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As if the Hyderabad rape wasn’t brutal and horrifying enough, a new trend of people looking for videos of the rape has surfaced. Just how monstrous can we get?
On 3rd December, 2019, News18 reported an appalling trend visible in the Indian society. A trend that is humiliating and horrifying for a sentient human being.
A woman was brutally raped, killed, and had her body burnt. The news, obviously became sensational with people crying hoarse about brutality, demanding the death sentence the rapists.
A couple days after the rape, News18 reported the rising number of searches on Google for the Hyderabad rape video. Earlier, even after the Kathua rape case, a similar trend was visible.
Is this merely a case on insensitivity? Are humans losing compassion, altruism or is it simply a case of depravation? Or is it something far worse?
The Indian society, with its peculiar blend of modernity and tradition, holds on to certain values that declare sexuality a taboo topic. This goes on to shelve the natural emotions and desires away. And that in turn, creates spaces for criminal acts to thrive.
The suppression of sexual desires creates a sick society, especially, when it is a society that has access to perverse pleasures through illicit means. It is a world of inequalities and deprivations where people have access to few material pleasures. And yet has unlimited access to a world of deviant possibilities.
Still, does this trend explain the Google Trend?
I do not think it is the only reason, or the major reason behind the sickness that pervades the society. It is, I believe, a far worse attitude, a deep-rooted belief in the disposability of a woman. Because, for the Indian society, the corporeal self of a woman is her identity, and there is nothing beyond the body.
An Indian woman in contemporary India is a body, without any other markers of identity. She is a woman. The body getting foregrounded while the individual is lost in the breasts, the vagina and every other body part that a man can ‘possess’ and ‘enjoy.’
We understand that rape is an act of violence rather than a sexual act. But the fact that women are the most convenient targets signifies several other factors at play. Indian society ignores the totality of a woman as a human being and conveniently considers her as an ‘attractive’ body to be gazed at.
The fact that a girl is asked to protect herself, also signifies protection of the body. Cultural tropes denoting womanhood reinforce and validate this concept of womanhood. While the camera focuses on the body of the woman, with closeups that deny subjectivity to the female body, this perspective of the female body as an object gets reinforced.
Any sense of guilt or shame is not required since it is not a human being. Since it is just a body for ‘pleasure,’ to be ‘conquered’ through aggressive power.
Though we hear the cry of the public ‘hang the rapist’, we also see the callous manner in which the victim’s pictures are shared. And then, of course the perverse desire to watch the video, if it is available, thus creating a market for a commodity and endorsing rape and similar acts of violence on the female bodies.
Picture credits: YouTube
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