A call to India's Fathers and Mothers

In the wake of India’s Rape tragedies as I sat down to read the numerous articles written on the incidents and after watching BBC’s controversial ‘India’s Daughter’ I questioned, Why do individuals stoop down to become bloodthirsty unbridled vipers? Loathing over the state of our nation and admonishing the crimes is an easier path to protest, but it will never bring about a sustainable change. As responsible citizens and as India’s fathers and mothers, what can we do to make a difference? How do we preserve the sanctity of our daughter’s life’s and woman’s rights? I am India’s daughter and I am proud of my origins but not of India's shame. There is a little bit more of an Indian in me, hence it drives me furious and causes pain when a fellow Indian daughter is wronged. My first reaction to all these incidents was to castrate the rapists. Then I questioned my way of thinking and realized that capital punishment or castration just does not cut it. It instills fear to a certain extend but it will not stop the growth of the many sick minds breeding in our societies committing such crimes. This needs to be nipped at the bud. When you hear of all these men who committed these ruthless crimes you often wonder what lead them to this stage. A common thread in all of this- the Family and the environment in which they grew. Most of these individuals who are involved in these barbaric cannibal acts have not been raised in secure homes with a strong role model. They have been deprived of quality love and security. This explains the reason why they naturally gravitate towards evil.

In our society a woman often wades through sexual battles starting from her home and her surroundings. It comes as no surprise that rape statistics in our country proves that there are a rising number of female and child victims than male victims. Ever wondered why you do not hear about men being raped in a bus by women or in their homes by aunties. These prevalent ruthless incidents are resulted by a mindset reinforced by a society or culture that believes men dominate and women are objects of inferior status. This is a sickness that needs to be eradicated with just as much focus given as the nation did for the Polio eradication program. The very first step to deploy a strategy of eradication begins at every Indian home.

I grew up in my home where my father was never overbearing but modeled love and respectful behavior towards my mother and myself. There was no distinction as a daughter, I am celebrated in my home and given equal opportunities as my brother. Growing in a culture of respect and equality has definitely paid off well to mold my brother’s character. I have noticed in various occasions how my brother treats his women friends with courtesy and how he displays old-fashioned chivalry and values such as stepping aside so a woman goes first. I am a mother of 3 growing boys and in my home my husband and I are committed to our in-house project called ‘Rearing Gentlemen’. When one of our boys makes even the slightest playful gesture and hits a girl,  my husband and I are quick to correct and to reiterate that it was a shameful move and they should remember to behave as gentlemen.

I call out to every Indian mother and father to nurture a generation of boys that will tear down this rape culture. These little boys are the father’s and the protectors of the future. Foster knowledge in them of the value of empathy, kindness, compassion, respect and honor towards every human being irrespective of gender, color and social status.

Instill in them that the strong takes care of the weak and to be brave is to have a voice for the voiceless. This is the mark of a 'Masculine Man'. In our nation it calls for the primary institution of 'Family' to mold boys into men and guardians of our future. This is the first step to a sustainable change. Rise up India’s Father’s and Mother’s to this call of duty.