Rape and the Indian Media

GV Rama Rao By GV Rama Rao, 28th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2-t5nkq3/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Of late the Indian Media has been reporting cases of rape frequently. Starved of news and software to sustain them, these 24x7 channels have been giving unnecessary hype to these cases.

Rape and murder

Rape and murder are the most violent crimes, not necessarily in that order, that attract maximum media attention, public interest and severe punishment. The cases of rape in India during the last few years provided a valuable copy to the Indian media, mainly the 24x7 news channels generally short of software to sustain them. The media played up the cases of rape, ignited public rage and forced the government to pass a new legislation. The women's rights organizations went to town denouncing men and demanding stringent punishment and even death for rape and sexual assault. They argued vehemently rape is the most heinous of offenses and went on to declare even marital rape as no less of a crime. The way the media hyped up the few cases of rape and sexual assault and other misdemeanours and the responses of the government and the women's organizations produced a synergetic fear about the safety of women in India.

Effect of this hype.

Several foreign countries issued travel advisories to women going to India. Some have even declared India as unsafe for women. This, apparently hit the tourism industry already suffering from a numerous malaise. The media oblivious of the damage it caused to the tourism industry went on to report cases of sexual assault in any part of the country with newfound passion all to increase their TPRs. This media frenzy has affected the psyche of an average Indian male who is now scared of going anywhere closer than a foot even from his own wife unless he had her consent.
This media hype has given enough ammo to the girls who had consensual sex with wealthy/well educated/successful/handsome, eligible bachelors to ensnare them for marriage to complain of rape and file an FIR in the nearest police station. A rape is to be reported immediately and the veracity of the complaint is verified by a medical examination of the alleged victim immediately. Some women disregarding this concept have been complaining of repeated abuse all with the intention of getting married to the men who jilted them.

The object of this piece is neither to justify rape nor to say it is not as reprehensible as it is made out to be. It is only to bring to the notice of the Indian public, rape is an offence not endemic to India. To put it in another way Indians are not the only people to take advantage of the weaker sex as and when an opportunity is provided. Further, men have been using innumerable ways to lure attractive women to bed with no intention of marrying them.

Orlando.

Orlando is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the USA. Disney and Universal Studios, to name a few of the many such profitable organizations, provide attractive theme parks that attract tourists in droves from all over the world. The theme parks are invariably crowded, but outside these parks, the city which is well spread and divided into several suburbs and gated communities is very peaceful and quiet. One hears hardly any noise not even the honking of vehicles in most parts of the city. However, the violent crime statistics of this famous city in the USA, for 2014 given below should serve as eye openers to most Indians and several foreign governments.
County Population Murders Rapes Robbery Aggressive assault
Orange 1.227,995 90 746 2216 5505
Seminole 437,086 12 134 184 1125
Lake 309,736 7 111 109 708
Osceola 295.553 6 129 184 950
Source: Florida Department of law Enforcement-as quoted in Orlando Sentinel dated May 25th, 2015. The newspaper also reported "while total crimes in Orlando dropped, the number of murders, rapes and burglaries rose by nearly 3%"(YoY).

My take on this matter.

It's obvious from these figures that Orlando which has a population much less than New Delhi has these violent crimes several times more than its bigger counterpart. Although the stats show, Orlando has more than one case of rape every day, no mention of rape is ever reported in the newspapers and TV. Even when such crimes are reported, they are done with much less frenzy. The hue and cry made out by the India media is totally out of proportion to the rate of crime per thousand of the population.

It is also pertinent to question the foreign governments whether they have issued travel advisories to their countrymen going to Orlando? Are they aware the travel industry of Orlando is growing by leaps and bounds, and the city is planning to add a third International Airport at an enormous cost of $20 Million?

It pains people like me to see when India is painted in sad colors and tainted as unsafe for women. It hurts the tourism in the country and hurts the psyche of the Indian diaspora who are unable to hold their heads up in a gathering of foreigners. It's no hyperbole to say an Indian male is now considered a potential rapist with a libido that is beyond control --thanks to the Indian media. This is far far from the truth.
When will Indian media grow up and act responsibly?

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Tags

Competition, Diaspora, Handsome, Hype, Indian, Journalism, Libido, Love, Marriage, Orlando, Rape, Rape And Law, Rape Story, Rape Victim, Rapists, Reporter, Reporting, Reporting A Crime, Reporting Ethique, Rich, Romance, Sex, Sexual Behavior, Sexuality, Successful, Theme Parks, Tprs, Wonderful

Meet the author

author avatar GV Rama Rao
I am a retired naval officer and a published author with three books to my credit. I am a winner of nanowrimo competition for 2008,9, &10. I like humor best..

