The Godmen, the bureaucrats, the politicians, and all those self styled moral protectors of the society have strained their voices hoarse over who is to be blamed for the growing crimes against women and have given every possible atrocious solutions to the issue, ranging from covering up the women from head to toe, to keeping her indoors, restricting her to house hold work, from blaming her for not calling her tormentors as brother, to asking her not to step out with any other person other than her own relatives. The conclusion being that the victim is to be blamed for the crime than the perpetrator!
Let us for an instant nod our heads tamely and accept the blame. But how on earth would the so-called moral guardians explain similar assaults on children as young as 2 or 3 and women as old as 60 or 65? When will they accept that, what is lacking is a moral value, what is driving the crime is perhaps frustration or an unsound mind, and what will help is not victimizing the victim but taking steps to ensure that such things do not happen. Isn't it a shame that we are more focused in telling the woman how she should behave, what she should wear or where she can go, rather than pulling up the criminal?
Sacrificing the girl child
Something as simple as letting the girl child live, could save thousands of other girls. Aren’t the two connected? Ironical? Paradoxical? Yet they seem to be connected. It has been discussed on a number of platforms how the decreasing number of girls, has led to a pathetic situation for the men. We have seen how some states are “buying” women for their boys from other states, how men are sharing brides in a blatant repeat of the Mahabharata, and how assaults are the order of the day where neither a bride could be brought nor shared.
So why not let the girl child live and create a healthy ratio of men and women so that such situations do not arise at all?
Lack of moral Education
By education I do not just mean basic schooling, yes where there is none, the need is for a basic education as well. But the education has to extend beyond the books, beyond mathematics and science and English. Moral education and sex education has to be taught in schools, whether in a rural area or urban. Education is more than a luxury; it is a responsibility that society owes to itself.
Children are more exposed than ever to uncensored content on the internet, newspapers and television. The curiosity to know about the other sex and to experiment is on the rise. With no information from parents at home and teachers in school, they are left at the mercy of information from unreliable sources. Children are not getting enough information about the biological and emotional aspects of sex.
Talking to the children at home in a open atmosphere, responding to their doubts, teaching them to respect not only women but everyone else and treating others with dignity, from a very young age will inculcate good values that will stay on with them throughout life .
Troubled youngsters should be identified at the school level and counseled at the early stage so that any wrong notions are nipped in the bud. An education isn`t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It`s being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don`t and between whether you know right from wrong.
Frustration at not having a job, at being treated unjustly, at being ridiculed can manifest itself in a toxic way. A depressed or frustrated individual wants to still feel in control, feel powerful and will do anything to feel so, even if it means resorting to the wrong methods. It is hardly possible to build anything if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail.
While the politicians are busy exercising their power, the rich are becoming wealthier thus adding to their power , we, the middle class, are struggling to keep up with life, even as there is a class below us which is starved of the basics. They are the most exploited, by politicians and by the business class. And when they turn to crime, we suffer.
Unless there is a direction to their lives and they get to eat well and live well, their frustrations will continue to be directed at us, as the other two are too powerful to be harmed.
These three points may be inter-related or separate. They have to be dealt in terms of how and where they exist. But the clean up has to happen at all levels, the cobwebs have to be removed from every corner . The approach has to go beyond the routine blame game.
When the roots are rotting, there cannot be healthy fruits and flowers, can there be?