Rape is not about sex


The heinous, barbaric act of rape on a Delhi bus has the entire country up in arms. About time, I would say. There have been over 400 rapes in New Delhi alone. The only consistent coverage for this “culture of rape” has been coming through Tehelka, that wonderful magazine that refuses to die and just keeps on going. For months now Tehelka has been highlighting the almost apathetic attitude of our policemen in enforcing the law when it comes to rape.

But it is not just our police who have a wrong attitude towards rape. Almost everybody I speak to seems to have an opinion about the reasons for such behavior and how it can be curbed. Surprisingly, none of them center on the indisputable fact that rape is wrong and it cannot be justified.

“Legalize brothels”, says one.

A ludicrous suggestion if there ever was one. If rape was about sex, then murder would be about blood and speeding would be about the need to get somewhere faster. If brothels could solve the problem of rape, the hunting and race tracks should be able to solve the other problems. Rape, like murder and speeding, is and will always be about the sense of power. Man is physically stronger than woman and a man with an inferiority complex uses rape to satisfy his need to feel powerful.

“Girls should dress more conservatively”, says another.

Which is like saying that man has no control over his physical needs and a visual stimulant is all that is required to set him off. In which case, men all over the country should be lining up to take a crap every time they see a toilet. The very same men who can close their eyes and back out of a room where their mother is in a state of undress without raping her seem to lose that self-control when they see other women.

Capital punishment”, says yet another.

While I do not agree with capital punishment per se, I would support it today because it is the highest form of punishment allowed by our legal system. Rape, like murder, takes away something intrinsic to the victim and no amount of punishment can restore it. So rape must be considered on par with murder and the law must allow the imposing of the highest punishment to rapists who fall in the “rarest of rare” cases.

There is only one way to solve this problem. Make rape unacceptable in any form. Discredit the perpetrator and ensure that the crime follows him all his life. Put it on his election id, his Aadhar card and his passport. Stain him so badly that he stinks for ever more and will never be able to wash the stench away. He must be made to spend each and every day of his life apologizing and regretting his act of cowardice.

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