CASTE CULTURE CAN INSPIRE RAPE CULTURE
- IWB Post
- July 25, 2014
Isn’t there a lot of rape news banging our ears since last 2 years? But what we might have missed are these facts. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 24,923 rapes were reported last year. This figure is supposedly high since majority of rapes are not even registered. Now focus on this statistics that says a major chunk of this act happens in RURAL INDIA!
- National Crime Records Bureau says 4 dalit women are raped every day.
- Over 80% of these rape cases in High Courts and close to 75% of rape cases in the Supreme Court came from rural areas.
- Over 65% of cases involving the rape of a child (less than 12 years old) came from rural areas.
If we dig in more, it’s our DALIT YOUNG WOMEN who are ‘Easy Targets’. They are teenagers between 13-19 years of age. That Badaun case still gives goose bumps. Why women harassment is so easy in rural India? Let us recall few silly reasons our national leaders have given in past.
- Their women are suspected of witchcraft.
- Rural women have no access to toilets and hence have to go out in open at wee hours.
- If the rural women are not into prostitution, the girls from good families would be raped.
- Poverty forces them to bargain the loans they take from the riches.
But, one of the most valid and strong reasons behind the torture of dalit women is the Indian Caste System. The upper castes have never respected the lower castes. We can see teenagers addressing elderly servants using ‘tu’ instead of ‘aap’. Talking about our men, they see poor woman as an object of pouring out their hidden desires or anger. A fair example of this is the Bhanwari Devi case. Bhanwari was a dalit woman raped by a bunch or rich men. The judge stated that he believed an upper caste man would never rape a Dalit.
In past, the castes were grouped by in categories: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Later, between 1860 and 1920, the British segregated Indians by caste. Certain groups, now known as “Dalits”, were treated as untouchables. Called the ‘Untouchables’, unfortunately their girls are most likely to be ‘touched’. The cases of girl trafficking have increased more than ever. They are kidnapped from the villages and thrown into prostitution or forced to become domestic help, also an occupation where they face sexual harassment from their masters.
The other day we saw 2 small girls begging at the Rambagh circle traffic light. They were around 8 years old and roaming almost naked. We noticed this 30-something man staring at their bare flat chests non-stop. That made us uncomfortable. Is it the ‘men’s tendency’ or the ‘easily available footpath girls’?
Many think they are poor, are not well-versed with laws and aren’t powerful enough to use them. So we pick any random beggar from the street, rape her and throw her back. This similar case happened in Jaipur’s city area last year where a garbage-picking girl was raped.
The question now is – will this caste system keep on deciding whose daughter should go into prostitution or get raped? Though, inter-caste marriages in our country show we have started to overlook the caste issue; but in case of women, we still need to negotiate with our hearts.