Don't eat chowmein

Eating chowmein contributes to the increase in rapes. No this is not a joke. This is the latest pearl of wisdom cast by the antediluvian kangaroo courts that 'rule' Haryana by force: the (ill)famed Khap Panchayats. To my understanding, consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts, is what the leader of one such Khap recently stated. To end rapes one must eat light and nutritious food. Voila. Rape over. So if I understand well girls should be married at the age of 16 and we should not eat any spices or fast food and we will be rid of the heinous crime of rape. All hormonal issues will be solved. I guess all of us that each such foods are potential rapists.

To the idiosyncratic remark that stated that 90% of rapes are consensual, there was the added one that rapes are a conspiracy against the ruling party. I cannot begin to imagine where all this will end. But what is reality is that rapes are continuing unabashedly. Yesterday a 50 year old was gang raped by 4 men. For a person of the female sex is do not matter what age you are: 15 months or 50, you still run the risk of being raped. And that is not all, the 62 year old rapist of the 13 year old child is now being shielded by his community by offering the victim's family money. 35K is the price of innocence.

There is seems to be no justice for the innocent victims. Instead of immediate and punitive actions against the perpetrators, one what sees is shielding the rapist, finding ludicrous explanations ( consensual rape, eating chowmein), blaming the victim (the way she dresses, she drinks, she goes out at night etc) and so on. Everyone is on a single mission: protect the perpetrator! It is time to stop this nonsense. But how? That is the question.

What all the above shows is that in the mind of the law makers, protectors and enforcers rape is a trivial crime where the victim is a much if not more to blame than the perp.

When a little girl is born she has the same rights as her male counterparts. She has the right to live, to laugh, to play, to grow, to study, to work. She has the right to be loved, respected, cared for and protected. She has the right to dream about her morrows and to see them become reality. Sadly in India all these rights are usurped in the name of false honour, false morality and social mores made by a male dominated society. Her life is controlled by a series of males: her father, her brother, her husband and even her sons. She has not much say in anything. Is she steps out of the line drawn by these male relatives she is reigned in and even branded. Her dreams remain dreams shared with no one.

When she hurts or is hurt by anyone, she is far too often held responsible and ordered to step back in line. The extreme instance is rape where the first accusation falls on her: why did she step out, why did she wear 'revealing' clothes, why did she stay out late etc. She seems to be the custodian not only of her family's honour but of the honour of the entire world.

Trivialising rape is the highest insult to women. It is time this stopped!