Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Instead of acting emotional, we must rise to reject the political economy of rape, if we seriously want to rid the country of the heinous crime that is spreading at par with strengthening of capitalism in India.
If the last decade in India was a decade of ever more vigorous implementation of capitalism with Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister, the same was a decade of continuously increasing instances of rape.
According to rape statistics of India released by the Union Home Ministry, there were 23582 instances of rape in India in 2011. This shows that in every 23 minutes there was a rape in the minimum in India in 2011. The UN rape statistics that focuses on India’s instances of rape year after year, shows that, when 18233 rapes were registered in 2004, the number increased to 18359 in 2005; to 19348 in 2006; to 20373 in 2007; to 21467 in 2008; to 21937 in 2009 and to 22172 in 2010, which, according to India Government’s report cited supra, increased to 23582 in 2011. So, rape in India has increased at par with increase in the volumes of implementation of capitalism by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. These are data of rapes registered by the Police only. But in reality much more rapes have taken place, as, social taboos in India do not encourage all rape victims reporting the information to Police. Almost all of the crimes of incest where elderly male members rape minor females or elderly females rape younger men in their respective families or in employment under them are usually not reported.
But from the reported data noted above, it is clear that rape has direct link with spread of capitalism.
Capitalism generates a sense of defeat in every individual.
Capitalism is political economy of inequality that constantly forces every individual into a sense of defeat.
It is easy to imagine that the wretched suffers from sense of defeat; yet it is true that the richest also suffers from the same sense of defeat.
Howsoever rich may be a person, he or she continues to feel that there are still more riches to acquire. This limitless desire for the number one position in wealth accumulation, a position that remains always vacant to entice individuals to compete with each other to become the richest, generates a constant sense of defeat in everybody.
But human beings are animals that never like to be defeated.
So, except the ones, who have the inherent or acquired ability to stay away from the traps of capitalism, every other individual contrives ways to overcome the sense of defeat that capitalism – the political economy of inequality – continuously and constantly generates. Rape is one such way.
Rape gives a feeling of victory to the rapist who, thereby, howsoever temporarily, overcomes his/her sense of defeat.
Sense of defeat, as discussed above, is generated and spread by capitalism and the ones who adopt capitalism are grabbed more definitely by the sense of defeat that they try to overcome always as secretly but determinedly as possible.
There is nothing to be surprised if they resort to rape.
If Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then the President of International Monetary Fund, was arrested for raping an American hotel maid through oral sex, Princess Diana of U.K. was attracting attention for her affairs with her former riding instructor James Hewitt and others.
These instances if infidelities are instances of pervert satisfaction due to instant victory over sense of defeat that capitalistic way of life continues to generate.
Rapists – male or female – are not necessarily prurient persons; but are runners after pervert satisfaction that consummation of rape gives them through artificial feeling of victory. This is the crux of political economy of rape.
India is under the grip of this political economy. Rape, therefore, cannot be stopped unless the political economy that generates rape is discarded.
True, the entire country has waked up against rape following national media publicity given to the brutal rape of a young woman of 23 in a moving bus in New Delhi on December 17. The crime is so horrific that the entire country is praying for the victim’s life while majority of thinking minds is demanding immediate amendment in criminal laws to provide for the rapist’s punishment with death sentence or castration.
But it would lead to further confusion, no solution.
As anybody – male or female – can, under pressure of capitalistic sense of defeat, seek pervert satisfaction of overcoming the feeling of defeat by way of rape, whom to hang and whom to castrate?
The crime of rape, caused more under mental condition than for physical need, cannot be eliminated as a phenomenon, unless the cause of this condition – capitalism – is discarded in its entirety.
That capitalism compels the country to protect the lives of rapists is a pointer to this.
In India, capital punishment for rape is not new. Indian Courts have punished rapists with death sentences in many instances. But majority of death sentences against the rapists has gone inconsequential in India under the grip of capitalism.
We may look at two recent instances.
Two of the rapists – Satish and Bantu of UP –who were given capital punishment for having raped and murdered two baby girls of 6 and 5 years of age in two separate incidents, were saved from the gallows by the President Ms. Pratibha Patil. By using her Presidential prerogative, she commuted the death sentences against both of them to life imprisonment in the months of May and June, 2012 respectively, even though she herself was a woman and the victims of both the convicted criminals were baby girls. Those who are very vociferously demanding for death sentence to the rapists had never condemned Patil’s misuse of mercy to save the above convicted criminals from the gallows and even now, they are not demanding for review thereof by the new President and for rejection of the mercy granted to them with retrospective effect.
So, in this country of political anarchy and of Presidents elected on the basis of loyalty to the boss of the ruling party, who are not answerable to any for misuse of Presidential prerogative, capital punishment to rapists is more likely to end in Presidential clemency than in execution.
On the other hand, castration is also not the solution. Rape is not an act of sexual assault by a male on a female alone. Female also rapes a female in acts of tribadism. More horrific is rape of younger men by elder women in families or environments under their control. History of incest sex is full of such instances. Surgical castration is of no utility against such female rapists. Chemical castration, wherever used in the world, has not stopped the phenomenon.
It transpires from a study on 242 rapists incarcerated in Tihar jail that 70% of them are “repeat offenders”, which proves that, through rape, they derive a gratification that they hanker for, tormented by constant feeling of defeat and deficiency in the capitalist system.
On the other hand, capitalism makes majority of the population malnourished. In the capitalist regime of Manmohan Singh, to quote the study conducted by Citizen’s Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition (HANGaMA) launched by Prime Minister Singh himself, 43 % of India’s children below 5 are severely malnourished. Malnutrition is more common in India than the Sub-Saharan Africa, says UNESCO, according to which, 46% of all Indian children below the age of 3 are too small for their age, 47% are underweight and at least 16% are wasted. This makes us understand how severely malnourished must be the parents of these children. Capitalism practiced by Manmohan Singh has reduced India this state of malnourishment.
Malnourishment makes human bodies vulnerable to various microbes. Victims of microbes run for shortest routes to escape their agony. That leads to crime against the weaker ones, as thereby only; a psychological gratification is attainable, despite the physical inanition capitalism pushes them into. And, for this gratification, the stronger amongst the exploited rapes the weaker ones of his category. Rape is thus a crime that capitalism generates.
So, unless capitalism is destroyed, rape cannot be eliminated, whatever be the provisions under Law.
The elite media are diverting attention of the general public from the real cause of rape to mere post-rape punishment in order to protect capitalism from being exposed as the creator of the climate of rape. And, the elite class is also misleading the society in this matter. This will not solve the problem.
The problem of rape can be solved only if educated youth rise against capitalism and lead the people to nullify the political economy of rape.
We ought to understand that neither capital punishment nor castration can help: Political Economy of Capitalism needs be rejected to rid the Country of Rape.
And, the sooner we understand this, the better.