No, it is not okay.

Usually I refrain from commenting on current affairs in this blog. This blog is a ‘happy’ place, a slice of positivity and it has been a conscious effort to keep it so.

But the recent brutal rape of the 23 year old girl has really got to me and I feel compelled to write this post.
What occurred on the night of 16th December   can only be described as dehumanizing, horrific, brutal, non-condonable and that will only be putting it mildly.

What causes rape? How can it be prevented?

The answers to this are multiple, in several layers and would be very varied, depending on who was answering this question. There have been umpteen discussions and hundreds of articles written on this.
From bad parenting, to societal conditioning,  to the knowledge that you can get away with it, to the laws that are not so stringent and the worst of all to the attitude that ‘the woman deserved it, after all she was out late with her boy friend’ are some of views which have been aired, some vociferously  and some silently, on media and social platforms all across.

The men accused of committing this brutal act were all uneducated and from the slums. There was a bus-driver, fruit seller and a gym instructor. They were all between the ages of 25-33.

But what totally shocks me is the attitude that even the most educated men in our society seem to hold. A few years back, I was discussing ‘Why Delhi is unsafe for women’ with a friend who is from one of the ‘branded educational institutions’ that our country boasts of. This friend’s view was that if Indian women were a little more ‘accommodating’ when it came to sex, the rape incidents would come down.  Speechless? Well, so was I. But I did think about it.

Another friend’s husband told her, “See? This is why I tell you not to go out late, alone.” Never mind that this is working woman who  might need to stay out late because of work, who has a high-flying career and has travelled the world over and her husband too is a highly educated professional, who is very intelligent, sharp and ‘upwardly mobile’. The solution to the problem in his mind, was to make her stay at home, so she is ‘safe’.

But I am not for a moment blaming the educated Indian men. On Facebook, I saw a comment made by a woman who was obviously upset about the gang-rape. She said “Why rape women. What are prostitutes there for?”  I read it twice in disbelief. 

Nobody deserves to be raped. I am all for legalizing prostitution, in fact. It would at the very least improve the working conditions of sex-workers in India. There are more than 3 million women in India, who work as prostitutes and 1.3 million among them are under-age. (But I am not addressing that here. That will call for another post)

What needs to change is a mind-set.  It is only in India, that words like ‘eve-teasing’ are used. We need to acknowledge that there is no ‘teasing’ here. It is plain harassment. By coining up a silly term like ‘eve-teasing’ one is diluting the graveness of the issue. Groping a woman is NOT okay. Please get that clear. Respect her. She is more than a pair of boobs or a cute ass. She is more than her body.

In India, we still have a bias towards the male child. Kerala which is a matriarchal society boasts of an excellent sex ratio of  1084 women per 1000 men. It is the highest in India.The lowest ratio is in Haryana and Delhi which have a pathetic 877 and 866 women per 1000 men. In Chandigarh it is even lower, where it is 818 women per 1000 men. Delhi also witnesses more rapes than the next five metros put together. These numbers say something about the mind-set , doesn’t it?

In India, we  also have ministers making statements like ‘women should dress modestly’. This is another thing which infuriates me. What about the thousands of women in villages who get raped? They wear sarees and traditional clothes. Rape is never about what the victim wears.
The only thing that can help curb this horrendous menace which is a threat to every Indian woman is a sea-change in attitude. Extreme laws like castration if a guy is caught raping, would also serve to be a great deterrent.  The rapist should be made an example of. He should be shamed and should reget it for the rest of his life.

There really is no excuse for rape.

And meanwhile all I can do is say a prayer for the girl who continues to fight for her life and is in critical condition, at the time of publishing this post.


  1. Too many ppl are saying too many things abt this incident but too little action is taken...All we want is speedy justice ... the poor girl can never get her normal life back...which means the survivor can nevr gets justice in such cases....:(

  2. Aptly said, the mindset needs to change. People need to be taught that if you are living in a society along with social beings, behave like one. You are Man enough only when you are capable of Respecting Women and not treat them like objects. The country is seething in anger and pain and so it should.
    These animals did not give a thought at committing this heinous crime. And the Indian Legal system is completely paralyzed. It needs a long set of procedural activities before penalizing the criminals. Fast track courts and speedy justice should be ensured for such cases, else there is no meaning of a judicial system being in place at all..

  3. hi preeti,
    i had the exact thoughts running in my mind wen i read your blog i really feel its high time the law made some ammendments... can we as a mass do something i dont know but if there is something i would certainly b a part of that change. the only question is how do we start.? instead of the rapist being served as an example in our society it mostly happens the opposite even if the victim survives and tries to get on with life it is often seen that ppl around them make them feel more worse instead of helping them move ahead. am just too shaken rit nw i dnt evn knw if my comment makes any sense to anyone.