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Comments

author avatar vandana7
28th May 2015 (#)

I think there is more openness to admission of rapes than in past. Our society has not developed in uniform fashion. Therefore, some people are well educated and are open to working women. Others are conservative in their outlook even if they are educated. Therefore, working woman does not get as much respect in their eyes. Especially if she dresses up in contemporary styles. Effectively, attitudes of some men and their families on womenfolk has still remained on par with uneducated folks. Lastly, rapes are becoming increasingly gruesome, because of disparity in gender ratios, thanks medical termination of pregnancies after sex determination - something that Orlando cannot boast of. Men are not finding enough girls in some parts, or not the kind of girls that will be suitable as their wives. Therefore, they are behaving like animals in some parts of the country. Lastly, consensual sex if preceded with a promise of marriage and is not complied with amounts to rape. You see it is very simple. When a shopkeeper gives you what you ask for, stating its price, you can't walk away without paying that price saying there is no written agreement or witnesses. Some girls may be trapping rich guys. But rich guys know the score. And in the environment that we are, it is not wrong on the part of the girl to expect fairy tale ending. Think about how our movies portray love here. So young girls can be innocent too wearing glasses of illusion you know.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
28th May 2015 (#)

My dear vandana7,
Thanks for your comment, but we don't seem to be on the same page. I'm writing about the unnecessary hype of the media. Pl see my question at the end.

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author avatar vandana7
29th May 2015 (#)

I think media is not creating a hype. The only reason it is feeling that way is today we have have several television channels and electronic media and social working networks to interact and express our views on. Media cannot afford to ignore what others are voicing or feeling. It can become instrumental in getting better laws by keeping the issue alive. Remember Aruna Shanbhaug? The guy got away after 7 years whereas the girl remained on bed for 40+ years incapable of continuing with her life. Obviously, relevant laws are archaic and need to be revisited. If media stops bringing the topic up on regular basis, incidents will be forgotten like her, and Bofors. But I also feel in a way it is making people immune to the issue. Gang rapes were certainly not as common as they are now, but now people seem to be resigning to the fact that governments are more concerned about what was discussed by the two prime ministers than getting laws in place. Perhaps a relentless pursuit of the topic with no discussion on inconsequential matters might be better.

I do not advocate death penalty. It is a punishment that nobody gets to see. When people cannot see the suffering they cannot find it as deterrent. Even imprisonment for that matter. It is unnecessary waste of taxpayer's monies. The rapist's properties be frozen immediately on lodge of complaint. I am for that. If the parents or other relatives or siblings use direct or indirect means to influence the girl,or her family, their properties should also be confiscated. On conviction, the rapist be rendered incommunicado by cutting his tongue so that he cannot talk, breaking his ear drums so that he cannot hear, and cutting his fingers and toes so that he cannot write. In addition, have the word rapist tattooed on his body from head to toe and leave him in a town where he is not known. He will be as alive as the girl. But as helpless as her. And as fearful of the scorn from people around him. I know this sounds really cruel. But a couple of cases like this and all parents who spend a lot of time on those parties functions and social life, will start focusing on bringing up their son's right. The situation for girls is really grim. Working makes them susceptible to such things, and not working makes them a liability. You can't give a situation of heads I win, tails you lose to her. That is so unfair to the girl child!

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author avatar vandana7
29th May 2015 (#)

I might add that I am for the same punishment for people who throw acid, pedophiles, human traffickers, and murderers, provided murder is done for greed or to cover some crimes. That way, government rakes in some moolah and can compensate farmers and is rich enough not to burden middle class in this country.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
29th May 2015 (#)

My dear Vandana7,
Many thanks for your comment. In western countries where rape is not uncommon as shown in the stats in my article, the men are given stringent punishment like five or six years in jail. The cases are pursued relentlessly and the perpetrators are brought to book. As for the type of punishment ideas vary. Your ideas are novel and heard for the first time. The media should highlight the cases of rape everyday till the culprit is put behind bars, but there is no need to go into the gruesome details and repeating them every day.

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author avatar vandana7
29th May 2015 (#)

I have been suggesting this for a while. I think money makes people do wrong, and the same sword can be used to make them behave right. :) That is why I attached properties to the crime. I am also of the opinion that it is our duty to bring up our child as law abiding citizens. If the child fails, parents should take some responsibility for that failure, especially if it is such a major problem. After all, the government provided them with required help all the way. Had they never utilized anything that is subsidized by the government, including the services of armed forces and police forces, then they would have a right to say we are not responsible for the actions of our child. But if they have availed all the benefits, then doing their bit is mandatory.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
29th May 2015 (#)

I agree GVR that media is going overboard in their irrational exuberance, or rather, in their pursuit to score points over each other. I have been reading reports that raise temperatures of ordinary folks by highlighting issues that are better handled with care like religion.One paper, that should have known better, went bang with a report that a person was denied a place to stay based on religion. I have been in the same place in India and in other countries, but I could understand the reasons and there are always others ready to welcome me.

