I am by no means a defender of India. I wasn’t born there and only recently at the age of 47 visited there for the first time specifically my father’s hometown of Hyderabad. I really have no connection with India other than my name and ½ ethnicity on my father’s side. Although I now live abroad teaching English, I was born and raised in America.
I say this because I do not want to appear defensive at all about India- I am not.
Does India have a rape problem? Well it’s hard to say because I’m sure a lot of rapes go unreported. India does have a terrible corruption problem which they must overcome in order to be taken seriously as a global power. I think overpopulation affects the quality of jurisprudence as well not to mention the nightmarish Indian bureaucracy.
I make that connection because the bigger problem for many is the prosecution of rapists not the act itself. You can make men more aware through women’s studies programs, make them more empathetic, you can scare men through making penalties more severe for rape but you will never completely eradicate rape completely just as you will never eradicate murder or theft.
The bigger problem is the corrupt Indian justice system and the fact very few rapes in India are actually prosecuted. If they were, I believe the frequency of rape would decrease. While I might never think about raping someone, another person might be very tempted to do it. The only things stopping him are the potential penalties for this crime.
Why do I feel the need to bring this up? Well the fingerpointing about the rape situation in India by the West especially Americans makes me a bit irritated. Americans love to point fingers at other countries instead of looking in their own backyard. This is especially true in matters of race and gender. For many years, the US lectured the Russians on human rights while in the South black people were lynched and couldn’t drink out of the same water fountains as white people.
Does India have a rape culture? No I don’t think so. India, despite the number of well educated young professional women, is still woefully sexist but it does not oversexualize women in the pornographic sense nor lead men to believe they have a right to have sex and if they are not having a sexual relationship with a woman there is something wrong with them.
America on the other hand has a rape culture and it’s a terrible problem.
The oversexualization of everything, the trickle down of pornography (I am not against Porn and in fact I'm against censorship in any form. Its right to existence is not the issue here) – the advertising you see, television programs, even young girls through those disgusting pre-teen beauty pageants which should be outlawed in my opinion has created a society without boundaries.
And the Steubenville case has showed us that you couple this lack of boundaries with a sense of entitlement, that you are above punishment as athletes often are and you create potential rapists. The education officials (coaches etc.) are worse than the corrupt judges in India. Executing a cover-up, they made the decision that sports were more important than not sexually assaulting women. I believe criminal charges should be brought against the coach in Steubenville as he is an accessory after the fact to the original sexual assault.
IMO America’s situation is much more serious than India’s. The struggles of a dying empire collapsing into decadence. India’s struggles are of a country on the rise trying to throw off the shackles of the third world for the first world.