  4. How come people can behave like this?Whats the Girl's mistake?This is what our culture?Before it happened in KERALA-That too in train..Now in Delhi-inside bus...only place changed...B*** mindset is same...I cant call them human beings or animals caz animals are better than those B*******.
    Who will protect/safeguard us from these kinda of B********

  5. My head hangs in shame whenever such incidents come to my notice...Very well written maa'm as always....It will reflect the sentiments of many people at this point of time.The devils should be hanged in public...A shame for the entire nation..The bloody rapists should not be hanged but be tortured everyday in public in front of the media and telecasted to the entire nation such that from that point anyone who tries to commit or even think of such shameful acts should think again and again before proceeding....The punishment should not be simply hangfing or going with the traditional methodologies of the court....It should be so brutal and public that even the thought of such acts induces fear in them...
    Your post is very well written but only decent people who hate such crimes will go through it...What about the people who commit such acts..tehy don't even care...They will just call your words as mere lectures...So i think brutal public punishment is the main solution to this heinous act..and trust me maa'm for many "so called educated" people it will be just a matter of time pass gossip in social networks and private chit chats.....It really is the mindset which needs to be changed and be followed from the heart

  6. I agree with you about changing mindsets but I don't agree with your point of legalizing prostitution in India. Again prostitutes are also human and they have their rights too what about them. And I think no one becomes a prostitute by choice. And here I will say about our culture is heart of the matter is the matter of heart. Unless we change our attitude nothing is going to change.

    1. Bro India is lack of education and basic knowledge. She is right that every individual who commits such crime belongs to the slum group and at the age group of 20 to 33. well whatever it is but they should not die a normal death, that everyone will not dare to commit such disgusting crimes

    2. Legalising prostitution will give these women so many rights and will empower them. Right now they are denied these rights.

    3. to quote from wiki:
      The state of Nevada is the only US state to allow some legal prostitution.

      In some countries, (or administrative subdivisions within a country), prostitution is legal and regulated. In these jurisdictions, there is a specific law, which explicitly allows the practice of prostitution if certain conditions are met (as opposed to places where prostitution is legal only because there is no law to prohibit it).

      In countries where prostitution is regulated, the prostitutes may be registered, they may be hired by a brothel, they may organize trade unions, they may be covered by workers' protection laws, their proceeds may be taxable, they may be required to undergo regular health checks, etc. The degree of regulation, however, varies very much by jurisdiction.

      Such approaches are taken with the stance that prostitution is impossible to eliminate, and thus these societies have chosen to regulate it in an attempt to reduce the more undesirable consequences. Goals of such regulations include controlling sexually transmitted disease, reducing sexual slavery, controlling where brothels may operate and dissociating prostitution from crime syndicates.

      In countries where prostitution is legal and regulated, it is usual for the practice to be restricted to particular areas.

      In countries where prostitution itself is legal, but associated activities are outlawed, prostitution is generally not regulated.

    4. I agree with you that there will be improvement of people already there, but think of it on one hand we are against rape because someone is victimized and on other hand we are saying its ok if we legalize and regulate it properly. On both sides the human is victimized isnt he ? And what makes you think that legalizing prostitution would have stopped this. If you dont know in Delhi there is prostitution street and one can easily go there but when one is drunk he dont want to spend money or time going there he just want it ..... Then dont you think its the matter of heart

  7. inhumane callous act...was expectin this blood boils wen such incident shud defenitely be taught to behave..even a yr old child is not spared..strict law shud b enforced..such men shud b pelted with stones n hanged..really disgusting..women dress code has nothing to do with rape..its all in the mind..really humiliating to hav such incidents..this issue should b dealt seriously..every women igs at stake..praying god for the poor victim who is on ventilator.....

  8. i feel really sorry for whatever happened with that girl, I'll pray that she gets well soon.
    but what makes me think s that if women are not safe in our very own so called Capital City, then what about other cities.. this s not done govt n police must take some serious actions against the culprits n pls if possible make amendments to corresponding IPC section so that there should be very very strictly so that even a man has to think a thousand times before committing such inhuman act

  9. Its extremely disturbing that in India where we pride ourselves on our tradition and culture, acts of such inhuman nature not only happen but the victims are at times treated like they are at fault. Our political and judicial system is impotent and there is no surety that the accused will be punished, this gives such ***** more strength. Just yesterday i found that a 5 year old child was raped, this is barbaric and disgusting. Punishments MUST be enforced and must be very very severe. Any person even thinking of molesting or raping or groping a girl must think a million times before doing it, such must be the severity of the punishment. Sadly, our politicians are acting only for political mileage rather than for the benefit of the society or our nation.