Our media went overboard during the recent Nepal earthquake to the extent they got on the nerves of authorities there.

We should know freedom goes with responsibility. I cannot go to a busy street and swing my arms around in the name of freedom unmindful of others around me - siva

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author avatar vandana7
29th May 2015 (#)

Every calamity is an opportunity for human traffickers. Why should Yahoo be allowed to highlight that whereas Indian media asked to keep their mouth shut? As it is, people are too busy to read through what they should be reading and forming opinions on.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
29th May 2015 (#)

We have so many 24x7 news channels each claiming to be No 1 in the business. In their fight for supremacy these channels are really going overboard and ignoring the main issues. As soon as I get up in the morning, I swith on the TV but viewing the channels for few minutes makes me sick. I, therefore, stopped watching the news . The media should exercise restraint and not behave like the tabloids in UK.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
29th May 2015 (#)

My dear vandana,
You have oversimplified things. In the case of aid to Nepal after the earthquake, politics reared its ugly head. Nepal sandwiched beteen China and India was getting aid from both the countries and had to play a game to balance one against the other. Human traffcking is a minor issue here. Be that as it may, thanks for your repeated visits and comments.

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author avatar vandana7
29th May 2015 (#)

Human trafficking is never a minor issue. It is one of the blood vessels supplying monies to arms dealers, drug traffickers, and terrorist outfits. Fighting a known enemy is easier than fighting the unknown enemy. All black money moves into these activities. It becomes easier to defeat the country on front if there is disruption in different parts. Neither India, nor China or for that matter Pakistan would go into full scale war now, knowing the devastation possible with nuclear bombs. So I am in the least concerned about the help aspect. I am more concerned about human aspect. Boundaries do not bind humanity.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
29th May 2015 (#)

My dear vandana7,
There is no dispute with what you wrote. When I wrote human trafficking is a minor issue here, I meant here in this blog. It was not germane to the blog. That's all. A matter of context.

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author avatar Carol Roach
30th Jun 2015 (#)

I think it is terrible that woman are not safe in India or any other country. Rape is wrong, it is an act of violence against another and sharp penalties should be applied to rapists.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
30th Jun 2015 (#)

My dear Carol,
I agree with you hundred percent. What I was saying is the incidents of rape in India are much less than what they are in the west. I'd shown the statistics and decried the unnecessary hype being created by the newsstarved media in search of TPRs. India is relatively safer for woman in most parts of the country. Take my word for that.

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author avatar vandana7
15th Jul 2015 (#)

I once predicted that if dowry problem does not come down, medical termination of pregnancies will increase manifolds and then the incidences of rapes. Little girls will not be spared, nor will aged women. As the number of girls decrease we will have a new problem to contend with. It is called "sodomy". Then it will be turn of boys. Problem is deep thinking and changes in society are necessary. Dowry also perpetuates genetic problems, including genetic inclination to drink, gamble, and suffer with epilepsy. It is all very well to look at near future. But what if the shoe is in other foot a few generations down the lane? What if Dowry is to be given? My definition for dowry is pay me money for spoiling my genes and making my future generations suffer. Once we condemn dowry in this way, girls will not be killed in the womb, ratio of girls to boys will stabilize, less scope for gang rapes, and rapes, and sodomy.

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author avatar peachpurple
14th Jul 2015 (#)

it is very sad to hear that women are treated ;like slaves in India, raping as if a norm is a wrong concept

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
14th Jul 2015 (#)

My dear peachpurple,
I am afraid you got it all wrong. India is a multilayered country. First, remember India had a Prime Minister for eleven long years. Second India right from the Independence never discriminated against women in wages. Third, It's only in India you will find women in top jobs even judges of the supreme court. Indian women had broken many glass ceilings. Women are treated as equals and with respect in many layers of the society. However, like any other country, India too has some dark sheep. What I was trying to convey was the crime of rape, hineous like murder is much less in India comapred to the western countries. For that I furnished statistics of Orlando, a popular tourist destination in the USA. But the Indian media goes overboard highlighting this aspect to make women feel India is not a safe country for women. I can assure you India is a peaceful country and women are very safe in my country and relatively safer than some western countries. Women are teated as slaves only in the lowest strata of the society. Kindly change your perception of India.

