Women insecurity and rape culture in India


By Aarif Rashid Malik | Nadia Rashid

Women Security is one of the formidable and onerous challenges for world right now. In spite of the fact that the slogans of ’empowering women’ are being raised with great clamor in the world. It is basically ‘superiority and inferiority complex’ in the world that makes women mostly unsafe and unsecure in the world. This socially constructed notion of ‘inferiority and superiority’ gives men absolute authority over women. It is because of this absolute authority, men misuse their power and want to justify patriarchy which is already entrenched in our society. It is because of this culture she is not in a position to live a dignified and honorable life. Institution of patriarchy makes her life very awful and maladroit. Not only this, she also has to face other abuses in the society, such as, domestic abuse. Still there is huge chunk of population in the world who hate institution of marriage not because they are anti-men but the matter of fact is that they are not in a position to fortitude the abusive jibes from their mother- in-law or father-in-law or from their own husbands who are also involved in these scornful acts that humiliate and decimate her blissful and equanmious life. Such forms of violence have deeply penetrated in our society and such kind of violence has been profoundly legitimized to that extent, so it has become a normal part of our life.


Nowadays, woman are being expropriated from their inheritance which is their fundamental right, and there are least number of people who are giving her the due share in property. Our mental setup is biased to that extent that we consider women’s dress style entirely responsible for disseminating venom and evil in the society and in contrary to this, man is hardly held responsible. It is totally preposterousness to blame a particular section of the society. Having too much prejudice and stereotypic notion regarding women is a historical process. It is through this biased historical process we are embattling the mind set up of coming generation, so that legacy of bias against women will not diminish. Women have been excluded since centuries in our society. Egoistic and rapacious men had every time taken full advantage of their debilitation to buttress and demonize her in the society by levelling and fabricating charges against her. Women are not only the victims of domestic violence but of every form of violence overall and are enduring severe hardships in life because of men. Despite of the fact that man is considered as protector of women, he is not in a position to assure protection of her honor and dignity from culprits. It indicates the chaotic and baffling environment of insecurity for women in the present times.

Crimes against women have manifested in the most cruel form. Heinous crimes like Rape with women is common everywhere in the world. The only difference is that in countries like India, this filthy crime has transcended its limit. Violence against women is skyrocketing in India day by day at an unprecedented rate. It is not only men who are involved in these heinous crimes but states are also big collaborators of them especially in time of wars. Rape is rape, whether it occurs in the bedroom or in a public place. Rape is defined as the ‘unlawful sexual intercourse committed by a man with a women through force and against her will.’ As per Ritika Singh, “Women since ancient times were treated as a man’s property. Thus, rape was not considered a crime against women, but rather a violation of a man’s property, which has made it cumbersome for women to have a place and voice in society.” On 16th December, 2012 a 23 year old female was gang raped by a group of six men in Delhi. This brutal and inhumane act shocked everyone in the country. The evidence shows that rapists used an iron rod to sexually assault her and inserted the rod into her body. Due to severe intestinal damage , she died on Dec 28 ,2012 , from acute organ failure and critical injuries to her brain, in a hospital in Singapore. Most mindboggling and opprobrious thing is that such gruesome murder took seven years to hang the culprits . It was finally in March when justice was delivered to Nirbhaya’ s family. But there are thousainds veof cases like Nirbhaya which are neither reported nor taken into consideration by the investigating teams. We have catastrophic cases like Kunan Pushpora or Shopian case that have not been resolved yet and these cases are considered as baseless and unproductive by Indian judiciary. Same is the condition of other such cases in the country. Before three years, a five year old Muslim girl belonging to Gujjar community was first brutally raped then murdered mercilessly. When her parents were demanding justice, political parties like BJP politicized it on the line of religion to save the culprit. In this case, a Hindu lawyer who was pleading the case was also threatened by Hindu Zionists with this intention of saving the culprits. Recently, on September 14 , a 19 year old Dalit girl was tortured and allegedly gang raped by an upper caste men in Hathras in Uttar Pradesh. Her body was severely brutalized , her tongue was cut . Limbs fractured and spinal cord damaged. The women succumbed to her injuries in a hospital in Delhi , a fortnight later. As shocking is the bestiality of the rapists ,so is the abject failure and rather recklessness shown by the Uttar Pradesh police .Ostensibly, police accused the woman of lying and refused to register a rape complaint and delayed taking the victim to a hospital for treatment. A police official even claimed that no rape took place as semen was not found inside the victim’ s body. Ostensibly in a bid to destroy evidence, the victim’ s body was quickly cremated in the dead of night by the police. Family members were neither allowed to see her body nor to be present at the cremation. Misogyny against Dalit women is too much in India especially among upper caste people. A Dalit women is raped not to just to punish and humiliate the women but also her family and community. It is aimed at underscoring the powerlessness of Dalit men and the larger Dalit community to protect their women. Although the criminal law act 2013 provides for a wider definition of rape and for more stringent punishment, including a longer jail term in most cases of sexual assault. In spite of having strict criminal law against rape the incidence of rape is not diminishing in India but has instead increased by 31% over the past 10 years. Even police is reckless in registering complaints especially if the alleged assailant is rich or has political links or belongs to a dominant caste. Only a fraction of women who are raped file a complaint. Most victims prefer to remain silent because of the social stigma attached to rape. It is not uncommon for the victim to be blemished and aspersions to be cast on her character.

