Global Outrage is Now Focused on India’s Indiscreet RapeA series of savage sexual assaults in India has undoubtedly led not only the nation but also the rest of countries including Korea to be infuriated. All the women transcending ethnicity cannot help being in deep sorrow and despondent after getting innumerable reports from worldwide newspapers, which are related to rape and sexual assaults in India. The Indian government, however, actually does not seem to be proactive in restraining the chronic crimes.Two Indian girls, aged 12 and 14, were gang raped and then hanged on a mango tree by five men from the tiny village of Katra in Uttar Pradesh in May 27th. Besides the case, there has been at least two other rape cases in the past two weeks in Uttar Pradesh.
Although media from Korea, Mideast, and the United States completely were overrun with the immoral rape practice of India just right after the cases happened, reactions of Indian high officials were unperturbed, and therefore the world and even India itself were stupefied with them. A minister in Madhya Pradesh state professed that “This is a social crime which depends on men and women. Sometimes it’s right. Sometimes it’s wrong.”No, rape can never be right and justified regardless of whomever assailants are.RamsevakPaikra, a minister in Chhattisgarh state who manages law enforcement, also said that “These kinds of incidents happen accidentally.”Again no. rapes are not accidents.
The most outrageous remark came from Mulayam Singh Yadav, head of Uttar Pradesh’s governing party, saying that “Boys will be boys. They make mistakes.”Such heinous rapes never occur mistakenly because they are crimes.These sexist remarks destroy Indian women’s dignity and rights. Government officials including those who are perched on the high ranking of the caste have not yet faced tragic reality. Rape and sexual assaults afflict the whole nation. The officials should never have put it out of their mind that their first priority is to guarantee own citizens their security and human rights regardless of gender, race, and class.
According to the BBC News, New anti-rape laws increased jail terms of rape culprits to minimum of 20 years in most cases and institutionalized the death penalty for repeat offenders in March, 2013.Even though permissive antiquated laws regarding rape were amended to be stricter and comprehensive, the legislation is likely to be ignored to the deep cultural faults.The laws tend to be subordinated due to two ingrained social systems: male chauvinism and the caste system. India is such a male-dominated society that even though males commit sexual crimes and are convicted, most of them are not punished accordingly and officials often turn a blind eye.
Therefore, it is structurally impossible for Indian women to fight for human rights and sexual equality. There is no use for them in complaining of the unjust treatment and being subjected to sexual assaults since assailantswould not feel guilty and male officials including government do not take it seriously.
The caste system,representing social stratification of hereditary status and race, also aggravates India’s current situation. Indian females ranked in lower castes such as Shudra are often the target of sexual crimes. Two reasons are evident here: The lower castes cannot be politically and socially assertive and the upper castes get preferential treatment. Those unjust practices obviously exasperate not only Koreans, such as myself, but also the world, and must be entirely eradicated in India.The Indian government’s lack of willpower and sense of social responsibility has made the rape issue inflamed and not mitigated. Tangible policies such as law revision are not the primary panacea for reducing the social rape crimes. The government has to take the lead in ensuring Indian women’s equal right to live stable and safe lives. Indian government must remember: Its sluggish response to rape issue has fueled the whole world’s outrage.
Writer: Cho So Jung from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Korea.