Each day in the newspapers we get the latest news on how many young women have been attacked and raped. We live in a spiral of suspicion. Villagers suspect the police are not investigating thoroughly and police seem to have abandoned all options of statutory procedure for the usual resort to thrashing with wet nettles and so on and so forth, Round and round the questions buzz and more and more the tendency grows to blame the police. What are ordinary people to do? With no access to well-trained police officers, families may well despair. Do our law and order personnel have the correct approach to social crimes, especially those involving illegal sexual acts?
We are now close to Dasain and it would be wonderful if we could claim that with goddess Durga’s help and blessings this scourge has been eradicated from the towns, cities, villages and fields of our land. There’s a fallacy that certain women by their behaviour, clothing etc, want to be raped. I hope besides mothers and grandmothers, fathers and grandfathers of young women are reading this take on these heinous crimes.The truth is young girls may be moved by young men, but not to the extent of wanting to be raped.
The authors who have examined and written about this in their tales deserve revisiting. I am thinking in particular of novels by French women,during the period when all female authors had to write under pseudonyms . Colette for example wrote a very touching novel about teenage awakening: ‘Le ble en herbe’( the Ripsning Seed).
It doesn’t fail to touch one, especially when Colette applies her knowledge about sexual awakening to the activities of 2 young people on summer holidays in the countryside. And where else would set a fitter scene than the bucolic surroundings of the countryside? I think those of us who studied the classics in almost every literature in the world would vouch for this,that Chaucer, Shakespeare, Virgil, Homer, Dante, B.K. Sama, Koirala, Parijat, and Auden, Keats. Wordsworth and Byron took their inspiration from grass and flowers; and, although written flat on a page these names may fail to inspire, when pronounced with passion and meaning fully emphasised they can stir the souls of the young. Just as the popular songs that are fed to us every day do with their lyrics.
A skilled disc jockey can wheedle out the last drop of teen passion with the songs he/she chooses. Of course, many young listeners send lists of their favourite singers and songs and if they are lucky their letters and songs are chosen and greetings given to girlfriends and whoever is listening to that particular radio programme. Believe me when I say that these requests to listen and associate are not only targetted at young women but young men also. That’s one difference between our time and this time. In ‘our’day we wouldn’t have sent songs and wishes to boys- that fashion came in when the American youth encouraged the Valentine fashion.
I’ve often puzzled about this because there must have been a mix up in Valentines. There are any numbers of Valentine stories but the one we grew up with in Northern England was about a Valentine Day Massacre. Hence, when St. Valentine emerged as a ‘god of love’ with cards and hearts and the whole romantic caboodle it took some time for it to catch on and for ‘will you be my Valentine?’to become a 14th of February catch phrase.
Anyway, be that as it may, it has now spread as a custom.
It all happened so long ago, and today I think young folks can relate more easily to their own milieu and pop songs than to the Valentine Day’s Massacre.
That is why there is something ominous about the rising number of rapes occurring, especially at this time of year.
Are they occurring as the result of TV programmes, as the government seems to think? I doubt it! After all, hard porn is too expensive to make I would think. Are they Jack the Ripper/ Yorkshire Ripper copy cats? But why: surely we don’t have so many criminally insane or schizophrenic people in our small population?
I think our law and order professionals need proper training and perhaps there’s no time like the present to start doing this.So far, every case hogs the newspapers for weeks and in this cold climate, I am sure the newspaper journalists get fed up of hearing the same stories and same complaints about the same people.
Be it as it may. It is time to get our house in order. We can all help in one way or another. How you may ask? Time and again the newspapers publish lists of what to look out for and what people should report. This would be far more useful to the government and police than protest marches after the fact.
So, law and order saathis, it really is time to get organised! Share your lists with we, the public and we’ll see what we can do to help you!