Rape is A Social Punishment to Women

Just after the protests today outside the police station today, i called my friend to tell her how enraged people were about this heinous crime. Students of JNU, residents of nearby Munirka, passers by, everybody seemed to be justifiable disturbed about the assault and rape perpetrated on Sunday night on a women who is still critical and lying in Safdarjung Hospital.

Is Delhi safe for women? What could be the appropriate punishment to the perpetrators? We have been against capital punishment, what else could we demand? Castration? Whatever, but now it seems Delhi has finally risen against rape.

My friend, in metro rail on her way back after work, seemed to be lost. She told me the women’s compartment in the metro was rather cold and silent. Might not have anything to do with the recent events, but something in the air was eerie.

My friend asked me is rape just a crime? Is it just about some criminal elements who must be reigned in? When she came out of the metro, a speeding car passed her, with 3 young men playing loud music. Nothing to do with the incident, again.

But she said, she can feel rape and brutality being normalised and such crimes becoming acceptable slowly. She said she felt that within a few weeks, a bigger/similar incident would happen again in Delhi.

Rapes are committed by individual who are deemed criminal. But it helps men as a whole to rein ‘their’ women in. Men in the family warn about rapes and prohibit their women from going out and taking their decisions alone. In that way, instances of rape in the society come handy for most ‘normal’ kind of men.

And what about Soni Sori? Brutal sexual violence against her was not an issue of ‘law and order’. She was raped inside a police station for the crime of standing up for her society. Women’s body is an easy place for all the battles of men.

So, what punishment for rape when it is more than a crime, when rape itself is a punishment meted out to silence women as a whole?