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author avatar vandana7
15th Jul 2015 (#)

From where I come and as a woman I can tell you, if not rape, at least molestation is as frequent as common cold. Younger children are more susceptible because they do not know the word, and do not know it to be wrong. It is a different thing that these girls are not likely to reveal such things till they reach their graves. In the west, they have stricter norms. Women are somewhat safer in Tamil Nadu, but in Andhra Pradesh, you got it wrong. About 30 odd years ago, boys in the university stormed into a girl's college, molested all the college girls out there, and that was the university campus. Brought up is bad usually because boys are money fetching asset, so anything wrong they do is overlooked, and it is you know kind of he is a boy, nothing will happen to him, but you are a girl, if a thorn falls on coconut leaf, it is coconut leaf that tears whether the coconut leaf fell on the thorn, or the thorn fell on coconut leaf. That is what is told to the girls, so most girls and their mothers stay quiet. If women are not supporting these causes then chances are they have some skeletons in their closet, which they are afraid will come out, and may be it they may not be related to them, but may be they are related to close family members, son, daughter, husband, father, brother, mother, sister, whatever. But the society is so closely knitted thanks to overpopulation that any unpleasant revelation can harm the entire group. Therefore, even if they want to speak up, they can't because there are social considerations.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
15th Jul 2015 (#)

My dear Vandana,
May I say your view is myopic? Because the cases of child molestation and sexual abuse of children is a very common phenomenon in the west. I am a member of some other sites where the women write freely how they were abused and molested when they were young. Here, a father raping his daughter is not uncommon because the girl is not his biological daughter. Siblings raping each other and so on. One reads these cases in the newspapers. Even the trusted priests in the churches abuse male and female children. As for the stigma, the case is no different here in the west. Except when they grow up these children take counselling mainly to get the trauma out of their systems.You speak of Andhra where I come from, the case you mentioned is just a one of its kind. It's only Andhra girls intrepid enough to give it back to eve teasers in the public transport. They carry pins and sharp instruments and use them with telling effect. Anyway, one swallow doesn't make a summer. I understand from your repeated comments you have serious misapprehensions about Indian men. I want to asure you they are no better or worse than their counterparts in the west. If you're as exposed to the western media as I am, I am sure you would change your mindset. Be kind to Indian men. One bad apple here and there doesn't ruin the crop.

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author avatar vandana7
15th Jul 2015 (#)

I agree about one bad apple here and there doesn't ruin the crop. But of late, marriages are getting delayed for two reasons. Jobs are hard to find, thanks to the population and mismanagement by successive governments. Effectively, boys are not finding suitable matches, especially since girls are now being equipped with education for any emergencies in their lives. There is resentment against the girls, a growing feeling that if these girls were not working we would be employed and settled in life. At the other end, there is acute shortage of girls as well, even in Andhra. But Andhra's problem is unique. If 10 guys in Andhra are likely to be arrogant and irrational and defiant, only 1 from Tamil Nadu will behave irrationally. May be my view is based on the groups that I have seen, and your view is based on the group you have seen. It can happen that your group is not the kind that I have mentioned so you may feel that we are blaming our folks unnecessarily. But I am in the wrong group, and let me tell you, even drivers turn their moustache to express those feelings. Fear is our constant companion. Within my family for every 2 men about whom I do not know enough, there are 10 that I wish I had not known enough about. And ours is not a small family.

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author avatar vandana7
16th Jul 2015 (#)

I just wanted to know if having a biological parenthood is mandatory for a man to feel love for his child and not molest her or rape her? :) That is myopic view indeed. It is brought up. Vulnerability is the cause of rape. In the west, women can be brave because justice is served fast. Here, we know how slow and corrupt the process is, and the laws do not have adequate fangs to reduce crimes. In any event the attitude of "they are as bad as we are despite better legal system" is hardly a way to take the society forward and leave the next generation a world with such problems. In the past the problems were not discussed but now they are. If there is a problem it has to have a solution. I agree by harping on it regularly makes the society immune and almost defensive as is your case, but discussing solutions does. We need to find a way out and establish better and safer world for us and our generations to come. By burying our heads like ostrich no solutions will come up.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
15th Jul 2015 (#)

My dear vandana,
The points you raised are not germane to the blog I posted. I think it'd be prudent to stop these comments here.

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author avatar Kingwell
22nd Jul 2015 (#)

A good share and interesting comments. Blessings.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
22nd Jul 2015 (#)

My dear Kingwell,
Many thanks for your comment.

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