Empowering Women with Firearms

The recent death of a rape victim in Delhi and the public molestation of a girl by a mob in Guwahati sometimes earlier should open the eyes of Indian women about the menace of sexual exploitation against women in our country. This time there was protests all over the country, demand for enacting stringent law against rapists and quick delivery of justice for rape victims. But there was not a serious attempt to diagnose the reason behind this deep rooted malaise prevailing in India and suggest a practical remedy to face it.

Historical factors: One thing which women of India should keep in mind is that unlike men in other parts of the world, Indian men lack manliness which they hide in the cloak of non-violence. The proof for this is that India was under slavery for nearly thousand years till 1947 when the British left on their own probably embarrassed of the spineless attitude of the men here. Indian men don’t raise their fingers against the oppressive, corrupt and exploitative government and tolerate all kinds of abuse, humiliation and discrimination without a murmur. They are aware of their cowardice, weakness and helplessness and have over the years developed inferiority complex. They are frustrated a lot and given an opportunity demonstrate their pent-up anger and despair against soft targets like women, economically and politically weak communities and animals.

Social factors: The second point to remember is Indians are hypocrites’ par excellent. On one hand they boast that they are inheritors of a culture which says that gods reside in places where women are worshipped and on the other hand burn them for not bringing dowry. They don’t hesitate to kill even unborn babies in the womb if it happens to be a girl. In the name of tradition and family honour they marry their girls without taking their consent which amounts to forced rape. And if in case she marries against their wishes abandon and ostracize her. One of the most glaring discrimination against women which women themselves are probably unaware is the way they are addressed; it is always in singular. While a groom is addressed in plural, it is always singular for a bride even if she is highly educated and suitably employed.

Hence Indian women in their daily dealing with their male counterpart should always think him as a probable rapist. They should be on guard even while dressing. This may sound like moral policing but unlike in the western countries here men as mentioned above are slave to traditions. In western countries grownup men date with women and with mutual consent have sex and hence behave normally with women even if they wear fashionable dress. But in India the situation is different. Our boys have to marry the girl chosen by their parents whose selection of the bride is based on the assets which the girl’s family holds than on the liking of their son. Similarly on the girl’s side they want a boy who is materialistically well off. Hence Indian men have to suppress their sexual urge. To double their woes the advertising industry, media and Bollywood portray women as commodities and perverts the mentality of the already frustrated Indian male. If they see a woman in modern or fashionable attire they get perturbed, unable to control their repressed desire. So whenever they find an easy target they pounce upon like a beast.

Biological factors: Another fact which many are unaware is that sexual feelings of men towards women are biological and innate. Once adolescent set in, attraction towards the opposite sex take place both among boys and girls. Hence even prophets like Buddha considered women as the snare of the senses. When asked by his favourite disciple Ananda as to how we (monks) should behave before women, the Buddha replied that you should shun their gaze. Ananda then asked as to what to do if we see them. The Buddha advised them not to speak to them. But if we speak to them, then what asked Ananda for which Buddha replied that they should watch themselves. (H.V.Sreenivasa Murthy-History and Culture of India to 1000 A.D., S.Chand & Company Ltd., New Delhi, 1980, p.77). Similarly Prophet Mohammad with much insight and forethought insisted women to cover up from head to toe. Later the Muslim ulemas issued a new fatwa by which Muslim women were asked to veil even their face as in their opinion taking into consideration the moral degradation of the masses over the years, if Prophet Mohammad were to be alive today he would have ordered the same. History has several instances wherein even sages who had performed severe austerities failed to control their senses. For instance Sage Vishwamitra’s penance was broken by Menaka with whom the former married. It requires great guts for men to say that they have weakness for women. Hence women should be vary of those men who call themselves progressive, socialite, modern, liberated, etc., and criticize those who advise women to be on guard as orthodox and anti-women. These so called progressive are in fact are voyeurs. Sexual urge is such a thing that it leads even elderly men and those in top position go astray. The best example is that of the former IMF Chief Strauss Kahn who was accused by a hotel maid of sexual assault and also the case of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi having sex with an under aged prostitute. In our own country no one could believe that a former Chief Minister and Governor of a State like N.D.Tiwari would be caught pants-down.

But a question arises whether all men to be viewed suspiciously as sexual maniacs? The answer is no. For most men marriage acts as an outlet for their sexual urge. For many others the law acts as a restrain for resorting them to illegal gratification of senses. Then there is the moral factor which prevents men from being a slave of senses. But for some even if they are married, overtaken by beastly passions, even the threat of severe punishment does not deter them for carrying out ghastly acts which took place at Delhi.

The remedy: Women should accept certain realities. One is that they are life givers; they are the ones responsible for mankind to flourish. Sex is something in which force is inevitable and only god should be questioned as to why he initiated this type of act for human species to breed. Just like precious metals, diamonds, rubies and emeralds which have to be shielded to be protected, women being precious have to be safeguarded from preying eyes. When our government even after 65 years have not been able to provide basic human requirements like water, food and shelter, it will be naïve and foolish to expect them to provide security for women all the 24 hours. Hence one thing is certain for their safety Indian women cannot depend upon the government (which itself is a huge oppressive machinery), the police (who are the offenders in majority of rape cases in rural areas), the public (spineless and who as seen expressing their anger by burning tyres or destroying public buses) or even their male escorts, be it father, brother, husband or friend. So what is the remedy? Indian women should demand that the government permit every citizen of this country without criminal record to possess firearms for personal security without the need of obtaining license. Once this happens, industries to manufacture firearms like pistols, revolvers and rifles will be set up and considering the need to supply firearms to such a huge population these industries will give employment to lakhs of people. Due to mass production the prices of these firearms will also come down, just like the prices of mobile phone. A number of schools to teach how to handle firearms will come up providing employment to retired police and army personnel. There will be also employment in the form of shops selling these firearms. Economy apart this policy of permitting common citizens to possess firearms will have a huge impact on our society as it will spur up the self-esteem and self-confidence of the masses who till now are docile, submissive, fearful and lacking self-respect.

Even learning Karate, Judo or Kung-Fu will not benefit women as only in films can one person fight against many whereas in real life even men cannot fight if confronted with three or more persons, intoxicated and armed with sticks or rods and in the case if they possessing firearms he will be just a puppet. With firearms women can feel safe and with training will be always on alert while in public places. Firearms in the hands of a woman will act as a deterrent on sexual offenders. Even in the case of an attack by a mob similar to which took place in Guwahati, good Samaritans in possession of firearms could fire upon the mob from a safe distance and disperse them. Remember it was the invention of firearms which made the Europeans bold enough to undertake geographical discoveries and visit unfamiliar terrains.

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