Rape: To force (another person) to have sexual intercourse with him without their consent and against their will, esp. by the threat or use of violence against them: the woman was raped at knifepoint.
The 2014 Indian election was different in more ways than one. Never before have so many people stepped out of their homes to cast their vote. Never before have the youth been so concerned about the elected party. This was the 1st time the Indian media covered the elections like a football game, screaming at every foul and celebrating at every tiny victory.
This election made us as citizens feel like someone’s listening. 1.2 billion people in our country have 1.2 billion demands. Me, as an Indian girl in her late twenties have one demand. I demand an India where my mother does not have to pray that I come home alive after dark. I demand an India where rape is something we only hear and read about in books and not in 10 newspaper articles everyday.
There is more than just a little evidence to put forward the fact that rape in India is no longer a problem, it is a crisis. New brutal methods of rape fight for their spot on the newspaper. Victims of rape wore anything from burkhas to skirts and were aged anywhere between a few moths to their late 70s.
Over dinner with my dad, he came up with a concept of a ‘Rape Minister’. It sounded bizarre at first but the more I thought of it, the more it made sense. The heinous crime has tarnished the image of our country. The least our government can do is make a strong statement by appointing a minister to only deal with rape cases. His 5 year plan will include pulling out past rape cases and pushing them through a fast track court.
In 1996 a law student was raped and murdered by her stalker in Delhi. Even more horrific than the crime was the fact her case was in court for 10 long years. During this period, the accused got married and had a baby while the parents of the victim dragged themselves to court for every hearing.
How much more flawed does our system have to be before we take a step forward. Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) laws are reviewed and rewritten every few years in America. Until 2012 India didn’t have a law against CSA.
The punishments for burglary is 7 years and the punishment for raping a minor is anywhere between 7-10 years. I draw this comparison only to compare the trauma and pain of the victims in both these cases. A rape victim loses a part of her soul, dignity, confidence and existence after that one incident.
So what would the rape minister do?
- He would put forward a 5 year plan where they would set up Rape cells all over the country.
- Appoint doctors, lawyers and psychiatrists in every cell.
- Set up therapy and support centers for rape victims all over India.
- Set up separate courts where rape cases can be tried.
- Provide hospital the required tools for after rape medical exams.
- Publish newspaper articles and newsletter with statistics and number of rapists held.
- Review the laws and come up with new laws
Make a statement louder than the one made by the rapists in Muzaffarnagar, who thought it was only fair to hang up the bodies of the 2 victims to show the world how proud they are of their act.
It’s been one year since the rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai. Two minors accused in this case, are currently being tried by the Juvenile Justice Board separately from the other 3 accused. If convicted, the maximum punishment the minors can face under Indian law is three years imprisonment, which includes time in custody.
Every time I read about a rape case, a part of me dies. It reminds me of the barbarism that exists amongst us. I wish and pray for a happier and healthier society where I don’t have to watch over my shoulder every time I step out of my house.