Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some thoughts on the rise of the rape/molestation cases in India.

Disclaimer: This is a very sensitive topic I am writing about, this is my own views on this subject and is not meant to offend anyone, or weigh opinions on anyone. Healthy criticism will be welcome, and so will be the flaws of my theory.

Everyday you open a newspaper and reports of rapes and molestations jump out at you. What is the reason behind all this, I have often asked myself, and concluded a very disturbing theory which I will share here.

All the men involved in this heinous act must have some reason behind it. Apart from intoxication, the only thing I could come up with was sex-starvation. And I was looking for a cure of this social disease.

First of all, there is the problem with the Indian community. Acts of affection are totally disliked, and even more if they are public. Look how an issue like a kiss between Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere got totally blown out of proportion. Or how Sania Mirza was rebuked when she spoke about pre marital sex. I won't comment on these issues, but the entire community needs to grow up. When a normal teenager, or even someone younger, switches on the television and channel surfs, visuals of affection are readily available to his eyes. And instead of proper sex education, parents forbid their children to ask questions about this subject. They just freak out at the thought of discussing matters like this with their children. What does this do? This leads the child, or teenager, seek information from other sources, and not always proper sources. They get a garbled and mangled idea rather than the proper education that is required, and also, they get more curious. They want to try things on their own. I think this is why cases of juvenile rapes are increasing. (I remember reading more than one newspaper report about how a teenager tried to/actually managed to rape a very young girl.)

So, proper education at this level is required. Everyone knows this, and implementing sex education in schools is being thought of... and sadly, being thought of for a long time now. Objections are always getting raised, and the education still hasn't been implemented in most places.

So that goes for young adults who have a curious mind which often lead to monstrous acts. They need to be taught the laws, the precautions, the side effects, the protections needed.

I even understand all the flak many had to go through for their open minded thoughts on premarital sex. Parents are afraid that their son or daughter would do something before she even matures and appreciated the gravity of the situation of what she has done. But even here, hiding things from their children is no proper option. They need to know, tell them, protect them till they are mature, but after that, understand that it is their life. They may be you're son's and daughter's, but they are not you, they have a life of their own. Your duty is to guide them so that they become proper citizens. One can only be protected for some time. Then they would despise you, lie to you, do things without telling you, and commit the mistakes which could have been prevented if only you wee more frank with them. Become their friends, not their dictators.

But what about totally grown men who commit these crimes? Why do they do it? Yes, they are sex starved, but when there can be even capital punishment against this act, why do it? What is the solution to this desperation?

A very strange idea occurred to me. Very very strange idea. You might think I'm a pervert when I reveal this, but do hear me out, and then say whatever you got to.

I believe the only way to solve this issue is to make pornography and prostitution legal. Why so? I have certain arguments for this.

If people are so sex starved and desperate that they are willing to rape and molest people, they could easily visit a prostitute and get his starvation and desperation out.

Why pornography? Well, maybe not hardcore pornography. People at a certain age group grow a curiosity towards the body of the other sex. And when available, many use the internet to douse their curiosity, others, molest known people of the opposite sex. While the internet can be a good thing, getting hooked onto pornographic sites can never be a good thing. You wreck your computer with viruses and Trojan horses (these sites contain hundreds of them), and you have to have a certain amount of secrecy to visit these sites. You hide, surf these sites, and they are illegal. Even if pornography is kept illegal, certain things have to be made readily available, and not only a textual and formal education, but one with graphics.

About the prostitution issue, prostitution is illegal, yes. But there are hundreds, if not thousands of sex workers who live a miserable life. Most, if not all, have been dragged into this trade by compulsion, and, if it were legal, they would have a better life. Legal prostitution would also mean proper protection among these sex workers, and cases of HIV/AIDS should also decline.

