Anil Thakraney: Feeding frenzy over rape

19 Dec,2012

By Anil Thakraney


And so, another horrific rape has happened in Delhi. And the media has gone into an overdrive, as the channels try to outdo each other on the frenzy scale. Panelists are shouting, anchors are hollering, and this has led to parliamentarians taking a break from FDI and quotas, and diving into the rape debate. BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has asked for death penalty for the rapists, completely ignoring the fact that India is reluctant to hang convicted terrorists. And of course, the activists can’t be left far behind. Morchas are being planned on the streets. Even Arvind Kejriwal decided to forget corruption for a day, and he’s joined in the act. All very well. But you know what? Nothing will come out of all this shor sharaba.


One, because after the dust has settled, the media will forget all about this incident. This is what usually happens after crimes of rape. Another juicy story will grab the imagination, the trial of the accused will go on for years, and the nation will move on. The debates will re-start when the next attack happens. In short, a whole lot of sound, but of little value.


Secondly, the main reason why rapes continue is the medieval mindset of the average Indian male. As long as we live in a patriarchal society, where the male head of the house sets the agenda, this crime will simply carry on. And for the hard-core buggers, even the possibility of life imprisonment won’t be a deterrent. It could take centuries for this mindset to change, we cannot allow rapes to go on. Our scientists, doctors and creative people need to figure out a way around this problem, we need lateral solutions. In South Africa, a medical technician has developed a product called RAPEX. It’s shaped like a tube and is embedded with barbs. The woman inserts it like a tampon, and any man who tries to rape her gets his organ stuck into these barbs. We need innovative ideas like this.


And this is the sort of stuff the media should encourage and promote. Screaming and shouting on prime time TV is of no use in this matter. By the way, I write this piece on the evening of Tuesday. And have consumed a higher dose of BP tablets to deal with Arnab’s rage on rape.




PS: Speaking of rape, here’s an ad gone all wrong. Virgin Mobile is known for quirky work, but sometimes creative people can cross the thin line. A US ad has tried to make fun of rape. Even the otherwise edgy Sir Richard Branson was compelled to apologise following outrage in the social media.


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