The sudden rash of rapes and molestation incidents in India has brought to mind a line from my favourite book of insults: ‘He's tall, dark and hands!' Trust me, that's what women all over the world will soon witheringly describe Indian men as. Of course, not all Indian men fall into this bracket - there are lots of permutations and combinations to play around with. For example, some could be defined as ‘medium-height, fair and hands', others as ‘short, wheatish and hands'... Okay, okay, I'm not being fair here, I have to admit that after the recent Juhu molestation incident, a number of Indian men too have strongly condemned their own sex. Hoorah for them, but that's not good enough. Why, I've just read on the net that a nasty man was thrown off a Jaipur-bound flight (not while air-borne unfortunately) for patting a flight attendant's posterior. He got off very lightly indeed - a mere fine of Rs 1,200 - when what he truly deserved was a pat on his posterior too. With a whip!
Of course, when these cases hit the headlines, our ever-alert moral police brigade rush to the offender's defence with the usual self-righteous sneer, ‘Her skimpy clothes made him do it.' Really? Has 7 yards of modestly-draped fabric ever made a rapist sweetly change his mind? Spare us this rubbish please!
We need to take concrete steps to ensure that this stops (after all, we don't want our men to have a lousy reputation abroad, do we now?), and while Renuka Chowdhury, Union Minister for Women & Child Development, has sworn to do something about it, the wheels of legislation move so slowly that our granddaughters will be doddering grandmothers before positive steps are implemented. Which is why I've thought of a few things we could easily do right away to keep women safe.
- Instead of teaching girls to cook chicken, teach them how to cook a predator's goose. Self-defence classes are a must, preferably karate with kicks aimed at mid-level. Also, with women out of the kitchen, predatory Indian males will probably be too weak with hunger to get into attack mode.
- The corporate world can pitch in too. Some of them donate artificial limbs as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes, and that's all very well, but how about life-size silicone dolls for Roadside Romeos too? This suggestion has immense possibilities, keeping in mind our new friendly trade agreement with China. If we give them the contract to manufacture billions of dolls, China will be happy and may not molest parts of India, and Roadside Romeos will be happy and way too busy to molest women.
- Get a bunch of sex offenders together and ply them with alcohol, then fling chilli powder into their eyes and make them fight each other. Why, since the Supreme Court has lifted the ban on this revoltingly barbaric bullfight ritual in Tamil Nadu, we can safely use this method to punish sex offenders. After all, they're animals too, and in their case, even PETA won't raise any objections.
- Instead of admonishing Roadside Romeos who yell rubbish like, ‘Hello darling, sweetie, you are wanting?' let's find them jobs in Saudi Arabia. There, they can earn and learn at the same time!
- But surgery, really, is the best option. Let's turn sex offenders into eunuchs, and put them back on the streets in pretty saris. Women won't be frightened of them anymore - it's other men who will tremble with fear. And when men are scared of men, we may finally see some action, right?
More suggestions, anyone?