Many would argue that prostitution by no means can be an occupation. But if it's legal, people would have an option of coming out of it, even if compulsion forces them into it. Prostitution is legal in many countries across the world. If you think its a demeaning occupation, tell me then, why don't they? And I'm talking about countries like Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Peru, Turkey, etc. Countries like UK have certain laws where prostitution is legal, but brothels and all are not. If they can be as liberal minded to think like this, why can't we? And they have a lot less rape molestation cases.

However, these aren't no solutions actually. The actual solution is proper education, and whatever I might have said in this article, I stress most on this. An open mind, proper communication and education might make our country just a little better. Why hang onto age old traditions? Hold onto morals which have lost their meanings long ago? Evolve. Think. Solve.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I dream

We think, sometimes, there’s not a dragon left. Not one brave knight, not a single princess gliding through secret forests, enchanting deer and butterflies with her smile. We think sometimes, that ours is an age past frontiers, past adventures. Destiny, it’s way over the horizon, glowing shadows galloped past long ago, and gone!” (Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever)

Life is about magic, mystery, mysticism, adventures, and a lot about love, they tell me. But magic, mystery, mysticism, adventures, love are all buried under the ‘tower of obligations standing tall’ (Insomnia, State of Disturbance), and these obligations are not even self brought in.

“Adventure?” the bewildered boy shook his head. “I don’t recall reading anything about it in my notes copy, nor did the professor say anything about it. You sure you heard the term right?”

“Magic?” another boy this time, looked confused. “Yes, I know bits about it, I had to prepare an essay on it, but no, I don’t believe in it.”

“Love?!” this boy laughed. “Look man, I’m too busy with my exam marks to worry about something as futile as love. You’re crazy dude!”

What’s this all about? Buried under piles of notes, under hours of memorizing them, are we losing yourselves somewhere in there? The ‘Us’, the ‘Me’, are they getting lost? Are we becoming robots?

I would still say no. I would still dream.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one”
(John Lennon, Imagine)

(Originally published in Dewal Likhon, the school wall magazine.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

A promise.

Promise: an assurance that one will do something or that something will happen. (Oxford dictionary)

What a strange word this, promise. We make promises all the time. Assure oneself, others that something will happen, or something will be done. "I promise you". How easy to say. Yet how easy to forget.

We made a promise. That whatever comes, we won't sacrifice our friendship. Yet, I'm no longer a friend of her. And it's my fault that I'm not.

A list of words/sentences/phrases that should be banned: (no one knows how to use them, that's why... Or maybe they don't mean anything.)

1. God

2. Love

"Next to 'god', 'love' is the word most mangled in every language" - Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever

3. I love you. (It never lasts. Never. Rather it would be better to rephrase the sentence as, "At this moment, I love you, the next moment what will happen, I don't know." Will make things a lot easier. edit - one can also rephrase it as "I still love you! Isn't that strange?!")

4. I promise. (Reasons explained above.)

5. I will always love you. (Everyday a new definition of 'always' is made, from 1 second to infinity, it can mean anything. That word has no meaning these days, making this sentence impossible to hold any meaning.)

6. Things will be alright. (What the fuck. What does this mean anyway? What does being alright mean?)

7. Give it time. (Yeah, right. I buy some time from the departmental shop and then give it. Do you want it gift wrapped?)

(More will be added to this list, "I promise"!)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

And then...

And then when you are alone
Shall you find them
They have stayed

And will do.
Nice to meet, again

Told you we would meet, again
But you didn't believe me, again
Just like the last time...

Back again, eh?
Hope you'll be staying this time.

"Yes, I will be."

Friday, March 14, 2008

My new friend

Anger, bitterness and sorrow
Are these my only friends now?
The only thing I feel now-a-days
Is pain, nothing else

Happiness has evaded me
But I don't give a damn
I still have someone with me
Does it matter if its only pain?

No one understands me
or the other way round
Whatever is it though
I have my friend pain with me now

It hurts, yes it does
But atleast this feeling is here to stay
Unlike the glimpses of a happy life
Which I know I'll never posses.