Cultural Questions for Rape Capital Assam

Monday, 26 October 2020



Cultural Questions for Rape Capital Assam

Gaurav Agarwal | February 01, 2020 15:56 hrs

On the 25th of January, I stumbled upon a rather disquieting story - one which factually talked about the statewide rise in rapes in India and how Assam, a state otherwise known for its upstanding past, unfortunately rose atop it.
Statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) holds Assam accountable for committing more than 27,728 crimes against women in India in 2018 which also makes up for about 7.3% of all crimes committed against women nationwide which is an appalling statistic considering that Assam only makes up for about 2.5% of the country’s population according to the Census of 2011.

Unfortunately, these statistics have not manifested out of thin air in relation to Assam’s failure in upholding acceptable standards for women safety. NCRB statistics from 2016 also force Assam to hang its head in shame, after exposing the state to have come in second only to Delhi for having committed most crimes against women in India during that year. 

Apart from the apathetic approach taken from the branches of our democracy towards reforming the judicial sector made apparent by the lack of expeditious action taken to mitigate the unveiled weeping of the nation for more than seven years now due to the justice which still eludes Nirbhaya, (emboldening the cowardice of weasels who rape, abduct and torture women), a change in contemporary culture is also to blame for this rape epidemic. 

The socio-cultural dynamics of the state and country likewise, has seen a rapid change, from observing conservatism as a means of social principle to rapid progressiveness. This fact is reflective in the innumerable mediums of communication which we use to keep up with the globalized world, be it in the form of content rammed down our juvenile and impressionable minds through cinema or social media or the advertisements which we’re constantly exposed to either through television adverts, newspapers ads, hoardings or banners inanely sexualizing their pitch to sell the actual product which has as little to do with the qualitative competence and consequent salability of the product as possible. 

This new age culture of overt sexualization imported from the west has played a major role in accelerating the disintegration of the social fabric of our nation and state. It has made our communities put blinders on and run the race towards progressiveness without specifying what it is that the culture needs to unshackle from and progress toward. It has now become undeniable that disassociating sex from its morality which we have done through communicating overtly sexualized messages has not garnered a positive result to say the least as has been made evident by the increasing objectification of women manifesting itself through increased violent crimes against them nationwide and especially in Assam according to statistics released by the NCRB which are further augmented by infamous gut wrenching incidents like that of the Adivasi stripping case of 2007 or the GS Road molestation case of 2012 which took place in the heart of Guwahati city, and not some neglected outskirt. 

We should have been cognizant of this, because before making its mark on us, this “progressive worldview” had already provided ample evidence to establish its futility by ravaging the social fabric of the US and Europe itself, the very place from where it originates. 

Gardner & Lewis, LLP released statistics in 2018 which showed that about 40-50% of all marriages in the United States result in divorce. Similarly, Eurostat Statistics Explained published figures stating that from the 2.6 million marriages which took place in the European Union in 2016, more than 1 million have already ended up in divorce. 

Although India seems to be doing decently in that region as it was named the county with the lowest divorce rate in the world by Statista, the news for Assam is nowhere near pleasing, as a report by BBC news ranked Assam at the second position for having the maximum numbers of divorce cases among bigger states in the country. 

The Assamese and the Indian society needs to collaborate in re-inculcating within its social dynamic with emphasis and example that “promotion of sex as just a mere commodity through encoded messages is not desirable as it results in the loss of moral value, whereas being culturally educated and having permanent people to live, laugh and love with is.” Otherwise, we risk obtaining a similar fate to that of the West’s. 

If we continue to devalue and trivialize the practical and moral implications of sex in our culture, then we cannot hold people accountable for exhibiting initial signs of sexual precariousness in society and when we are unable to do that, we simultaneously also enable them to grow further and possibly carry out an atrocity due to the absence of socially enforced protocol regarding what is acceptable and what is not at every level because offenders at the end of the day, do not roam the stress with warning bells on, they live, eat and breathe among us without possessing a distinctive tell. 

(The author is a student of Journalism & Mass Communication at Royal Global University, Guwahati)

Comments (2) Post Comment
  • Raajit Chatterjee

    Coherent articulation, way to go buddy!

  • Raajit Chatterjee

    Coherent articulation, way to go buddy!