As you know, we all have to pull together to make this a shiny, new country, by shirking off old attitudes. For instance, discussing gender inequality is so yesterday, yaar. Hence, our Finance Minister, speaking at a tourism conference, appealed to our practical nature, with respect to curbing sexual violence. The new approach suggests sexual violence should not be committed because it is bad for the economy — a “small incident” like the Nirbhaya rape has put off tourists. Sounds like A Very Good Reason for cops not to take down complaints even more than before — it will look bad to the tourists. Ghar ki baat ghar mein hi rehne do na. Why tomtom these “small incidents” before outsiders?
Illustration / Amit Bandre
The Shiv Sena is also not interested in purane zamane ke logic about sexual violence. Unlike Mr Jaitley’s economic approach, the Shiv Sena ladies have taken a sartorial approach, yani ki, they say making accusations of rape have become fashionable. We all know that fashion is a bad thing. Arre, fashion is the reason most rapes happen in the first place, na. You won’t wear fashionable clothes toh you won’t get raped only. Don’t believe me. Ask the 95-year-old woman who was allegedly raped by a 35- year-old auto-rickshaw driver in South Bengaluru on the afternoon of August 15.
Our Sena sisters also add an element of masala to the mix by saying that rape accusations are being used for personal revenge. That must explain the gang rape of the six year old by her gym teachers, also in Bengaluru. Or maybe they don’t mean those kind of cases, because those men were not well off. Because as per their statements, they are mostly feeling sorry for high-society men like a police officer accused of rape by a model. I mean who can believe that a police officer would molest a model? A police officer wears a uniform — same dress every day. A model wears fashionable clothes. Now you only decide who is right and wrong. You know, things are so simple. Unnecessarily people complicate them. As the women’s wing of the Shiv Sena has told us — the government should care for the innocent, which from what I can make out, are high-society men who, as we know, are the weakest of the weak in this world. Poor things, they are so hapless, that when they have an ongoing case in court, even the papers related to their cases get lost, that’s how little everyone cares about them.
See, everyone knows ‘high-society’ people can’t do anything wrong. That is why the Kerala government will soon allow liquor only in five-star hotels. Apparently the ban on cheap establishments so far has already brought down the rate of domestic violence. Since it has not completely ended it, I wonder who the folks responsible for the remaining percentage of domestic violence are? Nah, it can’t be the people drinking in five star hotels and fancy bars, because such high-society people are always innocent and we have never heard of Jessica Lal.
It’s certainly intriguing when we are told that apparently it is the weaker sections of society that actually oppress the stronger sections, and those who question that are a suspicious lot.
Meanwhile, in a bid to reassure tourists, because they bring in more money than female citizens, and you know, atithi devo bhava too, the afore-mentioned tourism conference passed a unanimous resolution to ensure safety and security of tourists, especially women, by running a mass awareness campaign called “I respect women.” That should do the trick.
Paromita Vohra is an award-winning Mumbai-based filmmaker, writer and curator working with fiction and non-fiction. Reach her at www.parodevi.com.
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.