HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi: A reader calls for “sexually liberated men” and appeals
that even a rapist hast to be understood. A second reader disagrees and says rapists must be castrated.
These are some suggestions readers have sent in response to our series ‘Let’s Talk About Rape’, for which eight eminent Indians are writing open letters about sexual assault in India. Here are edited excerpts from the latest letters readers wrote to us.
Ittoop Panikulam calls for a ’sexually mature nation’
I cringe at news of rapes of all kinds: gang-rape, rape of children, rape of the elderly, rape of the mentally challenged; rapes in moving cars, taxies, buses and trains. Rapes happen everywhere: they have become sort of our landscape to stay and stare at us.
Google will tell you that ours seem to be a sex-starved country. In a therapeutic session, I encountered a man who had attempted “bestiality” when he was drunk. His shocked wife ran away from the scene and she tried to end her life. When the man became conscious of what he did, he felt guilty and valueless. “How could I ever stoop down to that level?” is the question that kept haunting him. Alcohol made him forget the man in him and what was left in him was “the animal”.When it comes to rape, the problem is the rapist. It has nothing to do with the victim. How she is dressed or not dressed is not the cause of rape. Finding her in the “wrong place, at the wrong time, in wrong company” are not reasons either. The only reason is the rapist living inside him who does not know how to manage the irresistible passion that drives him.
The rapist knows one truth: that he is a rapist.
Every rape unconsciously is a rape against one’s own self esteem.
I believe that a country that has frequent breaking news about rapes is a nation that needs to sexually mature. We need to raise the level of collective sexual consciousness. The call and the mission is as big as our subcontinent. Change we must and can. We need as many sexually integrated and liberated men as possible, in as many offices and quarters as there are. And we need the friendship and understanding of women.
We cannot celebrate sexuality without love, self-respect and genuine reverence of the other person. Mature women friends whom we treat with equality, mutuality, dignity, openness, sincerity and transparency can teach us how to be gentle and kind to our own self and our vulnerabilities. They can be our true guides and teachers.
Shanker Chawla says rapists must be castrated
No power in the country can prevent rapes crime if our judicial system is so lethargic that it takes 20 years to decide a single case. Writing a few articles in the Press is not the way to stop rapes.
I challenge any authority in this country for an open debate, but the only method to stop rapes is castration of a rapist and nothing less. As soon as a crime is proven, the rapist should be punished within three days and that punishment should be castration. A message will go to the public and within seven days you will not hear of any case of rape.
Avirat V Shete, ‘proud and loving’ mother of a 12-year-old daughter, writes a poem for the girl child
My mother was cursed when I was born,
Father was depressed, the family torn.
Everyone wanted an apple of the eye,
Prayed and hoped for a cute little boy.
Alas! Bad luck and misfortune piled,
My poor mother delivered a girl child.
From that day on, I have been hated,
Even my mother has been ill treated.
No one understands it’s not our fault,
I’m a sweet dish but treated like salt.
It’s my father’s chromosome that did this,
It’s in his control to have a Mr or a Ms
But literate people behave so stupidly,
So India’s sex ratio is shrinking rapidly.
If only boys were to be born here,
Then who’ll they ever marry, I fear.
Don’t they want a mother, sister or aunt?
How will you survive? Without us you can’t.
I dream of a world which is equal and just,
Where women are not just an object of lust.
A nation full of Goddess worshippers
ironically treats women like slippers.
Which God shall I appease tell me,
Even he is a male, why will he respect me?
To read other letters in the series, click on the writers below:
EIGHT EMINENT PERSONALITIES WRITE OPEN LETTERS