A corporate leader writes rapes happen because men can’t bear accepting women’s empowerment and a young mother says she will raise sons who respect women and difference of opinion.
These are some suggestions readers have sent in response to our series ‘Let’s talk about rape’, for which eight eminent Indians are writing open letters about sexual assault in India. Actor Farhan Akhtar’s letter to his daughter discussed the “crudity and vulgarity” of Bollywood movies. Boxer Mary Kom’s open letter to her sons recalled the time she was molested. Novelist Shashi Deshpande asks men to understand that being gentle is not being unmanly. Politician Shashi Tharoor urges politicians not to support rapists
NR Acharyulu, corporate leader, says government alone cannot be held responsible
It’s ironical that in a country that worships Goddess Durga, women and even children are raped and molested by men not only to satisfy their sexual thirst but also to derive meaningless pleasure. Such men do not fear the law of the land.
But there are cases where a woman protects her husband or father or brother accused of raping a woman with the least concern for the victim who is also a female.
Everyone should follow and respect a code of conduct as our defence forces do. Why can’t our women and girls follow a dress code ie a dress that covers the body so that the other gender will not be tempted? A woman herself is responsible for bringing up her daughters. A woman herself is the enemy of another woman. Who’s responsible for dowry deaths and divorces? Who’s responsible for engineering the abortion when the young mother is going to deliver a female child?
We talk about freedom for women and about their empowerment. We talk about reserving 33% of the posts in an elected body for women. But we have been unable to bring the legislation. I think men do not want women to be educated or to occupy a position in the governing bodies or to compete with men as they think that their position and authority will be weakened.
Equal status should be given to both genders and 50% of seats in every position/employments/school or college admissions should be for women and girls.
The country needs a stringent law to punish rapists and molesters and even those who assist or shield the culprit. Fast track courts should be established in every district exclusively to deal with cases of rape and molestation. The judgment should be given within 3 months.
Education to all girls should be made compulsory and free of cost. Schools and colleges should teach about the importance of equal status to women. Students should be taught with a spiritual flavour that sex is sacred. The creation of any being is on account of the act which is natural biological requirement and that it should be consensual.
The government alone cannot be held responsible. A change is required within the society - first from the parents, second from teachers and in our education policy.
Our country will flourish only when our women are respected.
Aarti Mardhekar Kagwade, mother of two sons, on what to teach sons
I am a mother of two sons. It’s easy to provide sons with education that will give them financial stability, but the true test is if I can raise two well-mannered human beings who prove to be good citizens.
The increase of adult content on television, newspapers, internet and public places is not in my control. However, the option I have is to teach my sons what is good behavior and what is bad behavior. I must teach my boys to accept rejection; I should teach them to respect others opinion and feelings and accept decisions of others which may not be acceptable to them.
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