is framed? It is the society makes them to develop that kind of attitude towards women. Here people use to accuse the convicts as the monsters but I contradict with their views because the monsters in those convicts are further aggravated by the Indian society. The documentary asked for impassioned plea for gender equality. According to me, humans included both men and women and the word “HUMAN” with “MAN” only getting prominence in Indian culture and society. As Immanuel Kant said that “A human being should be given respect because just he is a human being” but, Indian society manipulated the term human being as men but not women. The approach to get analyse the discrimination of women in the society can be taken from the socio economic conditions and deeply rooted myths about the women in the Indian culture and society.
Even the discrimination was seen against Indian women during medieval period in the form of sati and it is not new India. The patriarchal mindset of Indian society initiate from birth of the child with undue preference given to male child, female foeticide and worst sex ratios in the states of Haryana, Punjab etc. As Sheila dixit rightly pointed out the discrimination against the women in the family system like a brother is given more preference than a boy in the family from different aspects like food to education and most of the important decisions in family are taken by the male head. To quote her “sister was given less milk than his brother and everybody in the family thinks he is a boy and he should have more energy than a girl”. Every human is born free and there should be no shackles restricting them but still women in Indian society are with fetters. Freedom for women should be not only in the public sphere but it extended to private sphere by Simone De Beauvoir by stating “personal is political”. Domestic sexual violence and harassment is the another side away from the public sphere where the Indian family system and customs restricting the women to outburst there sufferings. Views of different politicians regarding women by the well known and admired politicians would astonish us.
“If girl is dressed decently, a boy will not look at her in wrong way” – Haryanya CM khattar
If we take the socio economic background of all the six victims; they come from extreme deprived conditions without proper education and minimum standard of living conditions. If we take a common criteria among them is – all of them are below poverty line. Crime reflects the socio economic background of the victims. The juvenile convict started working as a child labour from the age 11 for a mere income of 300 rupees for month. The conditions in which they lived provoked them to work for their livelihood. Education and better livelihood conditions can change the beast to altruistic moral human being. So now we have question our self, whom to blame?? Whether the age old great Indian society and culture or the Socio economic and poverty conditions of India or the psyche of convicts??. If thinking statistically, then 75 percent to the ongoing problem was contributed by the Indian society and socio economic conditions and only 25 percent is contributed by the psyche of convict. First of attitude and approach of Indian society should be changed and there should be a conscious transition from culture of rape and gender violence towards a progressive society with equal place for women in it. This can be achieved with proper education and changing the mentality of men from childhood onwards imbibing them the culture of women at par with men in their mind sets. Without these changes in the thinking of conservative orthodox Indian society towards women- this story never ends.