Every Coin Has Two Sides!

Sexual assaults against minors needs to be handles differently as death sentence is not the solution to it, which a huge number of social, women and human right activists are demanding

By Humra Quraishi

Political mafia in our country reacts rather too fiercely and aggressively as and when international bodies focus on the prevailing unsafe conditions…unsafe to such an extent that even little children are sexually abused and assaulted.

It’s a frightful situation which needs immediate focus. Instead of shrieking ‘off with the head and tail’ sentences on the accused, we ought to sit back and introspect. In today’s murky mahaul, when all’s going haywire, can we expect sanity to exist? Those who are not indulging in raping forms are raping psyches. Yes, today’s political mafias laced with fascist agendas are raping psyches. Why don’t we talk of these assaults and onslaughts? The fragile can no longer cope with rapes of their psyches and sit crumbling… dying a slow death.

Why are the so called experts talking of death penalty for rapists? Do they realize that ‘off- with- the- head’ barbaric sentences do not lessen heinous crime? On the contrary, it relays the State’s impotency is dealing with the growing number of rapists. Rapists are mentally un-well creatures on the prowl and need treatment of the severest sorts. Maybe banished for years in open jails and released only and only after heavy dose of counseling and treatment. Or, in the case of the Kathua rape case where there is a blatant communal angle to it, all the eight rape accused ought to be kept jailed for years to come, so that rape is never again used as an ‘instrument’ to unsettle and rape the ‘other.’

Compounding the mess stands out a fact: there is nil emphasis on sex education in schools. And in most Indian homes it’s a taboo to even utter a word related to sexual activity. No, our men and women are not aware of any of those sexual related facts or realities.

Another frightful aspect is that we Indians don’t seem to give adequate significance to the fact that young boys are subjected to sexual attacks and assaults. We have got to accept this dark reality…Yes, the reality is that it’s not just girls but even boys are not safe. Repeated news reports on rape, more than relaying that sexual perversions are on the rise. Needless to say there would be hundreds and thousands of cases which go unreported. Why? Foremost, we don’t seem to accept the dark reality of boys getting sexually abused. And those who do realize that this is one of those ‘happenings’, don’t wish to dwell on it simply because they don’t consider it heinous enough! I would say enough is enough! Though we place boys up there on the pedestal yet we don’t give a damn if they are sexually assaulted, in homes or out there in the public.

In those years gone by, we’d overheard those hush-hush talks of college hostels and boarding schools being the breeding ground for homosexuality, but today it gets shocking to confront absolutely horrifying cases, where boys face sexual abuse not just in colleges and schools but even at workplaces and recreational centers and also inside homes of their close relatives. All over!

Needless for me to add the situation aggravates and worsens in the so called conflict zones of the country, where there is little accountability. It is relevant to mention that one should not overlook the Special Acts in force in the state of J&K .Though the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993 confers the power upon the National Human Rights Commission to inquire into and investigate allegations of violations of human rights by civil authorities, according to Section 19 of the Act that pertains to complaints of violations by members of the Armed Forces, the Commission may, either on its own motion or on receipt of a petition, seek a report from the Central Government. And after the receipt of the report, it may either not proceed with the complaint or, as the case may be, make its recommendations to that Government.

In recent years one has been hearing horrifying reports of young men abused in police lock-ups, than as and detention centers. As there’s that near- nil flow of information of the hellish conditions prevailing in the jails and prisons, so one cannot pinpoint the extent of damage to the human form and mind. But have we even bothered to study the crucial ‘why’ inmates run away from jails, hostels and also from boarding schools? Perhaps, they are unable to cope with the daily round of intrusions. And cannot pick up the courage to talk about the trauma they are undergoing. Who will listen to their tale of woe? How will they articulate details to those intrusions accompanied by pain and guilt? Who will believe them? How will they or their families cope with the aftermath, more so in the context of their rapists being the warden or the boss or one from the police – political nexus?

Though according to popular perception, slums and outlying colonies could be full of rapists, but those theories could seem somewhat outdated in today’s world of the rich and famous. Sex-starved and perverse are the mighty of the day. Oh yes, in the midst of those bogus theories of development the fact stands out that we are becoming perverse third-raters. Tortures of various hues and forms stand out amidst layers of utter deceit and hypocrisy. Compounding the mess is the ongoing notions in circulation: men and boys are not supposed to cry or even shriek out; after all, they are supposedly physically strong, so who the hell can make inroads into them! With that they sit tight, internalizing all possible pain inflicted on them, till, of course, the time when they can no longer hold out!

It’s about time we look at boys and young men with sensitivity. They could be as fragile as girls. Perhaps, more. As they are tutored to put up a brave front in all possible circumstances. Why heap this torture on them? Why shouldn’t they unleash their emotions out there, in public? Why can’t they cry out? Why shouldn’t they be repeatedly told and encouraged to talk aloud of their tormenters? Why should their rapists cum murderers get away?

It’s about time to talk aloud, out there in the open – why are rapes and rapists on the rise? Doesn’t it reflect our degeneration in every sense of the term? And it’s this degeneration which has got to be halted, to contain the perversions spreading out.