The Normalization of Rape(s) and Violence

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Tragically, after the Kathua gang rape and murder case, it is Uri which has become infamous now. The unspeakable crime that has been committed in Uri is more gruesome, more tragic and more beastly in many respects. If the Kathua case shamed humanity, the Uri case shamed humanity along with the human relations. This latest case brought to the fore the brutal, barbaric, beastly and baneful side of a women besides that of the men.
We can keep mentioning the horrendous and horrific side of the two cases, and all such cases that are committed elsewhere in the world. But, what is the result of the previous discussions, debates, conversations and corrective measures? Are they going to stop, or have they helped to stop, such crimes from taking place? Have all the previous discussions, conversations, articles, assays and reports eliminated rapes and violence from the human societies?
Absolutely not!
There might have been some impact in lessening the number of rapes, if that is the case, but in respect of the degree of violence involved in rapes, that has only gone up without any doubt. Today, forcible sexual intercourse without any other sort of violence involved has started becoming normal; it is a lesser news. This can be proven by the number of rapes that go unnoticed and hardly any conscience is roused by them, and hardly any follow up is done to see if the justice in those cases has been delivered.
Here the intention is not to blame people; it is time to go to the preventive part of rapes and violence rather than the blame part of it. If a person is not involved anyway in a crime blaming that person is an utter folly. Nonetheless, the role of people comes into play in the corrective and preventive part of violence and rapes. In case, people fail to perform their role and responsibilities in stopping rapes and violence then a good portion of blame rightly lies with the people. And, the prognosis today is that the people have collectively failed to stop rapes; instead the acts and activities of people have resulted in enhancing the level of violence in the cases of rapes.
This fresh gang rape and murder should be an eye opener that somewhere things are not moving in the right direction. Somehow, people avoid their responsibilities to such an extent where the collective behavior of people gets directly or indirectly involved in making the acts of violence bone chilling, spine chilling and conscience murdering. People must play their role to eliminate rapes and violence else the things are moving in such a direction that who knows who the next victim of rapes, murders and violence would be.
The moot point is how the behavior of people can be responsible for enhanced degree of violence in rapes, and violence in general. The answer to this lies in the normalization process. In the normalization process with the increased in the intensity of violence the previous degree of violence starts becoming acceptable and normal. To exemplify it, if a rape is committed somewhere, followed by a gang rape, and then by a gang rape with some violence and then a gang rape with mutilation of body parts of the victim and then the gang rape with the kind of violence that was inflicted in case of the Uri rape case, and then if a rape without any violence is committed it might in all probability seem normal and would not be noticed by many people.

The mechanism behind that is we don’t want to hear bad news; the human brain is designed like that. But, if bad news is there the brain feel stress, distress and pain and then adjusts to that news. If the extent and severity of bad news keeps increasing there comes a time when the first bad news is absolutely normal.

If we confine this discussion to two gang rapes and murders of Kathua and Uri for a while we can find that normalization process has worked in two ways. First, previous such cases will seem less reprehensible and brutal to the majority of the people. While demanding for justice in the Uri case , the majority will forget about the previous cases. Secondly, for the perpetrators of the crime the degree of violence inflicted on the victims in the previous cases, including the Kathua case, was normal and was not enough to satisfy their grudge and ill will. So, they moved a step further, and inflicted much more beastly acts of violence on the child than was done in the Kathua case

The role of people is here to stop the process of normalization to set in when it is about violence and rapes. If their behavior somehow helps in normalization of violence, wittingly or unwittingly, the people become parties in the commission of the acts of violence and rapes. And, in the age of information technology and social media our behavior is responsible for normalization of violence. May be the extent might vary , but we are all responsible for normalization of violence and rapes.

Somewhere, our irresponsible behavior on social and other kinds of media contributes in making violence and rapes normal. We keep on sharing the news and pictures and videos of the news without giving a thought that somewhere it might be yielding things adverse to the intended. For more like and shares we keep on uploading the news items and vides where brutalization, mutilation of bodies, and all maltreatment and mishandling is taking place. These all are contributory factors for the process of normalization of violence.

Somewhere we have to draw the line. Somewhere we have to work for the prevention part of rapes and violence. Somewhere not only the people but the processes leading to rapes and violence should also be identified to prevent these gruesome acts from taking place. And, somewhere instead of thrusting everything on others, and governments, people have to realized that it is they and their behavior which could make a distinction, and which will force the governments to deliver justice, governments are how the people are.

As far as the normalization of rapes and violence is concerned, here again the people need to draw the line. Rape, and a minor act of violence, should be made unacceptable. If a rape or a minor act of violence is committed people should collective strive to make the justice delivery possible and punishment of culprits assured. The efforts of people should be collective and sustained and people must not rest till the cases are brought to the logical conclusion of justice. Mere liking and sharing of some videos should not be considered as the fulfillment of one’s role.

If rape will remain abnormal and unacceptable always, gang rapes and violence can never become normal. And, when people will work against making the normalization of rapes and violence a reality, there would be an appreciable decrease in such cases before they disappear by the sustained efforts of people against rapes.

Coming to the Uri rape case , the police has done a commendable thing by cracking the case in shortest possible time. For this, they deserve to be congratulated. But, cracking the case has not lessened but increased the role and responsibilities of the police. The police have the new responsibility to make the delivery of justice possible in the case.

The justice delivery system should be equally quick and fast. Justice, finally , is to be delivered by the judiciary and the judiciary is expected to do justice in the shortest possible time. The people must not rest and take away the eyes from the case till the justice is delivered. More importantly people should also stop the processes which eventually lead to rapes and violence. Else we might only have to repent in the times to come.

The author can be reached at: fayaz.greatstep@gmail.com

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