So it means crimes against women are rising. According to the latest NCRB report 2019, over 4 lakh reported cases of crimes committed against women have been registered. It has gone from 3 .59 lakh cases to 3.78 lakh cases in 2017 and 2018 respectively .NCRB reported 32033 rape cases which translates to a shocking 88 rape cases a day. This hi is just 10% of all crimes against women. Experts say that picture could be far worse as most such crimes go unreported in the country. NCRB data shows that in 2019 , Uttar Pradesh topped the states in crimes against women with a whopping 59853 cases , followed by Rajasthan and Maharashtra with 41550 and 37144 cases respectively. The recent incident proves that the execution of the convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case ( that took place this year) had no effect on criminals. When the execution took place, it was assumed that it would send a strong message to perpetrators of such crimes, but the recent incidents of rape proved it otherwise. One reason for this is poor conviction rate and long road to justice. In 2018 and 2019 , conviction rate for rape cases was below 30% , which means out of 100 only 30 saw convictions. Absence of forensic labs , fast track courts and investigators are also responsible for it to large extent.
It would be no exaggeration to say that the condition of women is loathsome in India. In other words, raising just mere slogans and delivering grandiloquent speeches are totally inefficacious and flapdoodle until and unless the slogans of ‘ women empowerment ‘ are implemented at the ground level. Even the culprits in India are espoused and cajoled by political parties to commit heinous crimes like raping women because rapists know the fact that they will be hardly punished by Court because of the political support they are enjoying and they will be exonerated by court with honor and dignity which is totally flabbergasting and preposterous. Those who are supporting these culprits should be given severe punishment by the court or police and cases regarding rape should be dealt very severely. These cases are very sensitive and should be resolved by Court as soon as possible. Any delay in these cases or taking them recklessly is like encouraging rapists to commit these inhuman and heinous acts with valor and confidence. Issues of rape should not be politicized weather it happens with Hindu women or Muslim women because rapists have no religion and no humanity. Judiciary must be independent and sensitive in these cases and they should not buckle in front of political parties while delivering justice to victims in these cases. Need of the hour is to vehemently disapprove every form of violence that is being perpetuated against women in our society whether it is lingual violence or physical violence or filthy jibes that are used against women in the society to make her life awful and disdain. We also need to unmask the myths created through the ruthless forces of history against women and also we need to disentangle her from oppressive social norms that clog her freedom and personality development. It means she needs freedom to the extent where she can live a dignified and honorable life in the society.

Aarif Rashid Malik did his Masters in Political Science from Kashmir University and can be reached at arifrashid636@gmail.com.

Nadia Rashid is currently pursuing her Bachelors in the Department of Law, Central University of Kashmir and can be reached at nadia.rashid26@gmail.com.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here