By DR RAJESH IYER :
Hardly had we tried to come out of the shock and trauma of horrific devastation and brutal murder of a young veterinarian girl in Hyderabad, another dreadful incident occurred, which cracked the delicate and fragile glass frame of human sensibility. Recently in a gruesome incident, which occurred in a town in Vidarbha, a pervert who was persistently stalking a woman with malicious intent, set her ablaze by pouring kerosene on her person. The only fault of the hapless victim was she has sternly spurned the indecent advances of this depraved man. And coincidentally yet ironically the movie Chhapaak was only just released all across the country, which poignantly portrays the pathos of a girl who was an acid attack victim, under similar circumstances.
This unfortunate burn victim lost the battle for her life, while undergoing treatment in hospital. In the background of such appalling incidents many questions need to be raised, about presence of even a semblance of sanity, in our so called civilised society, where such horrific happenings are becoming rule rather than exception. How is it that such monsters are prowling freely in society for whom the dignity and life of a woman are merelyaworthless bundle of straw that can be set ablaze or a dispensable porcelain object to be shattered, at mere whim or fancy.
How can human life and dignity be trivialised, trampled upon and destroyed in such ruthless manner ? More than fatal implications of perhaps corona virus, this monstrous, degenerate perception that women are marionettes, puppets or playthings to be used or abused as per whims, rooted in minds of demons roaming around us, is indeed cause of imperative and grave concern. Often it is said that some jilted lover is responsible for such murderous attacks on women. But it is impossible that if a person genuinely loves another, under no circumstances can he or she think of harming or hurting the other. These so called love affairs are nothing but manifestation of perverse passion, obdurate obsession or fanciful fetish rather than true affection or genuine adoration.
These depraved person regard women as game, prize or trophies to be preyed upon and hunted. Somewhere behind such degenerate mentality is the impression created through various forms of influence that women are desirable objects or commodities for acquisition and enjoyment. They ignore the fact that women are also individuals, a human form with physical, mental and emotional dignity and independence or freedom of thought, feelings, desires, conscious choice and decisions. Movies, advertisements and distorted/ grotesque messages through social media, continuously portraying women in objectionable and abhorrent manner , are fuelling such evil and decadent tendencies. Such sustained, subtle, suggestive images, and poisonous messages are surreptitiously seeping into and corrupting and corroding minds of degenerate individuals.
Due to incitement of decadent and vitiated mentality criminals are getting provoked and instigated to perpetrate heinous atrocities. For long years many movies have portrayed women as targets to be pursued, chased and conquered or subjugated to bend to wishes of men. Women are objectified or commoditized and accordingly can be projected as most sought after, desirable and attractive goals to be obtained through means fair or foul. Many heroines who lament on vulnerable conditions of women in society, have performed such despicable roles in movies portraying sensuous, titillating women, inciting men to grab or pounce upon them and indulge in orgy of lusty pleasure.
The item numbers, even performed by top ranking heroines, in contemporary movies, almost border on pornography, and leave nothing to imagination as far as lyrics and on screen performance go. Innocent children, especially girls also are exposed to indecent influence, and it is scandalous to see a small girl dance in some talent contest to tunes of Tu cheez badi hai mast mast Then this obnoxious ad where a man dressed only in briefs, makes a woman swoon with the aroma of deo that he has used. There can be innumerable instances of distasteful advertisement where women have been viciously denigrated as getting charmed by some petty inducements offered by men.
Are women so silly, gullible or naïve to get enamoured with a man just due to his use of a lotion or potion? Let alone any items of personal grooming for men say shaving creams, it is revolting to see images of scantily clad women even on packets of fire crackers or advertisement of two wheeler tyres! Not just in our country, even in liberal and progressive (??) Western world the objectification of women is password for marketing and business goals. The entire cosmetic and fashion goods industry thrives on international beauty pageants which are camouflaged marketing/ business portals for commoditising women. The typical James Bond girl is merely a titillating toy to amuse and pander to whims of the master spy. Be it fictional but what signals it generates for readers and viewers of novels and movies respectively. When it is a woman to who gives birth and life to a man, how can another woman become a target or prey, for the same man, to be destroyed in loathsome conflagration of lust. The great irony or paradox is one woman almost puts her life in peril to give birth or life form toaman and the very same man for depraved craving destroys existence of an innocent woman.
The following lyrics of a poignant and meaningful Hindi movie (Sadhna 1958) song come to mind - Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko, mardon ne usay bazaar diya, jab jee chaha masla kuchla, jab jee chaha dutkar diya (Woman gives birth to man, but men condemn her to market as a commodity, they use and abuse her capriciously) All womenfolk should rise in protest and thunder in unison (taking Greta Thunberg’s words in another context) “How dare you-treat us as expendable objects or consumable commodities.” It is time to hammer home the empathic message to mankind that women are not objects of passion but the embodiment or monument of compassion. The society or community which fails to respect dignity of women is doomed for destruction.