The #DelhiRapist interview and the ugly truth about rape

There is disbelief in his eyes – she broke the unsaid rule and paid the price, so what’s this hullabaloo all about?

Fatima Majeed March 04, 2015
The Delhi bus gang rape, which occurred in December 2012, redefined rape and rape victims in many ways. As we saw, masses came out for Nirabhya’s support and ended up in historic constitutional reforms.

The case has once again come into spotlight with Leslee Udwin’s documentary for the BBC called India’s Daughter. The documentary revolves around rapists and rape victims and the motivation behind the heinous crime. The trailer of the documentary can be seen here.

Amid constitutional hassles and fear of public outrage, the documentary has been banned by the Indian government. Although, Udwin claims she interviewed Mukesh Singh, the convicted bus driver involved in the Delhi gang rape, in jail for three days with the concerned authorities’ permission. This is a typical example of how we white wash crime against women by refusing to show the “Archaic” (as the Indian authorities said) motives. As Udwin said, 
“I would like to see every convicted rapist interviewed. Unless you know the cause of crime, how will you correct it?”

When Udwin interviewed Singh, he came up with answers which embody not only his mindless acceptance of rotten cultural norms and lack of empathy for female life but also the deep and dark flaws of society.
“She should just be silent and allow the rape.”

His statement was disturbing for everyone but we must remember that he is not a border line loony sneaking around as a threat. We cannot just lambast him and absolve ourselves from the responsibility. The man has just spoken the ugly truth. Something weaved in our consciousness and agreed upon silently. There is disbelief and surprise in his eyes – she broke the unsaid rule and paid the price, so what’s this hullabaloo all about?

Aren’t we on the same page about ‘silence’?

The girls in our society are always trained, right from the beginning, to accept and practice ‘silence’ as virtue. Our voices are mercilessly snubbed. When our brothers are allowed to laugh out loud, our laughter is always hushed and looked down upon. Good girls talk in a low voice and never laugh out loud. The girl’s voice must never go out of the house lest someone should know that she exists. The silence is engrained in our culture as an unspoken pact – you stay quiet and we will let you live. Silence is our defence mechanism, or so we are taught. It is the best advice our mothers and elders give at our weddings:
“You must be patient and you must never talk back. One day, your new family will appreciate your virtue and you will rule the house.”

The gagged voices become our defence shield but no one tells us about the subtle limitations of this shield. It will keep us alive but not in an exactly desirable state.
“When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back,” Singh told the BBC, implying that she should have allowed the assault.

The analysis of the language here is extremely crucial. Singh simplified many brutal truths for us. “Fight back”, no matter how heroic it connotes in terms of semantics, but it is radically reversed when it comes to women. When a woman fights back, she challenges the ‘silent’ rule and inadvertently makes the ‘game’ more interesting. She must be corrected and brought back to the ‘right path’ or the society will lose balance.

Singh brought into light another bleak aspect which often makes the rape victim vulnerable in every society.
“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes.”

Rape is the only crime in which the victim has to fit into society’s every moral standard to expect some respect and justice. The voyeuristic pleasure of observing and scrutinising every aspect of the victim’s life is beyond expression. The case is often viewed with this tinted perception:
“What was wrong in her behaviour, dressing, profession or anything to provoke such a crime?”

No one, for an instance, stops and questions what was wrong with the criminal’s sick mind.

The moral rod sets impossible standards of morality for rape victims. How could we blame criminals when we have normalised such sick standards in to the fabric of our society.

The interview ends on an intimidating note with Singh warning that death penalty would endanger more lives as “criminal types” won’t take the risk of leaving the girl alive “as they did”.

The cold blooded composure and conviction of beliefs is mind boggling.

He is not a lone character but a horrifying reflection of a society marred with segregation and exploitation.

P.S. The documentary has not aired as yet. This information is obtained from various news sources.
Fatima Majeed
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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نائلہ | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend You are saying you don't discriminate?!!!! Mr Anoop hating Muslims or hating Pakistanis in general all you do on this website. U don't want to debate fiction but will point fingers at a thing you neither have any knowledge of nor want to "debate". DONT ask for a debate when you don't want one. No, this is nothing to lol at. You did not stick to your word, as a MAN should. You denied the initial point you made against the teachings of Islam and are here arguing about the constitution of a COUNTRY!
نائلہ | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend So Pakistanis have appointed THEMSELVES? Since when do u like Pakistanis so much to allow them such a choice ? Oh it must be working out that way, I understand ur standards. Cool, as I always say: good for india and it's people. I have many problems with my things. Neither can u fix them, nor do u care; why then should I be "spelling out" things to you?? I am acting like a "joe" but YOU are the one saying: "I am right, simple" :L Judge Islam, continue doing what you are appointed to do. I'm not stopping you "rozi roti" by any chance am I? Now unless you have PROOF from either the Hadith or the Quranic verses which subjugate women, don't wait for a reply.
Anoop | 5 years ago If you really had the conviction you were right and really cared for Pakistani women you would challenge the Supreme Court which can strike down the law. When have I ever quoted fiction? Why should I? I am bothered by who wrote it, who follows it, who interprets it. I am rational enough to understand the implications of the above questions. You are interpreting it, but are not the sole authority nor can you decide who the sole authority is. In Pakistan, it is the court. Logically if you can prove something you better prove it to the courts. On a similar topic I was reading this and thought I'll show you. "Allah, the Exalted, stated in the Glorious Qur'an: And get two witnesses out of your own men. And if there are not two men (available), then a man and two women, such as you agree for witnesses, so that if one of them (two women) errs, the other can remind her. [2:282] A group of Muslim women, educated and living in the West have come up with a book. You can read the book(please don't ask me to read fiction based on works of fiction). "Allah clarifies to assure the rights of others that testimonies will not be valid unless two men, or one man and two women offer them."
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