03 October, 2014

Silence and Jokes Apart

Rape is a natural phenomenon, common in the animal kingdom. The female animal adapts in these ways - (1) submission (2) changing habitat (3) forming alliances (4) resistance (5) developing bodily protection. But a raped female animal doesn't commit suicide, she moves on, and rest of the animal kingdom neither shames nor cares. But kingdom of the most advanced – the human – shames a raped female and doesn’t care. 

It’s a very old story - be it Draupadi’s Cheer Haran or Seeta’s Agni Pariksha. Yudhishtir questioned Draupadi even after her death, while Sita asked for death herself. Where was god? Or does it really help those who help themselves?

Do clothes matter? Saree and salwar kurta clad women are equally, if not more likely to be harassed. Does place matter? 70% Indian women face domestic violence - it happens at home. Does time matter? If it happens at home, it can happen anytime. Beware of strangers? Neighbors and relatives commit 98% of rapes in India. Seems she has never and nowhere been safe.

What is widely considered a man’s prized possessions in the human society - land, woman, career, money - stay with time; his work can be seen. Whereas the prized possessions ordained to a woman - beauty and purity - fade with time, while her service and sacrifices remain invisible and intangible. So despite having equal number of men and women in the world, it looks like ‘a man’s world’ where ‘behind every successful man is a woman’.

Indian caste system classifies the human body into 4 parts (1) head (2) chest (3) stomach (4) hands and legs - each corresponding to a function (1) intellect (2) courage/love (3) energy (4) labor. But humans are prone to habit; division of labor - a businessman doesn’t labor, a laborer doesn’t study, a teacher doesn’t fight. Indian female as a home-maker largely confined herself to the roles of vaishya and shudraPhysical weakness, complete financial dependence, too much emotional dependence (mistaken for love) - are reasons contributing to her taking his side when she should have courage to do otherwise. And generally, the human attitude of treating problems as 'secrets' - not to be shared, let alone debated. Funnily, god would hear same prayers, different people. 

Mothers, sisters, daughters and wives, overcome fear - stop him at the first blackmail, the first abuse, or the first slap. Change will have to be earned, and it must start at home. Overcome ignorance - a pest at home is a pest outside. Too much silence or love is mistaken for cowardice or acceptance. Have a strong punch ready if needed. Developing the brahmin (half the battle won in the mind) and the kshatriya is thus necessary for her, not to survive, but live. 

If rape is as bad as death, then how do prostitutes live, and love? (brahmin) An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. But what if the whole world is acting blind? And deaf? And mute? (kshatriya)... “Change must come from within, do not seek it without,” says Buddha. We have statues of her, now let’s have some built by her.

** My professor said that human-rape is about 'power display', and in that way different from the animal kingdom. I saw a bitch being gang-raped by 4 dogs - she was howling while trying to escape, while 2 out of the 4 dogs had that 'power display' thing going on. - I believe humans are not civilized animals, only animals living in civilizations. And attack is a natural instinct, a phenomenon that will never end in itself.

** Seals rape king penguins - http://goo.gl/NcvPyl.

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