Today the news papers, magazines   and  all  the T.V. Channels  are beaming with  news items of  infinite varieties of  crimes on women day in and day out.  This happens  despite   the recent sensational  judgment  of death penalty for four  young  men who were found  guilty  of  raping.

Even before the ink of the print in the  news papers about the capital punishment  got dried out , there  comes the shocking  news of  a  nine year old girl sexually assaulted by a  man  or a gang in   Sengundram  a town in the  vicinity  of Chennai. This  incident  dismisses  all the conclusions, hopes and surmises of the  optimists and the social psychologists  and make a mockery of the   great hopes  with which  the  recent  judgment  was  delivered.  

Now  let  us have a glance  at  the  panoramic  view of the  society in which we live today. Crimes of various  hues  and  dimensions  are reported every day. Such crimes are as old as the mountains, the  seas, and the rivers of the world. Right from the stone  age to the world of the  so called  civilized society of the modern era, all the institutions of social welfare have been busy   curtailing  the  crimes in the ways found best by them.

Murders for gain, hatred, enmity, suspicion, wrath, prejudice of personal national cultural linguistic  and religious differences,  beastly sexual drives, jealousy are the commonest of all the crimes  besides a host  of crimes like   bribery, robbery,  corruption, betrayal, cheating, immorality, prostitution, stealing, fraudulent actions, personal and group violences of  various  nature and   arrogance  are the ones  any society  has to deal with  for ever  and ever.

There are courts of law in every country to  inquire  into them and award  suitable penal measures. Unfortunately  the spate of violence seems to have increased  world wide. In India it has increased to alarming proportions.   Under these circumstances, the most important question before us  is, have these punitive measures  had the desired effect?   Have all the prisons in the world  turned out  the  criminals  having  converted them  and cured  them of their criminal  instincts?    NOT  AT   ALL.

It is true , in every action done, the entire mankind is  involved.  Let us now recall what the  English poet John Donne has said, “No  man is  an  island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the Continent, A part of the main. If a clod is washed away  by the sea ,Europe is the less… Any man’s death diminishes  me, Because I am involved  in mankind, And   therefore never  send  to know for whom the bell tolls; It  tolls for thee.” Who is a  criminal  who indulges in such a  beastly violence ? Where does he  hail  from ?   Where was he brought up ?  Did  he  become, all on a sudden,  such a  brutal  being ?  Let us remember that  he has been one among  us  living with us   He has been a part of our  society, our culture, our belief system, our values  having been fully identified  with all that  we have been. A  criminal  does not  burst into existence from nowhere.

He  has  lived along with his parents, friends, teachers, and colleagues. He has been formed,  moulded,  inspired,  influenced and instigated by all those forces  to  which the entire society has been accustomed. These are the factors that have  truly contributed to his  despicable behavior. The  question  is,  when most of us have not indulged in such devious deeds, how is it that he  or a few  alone  behave like that?

A criminal in general  operates under certain abnormal  mental conditions. He becomes  totally oblivious    of  everything  about himself and the rest of the world in his saturated  mental pressure. He  now  exists all  by himself  completely  severed from  his usual self, his value system  and  consciousness. 

Fear of punishment is not anywhere near his consciousness. This  abnormality  of his mental status is the key in this issue. He has reached this abnormality  because of several contributing  factors like  the practices around him, the real life patterns of his fellow beings which most often  happen to be hypocritical and literally against all their professed values in public. They all get  unconsciously  imbibed by him  and get stored in the  recess of his consciousness.

He is the victim of  the highly exaggerated and unnatural  depiction of  sexual  behaviour  of  lovers in the big and small screens. He is the  destination of  several  pervert notions spread across the society. His  psycho – sexual development   takes place  in the unconscious of his mind. The   Id in him   is woken up  by several such factors of which he is totally unaware.

His behavior is  the immediate result  of his osmotic  absorption  an  unconscious assimilation of what really existed behind all the  pretensions  prevailing  in his environment. The Freudian  psycho analysis  can help us to a very great extent to understand him properly.    He is thus a direct product of the glaring  contradictions  and hypocritical   practices  of the society. His bestial  instincts  have thus been tempered  without his knowledge.     

