Hand over the microphone to almost any Neta (Political Leader), Guru (Spiritual Teacher), or Chela (Follower) in India and they can give you a full discourse on why women and only women are responsible for all the violence against them.
If one Neta says that women shouldn’t be out of home after sunset, other adds that they shouldn’t be out in skirts and jeans during any time of the day. If one says that westernization is responsible for all things wrong with the society, other agrees adding that Chinese noodles are to be blamed as well.
If the Guru suggests that a girl can stop the rape by calling the attacker her “brother”, Neta suggests child or teenage marriage is the solution. They openly hate the modern image of Indian woman but in the same breath they will term rural women as “unattractive”.
Many would like women to follow the traditions from ancient epics Ramayana and Mahabharata era, reminding them of the consequences Sita (Lord Rama’s wife) had to face for daring to cross the line that her brother-in-law had drawn for her. For them, women’s place is “contractually” confined to the household – they should be prepared to pay for breaking that contract.
If the camera enters their own bedrooms, their ethics and moralities will look for thick covers. These are the same Netas and Gurus who often make headlines for sex scams but are never investigated. These are the same guys who brandish guns at toll plazas to avoid paying fifty rupees. They wouldn’t even mind killing women or children in the name of God or Honor. But still somehow they specialize in teaching others the way of life – the “goodness” mantras.
Let’s put Netas aside as their influence is limited – thank goodness – not many take them seriously in India. But what’s particularly dangerous is a misguiding Guru – a self proclaimed Godman – for he holds the power to pollute millions of minds.
A Neta, almost always, eats his sexist or misogynist words back under public or high command’s pressure. But how can a Guru be ever wrong? His words are true when they are uttered, today, and ever after. There is no question of retraction as countless followers live by his words.
We can allow these guys to blame Women and Chinese Noodles for sexual violence against women but who would we blame for an imbalanced and imprudent society of tomorrow?