Whenever any sexual crime surfaces in news, I can’t help feeling surprised at its high rate of incidence in Delhi, its surrounding areas and Haryana. What is that which is missing the eyes and placing these regions high on rape charts. Couple it with the fact that these areas (whole northern India for that matter) witness the lower female to male ratio. In many states, the situation is so alarming that people have to import girls from neighbouring states to marry their sons. Even buying brides is not unheard of there. Less women results in increasing frustration in men. That gives spurt to such crimes which in turn make people go for female foeticide to avoid future responsibilities and shame. Which again links back to skewed sex ration completing the vicious circle . What forces men to commit such heinous crime - their own frustration, mental instability, their fear of women taking over their domain or the environment prevalent in their homes that gives scant regard and place of respect to women. I often wonder what could be the parent’s stance when their kids commit such a crime. Or are parents even aware about the lesser crimes their boys must be committing around like eve teasing, ragging, or causing deliberate inconvenience to their female counterparts in colleges or offices. We (as is customary in our society) play very alert parents when it comes to girls. Alas, in case of sons, our patriarchal sensibilities take over. More often than not the elders may be, well, shaping their boys’ insensitive and dominating behaviour by:
- Not paying due respect to the women in the family and in public place in front of their kids,
- Showing that aggression towards women and not agreeing in general to their views is a mark of a man,
- Using vulgar curses, which targets women in filthiest of terms
- Not bothering about the whereabouts of grown-up boys,
- Keeping them away from household chores, relegating it to women of the house, in a way reaffirming male superiority,
- Showering them unnecessarily with unearned, undeserved expensive gifts and money.
This attitude goes a long way how they view women and their relationship with them, when they grow up. Timely sex education at home can also prevent them from straying. But most important is to conduct yourself in way that serves as a right example for the impressionable minds. You never know when the casual macho behaviour flaunted in front of them may be taken too seriously and lead them to take extreme steps in future. Making little genuine changes in our conduct, being a little more careful in front of our kids’ and making them contribute at par with women folk can go a long ways is giving right direction to our kids’ sensibilities. What you fancy, raising our children in way that we are proud of or ending up doing rounds of police stations or courts trying rescuing them! Carrying the burden of being parent to a rapist is no less either. It’s time we taught our boys ‘ladies First’.