Indian men on women: In their own words – Haryana

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‘When songs like photo ko chipkale saiyan senne pe Fevicol se become a rage from nightclubs to marriage functions, it becomes a problem’

Vishwas Nagpal, 22
Post-graduate Student, Hisar, Haryana

Why do you think so many rapes and sexual assaults happen in India?
Rapes happen in India because of bad elements in society. It is also possible because of the skewed sex ratio in India.

Do you think this happens more in big cities and less in small towns? Do you think ‘modern culture’ is responsible for this?
Sexual crimes minus the caste factor are very high in cities. Modern culture is responsible for it to a large extent as the influence of mass media on weak minds is very huge. When songs like photo ko chipkale saiyan senne pe Fevicol se become a rage from nightclubs to marriage functions, it becomes a problem. Even more is the impact of American culture, where sex and sexual violence is engendered in their culture.

Many people feel women’s freedom is responsible for the rise in sexual crime — how they dress, how late they go out, if they have relationships outside marriage, if they go to bars or work independently. Do you agree?
A woman’s freedom is not defined by the length of her skirt. It is defined by the power she wields in shaping her own life. Yes, I believe that the onslaught of promiscuity in India is to a large extent responsible for these crimes. When a woman deliberately attracts attention towards herself and invites eyeballs by the length of her skirt then this kind of exhibitionism is inexcusable. If women are to be allowed to be exhibitionists and the society accepts this, then perverse men should be trained to not be lecherous. It has to work on different levels.

Do you think women are responsible in any way for being assaulted by men? Do you think that women bring it upon themselves?
Rape is not justifiable. But certain women deliberately invite sexual attention to themselves. In certain cases, when mutual sex does not translate into marriage later on, then a lot of women say it is rape. Personal feuds are often settled by foisting rape cases on men.

Are you comfortable with women getting freedom? What are the freedoms you would be comfortable with for your sister/girlfriend/wife?
I would obviously not want my girlfriend to be sexually inviting to other men in my presence or otherwise. It is not appropriate and is not Indian culture. When women in relationships call for such attention, it amounts to disloyalty and is intolerable.

Do you think Indian women have enough freedom or should they, in fact, get more freedom?
Women have a lot of freedom in our country.

What do you think should be men’s attitude towards women? Do you feel there is anything wrong in our men’s attitude towards women? If so, what? What do you think is the root of the problem? Is it in the background, educational system or upbringing? Where do you think that this mindset against women is emerging from?
The mindset of men reflects the mindset of society in general in the country.

Have you ever seen violence against women in your own family?
I come from a rural background. In my family, my mother gets as angry with my father as he does with her at times. My mother was beaten a few times by my father for not observing religious rituals, but she has always been loyal to him. My sister was once slapped by my father, along with me, for performing poorly in exams. She has been thrashed many times by my mother for not studying. However, no one, either in my family or village, has ever indulged in sexual crimes because of this. What is the connection?

What were you taught to think about women in your own family? Do you think women should have equal freedom as men? Has your thinking changed in any way as you have grown up and been exposed to other ways of thinking?
In Haryana, women work alongside men in the fields. So, we respect them and treat women at par. However, it has been psychologically proved that if a woman is given too much freedom, the concept of a family is destroyed. Children’s lives are destroyed if a woman is sexually inviting to all men. Look at the West. Children are shooting their classmates with guns. The boy who shot little children had a mother who was divorced, known to be of loose moral character and owned three guns.

Today, lots of women like to enjoy their bodies — wear nice clothes, many of them are comfortable with having relationships before marriage or outside of marriage. Do you think this is good or bad for society?
Women having sex outside marriage is bad for society. Especially for their children, who pick up these habits.

If any girl/woman in your family told you she had been molested by someone within the family or outside, how would you react?
I would kill the molester if any woman in my family is even touched in a bad manner. I will chop off his hands and feed him to the dogs. No one can even dare raise a finger at women in my family.

Do you agree that there are a lot of molestation and rapes within families that girls are asked to be quiet about to preserve honour?
Yes. In Haryana, a lot of forced sex happens within the family, especially in villages.

What is your concept of a modern successful woman?
A modern woman is one who respects Indian culture and values, is educated and teaches her children about the greatness of Indian scriptures.

Will you be comfortable in the knowledge that your sister/daughter has a boyfriend?
My sister can have a boyfriend. I have no objections.

There is a lot of talk about sensitisation… what sensitisation do you think is needed?
It is important to sensitise people about Indian culture. A woman always sacrifices herself for the family and, along with a man, are the foundations of our society. This sacred culture should not be sacrificed at the altar of American values of indecency.

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