  10. the does not deserve a normal death :( Chop their every part of body into multiple half...

  11. Conviction does not happen in a large number of cases. That is one deterrent.
    I don't understand how men have one yardstick for women in their family and another for others. So much for our great culture.
    Also, respect for women should start at home. Kids grown up seeing elders in their family treating women as just cooks, servants and whatnot. Even the so called urban family in India treat their women folk badly. What about television? Does not the popular soaps drum into us the stereotypes? Do you ever see a man washing utensils or cooking in any of the serials that are being broadcast? Is the state-run media behind in popularising such stereotypes?
    This incident got such coverage only because it happened in the capital. Worse things are happening even in the so called 'educated' Kerala. Women can't step out after dusk even accompanied by their husbands in Kerala. Tamilnadu is much safer for women than its 'educated' neighbour. Yes. I hail from Kerala and I know this for a fact. Harassment of women in public places in Kerala is something you can't imagine. If they so much as protest the consequences are shocking.

  12. You are very right, Preeti. What needs to change is the attitude.

    Another point which I would like to add is the rape on small kids as small as a few months and grannies as old as eighty years. What provocation can people belonging to this category provide the rapists with? Kerala has witnessed horrific rape accounts of kids and old women. People talk as if a woman is found in a vulnerable circumstance, it is a ticket for the rapist to rape and kill. Also, incidents where the victim's own father, brother, cousin etc commit the crime.

    I completely support a punishment system where castration should be the mode of punishing the rapist.

  13. Rape is an absolutely filthy event deserving punishment worse than castration. And the attitude that women should dress modestly is abhorrent. A woman can walk naked for all she cares - rape is never never pardonable.

    My diagnosis of the problem is that its a deeper malaise in Indian society than only attitude to women. Its the attitude that the powerful can take violence to the weak. Bandhs, caste violence, what happened in Mumbai recently , etc etc are all symptoms of the problem. Violence has become a defacto acceptable occurrence in society. Our values have long gone out of the window - shame on us.

    That's why when we look at modern day Japan - a society which historically has been prone to brutality, but today represents some of the best human values, we must marvel at them and learn from them.

    India needs some big soul searching as to what has happened to its traditional values.

  14. Anonymous10:12 PM

    It is dis-heartening learning about it. I thought, these were taken pretty seriously when 4 guys in one of the southern part of India attempted rape, they were all shot to dead by police. But that wasn't publicized as much as it should have across the nation...May be that fear could stop some attempts if not completely. Working at root levels to address this problem is definitely worth considering.. well yeah, how can we manage people who have no emotions, values, morals and mostly conscience! Tough battle :(

  15. thanks for the post Preeti! Indeed it is sad what happened. My hopes are pinned on the next generation which is better educated. I agree with you about legalizing prostitution.

  16. I fully agree with you fully, since the ruffians fear none and nothing in this world, they stretch their wicked domain to-any extant.The government follows a punishment policy based on vote-bank and so umpteen such wretched forces will again take birth in this holy soil of India. The main reason is liquor and drugs which conquer male minds that cannot reason out dos and don'ts. Remedies are awareness programmes,value education,care and concern at home in addition to barring of bars.

  17. For all people who are not aware, below is Section 100 of Indian Penal Code:

    100. When the right of private defence of the body extends to causing death.-- The right of private defence of the body extends, under the restrictions mentioned in the last preceding section, to the voluntary causing of death or of any other harm to the assailant, if the offence which occasions the exercise of the right be of any of the descriptions hereinafter enumerated, namely:- First.- Such an assault as may reasonably cause the apprehension that death will otherwise be the consequence of such assault; Secondly.- Such an assault as may reasonably cause the apprehension that grievous hurt will otherwise be the consequence of such assault; Thirdly.- An assault with the intention of committing rape; Fourthly.- An assault with the intention of gratifying unnatural lust; Fifthly.- An assault with the intention of kidnapping or abducting; Sixthly.- An assault with the intention of wrongfully confining a person, under circumstances which may reasonably cause him to apprehend that he will be unable to have recourse to the public authorities for his release.

    Please read carefully about the extent of rights you have when there is an assault with the intention of committing rape. A few exercises of these rights, and things might start to get better.

  18. Anonymous3:00 PM

    This was exactly what was in my mind n I had penned it down too. But it still haunts me that there are youth who think changing the dressing pattern would solve the issue.
    On tuesday a 5 yr old was raped in K'taka. On friday a 13 yr old in TN..! How blind can ppl be?? if dress caused it, i would like to hear them explain these cases.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your leaving a comment! Okay--I appreciate your leaving a comment if you have something nice to say ;-)