Family:   This unit of our social structure, namely, the family,  plays  the most  crucial  role in the formation of values in life. Let us remember, values cannot be  taught  but they  can only   be  inculcated or imbibed by self efforts. Family  bond is the most congenial atmosphere where  an individual picks  values  rather instinctively and  unconsciously.  What is not generated in the  family  will surely be  hard  or even  impossible to be acquired.

This is the reason why the family is the most basic  factor that decides the social peace,  harmony and security. Therefore  a home of love, joy, harmony  and  peace is the most crucial  solution  and the  most powerful deterrent  agent  for crimes. The paternal commitment and  care , the maternal  love,  the filial devotion and   the fraternal  affections  are the strongest foundations on which  a peaceful society is constructed. Lack of  care  love  and concern at the personal level may result in disastrous   sequences.

Media,  entertainment, literature, festivals  and  cultural activities  should  jointly  take up the responsibility of  creating a realistic  helpful presentation of human dignity  and  a healthy social  behavior towards sex. We  should  try to create a sense of reverence caution and responsibility towards sex. It should never  be allowed  to  treat sex as a  cheap and commonplace commodity.   

Sex education with a proper  attitude and maturity  should be imparted at a very early age so that most of the superstitious ideas, perverted  notions  and  unnatural perceptions can be eliminated and a healthy  and responsible attitude towards sex is inculcated. It is  highly  regrettable to know that speaking about sex,   even in most of the educated  families is still a taboo. The mother and the father can be perhaps the most reliable  and the safest guides in  matters of sex to their children. Here I may be permitted to  add  a  personal  detail. I have been very successful in this attempt.

The traditional notions of sexual provocation

It is customary to  hold  immodest dressing,  scanty clothing, moving in lonely  helpless  areas  indecent  postures and staying out of home for long, as very congenial for sexual assault on women  What is  intriguing in such  notions  is, it is all women-centered  and sex biased. Are there no such  stipulations and restrictions  to men?  Isolating  men   from moral codes  and obligations  is its inherent  lapse.

Are  these  explanations and prescriptions   fool proof?

We  quite often hear these days,   girl children of  even one year old to the  teen age  are assaulted sexually. The traditional explanations are naturally  dismissed with this, making all of them outdated and unrealistic. We go back only to the theory of  abnormality and perversion which  is realistic and plausible. Any  discrimination on gender should  surely make this issue more complex and complicated to find any  tangible solution.

Men also  should be  brought into  the gambit of responsibility. Periyar in his wisdom has made several recommendations in this regard. He has gone to the extent of demanding wearing clothes, hair cutting and  manners to be the same for both the sexes so that  even the external differences  may be   removed.  He  held that  women  by gender, are only the making of the society and not so much of the biological factors.

In our homes  the sexual discriminations start at the very  birth of the girl. Dress codes, ornaments, behavioural patterns, activities and all other restrictions imposed on gender discrimination  are made mandatory  for the  girls in the society. There are  even separate moral codes for women. Women thus  grow as a separate  human species  bearing   a man made classification on their person for ever.

The sum total of all such discriminatory  restrictions have resulted in  the  treatment of women as a mere object of carnal pleasure for men and the total denial of human dignity and reverence to women.  Added to this is  the rule of the jungle that “might is right.” Men in inebriated  state   and  pushed into animal instincts  dare to use their physical might on helpless women.Therefore gender equality  as  prescribed by Periyar is  very crucial  in finding  a  permanent solution.

Conclusion:  The  crimes on women   point to a  complex  reality  which  a comprehensive  system  alone can  tackle. There is no  one single  solution which can be  a panacea  to cure it completely. Laws and punishments  are only  one of the many measures to  curtail crimes on women.

We need  serious efforts  in various  angles  from  social governmental  and cultural agencies to jointly   counter this menace. We need more and more  organizations to study these problems with  a scientific  temper without any superstitious ideologies  and  psychological  insights and discuss them in  broader  forums with the help and  guidance of the qualified doctors, psychologists,  sociologists,  leaders and representatives of all human agencies.  This  problem  surely needs such a  concerted effort by a civilized society.

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