Sunday, May 11, 2008

I hate you , but I wanna touch you!

The infamous Indian caste system has brought us enough ignominy which we could have done without. This caste system had leaded us to ostracize and to brand certain members of our society as untouchables. This has confined them, till this day, to the fringes of the social order, especially in rural and semi-urban areas. But yet, I wonder why we keep hearing about cases of Dalit women being raped by ‘upper caste men’? If these ‘upper caste’ people do not even want the shadows of a Dalit to fall on them, what gets them to the point of forcefully having intercourse with a Dalit woman? Does that happen without touching the woman? Doesn’t this type of physical contact ‘contaminate’ those ‘upper caste’ rapists? When I would read about such cases, this question would pop up in my head like those irritating pop-ups which keep hampering our web-surfing activities. But I was reminded of a song that I had heard a few years ago. Someone had come out with this unimpressive and incomprehensive song whose lyrics went like “Mallika, I hate you, I hate you. But I wanna touch you, but I wanna touch you.” Those lyrics simply went over my head at that time but I never imagined that they would help me understand a social issue which continues to irritate and infuriate me. The acts of rape and abuse are a way of asserting that the rapist is superior to the victim and therefore more powerful whereas the victim cannot save herself/himself and hence is powerless, inferior. These acts just help the villain to reassure his own insecurities and to feel better about himself. The hatred towards the victim helps to justify the act of rape saying that she deserved it, whereas the rapist also finds an outlet for suppressed sexual desires. The lower caste tag makes this justification easier. Convenient isn’t it?

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An infectiously enthusiastic incorrigible optimist, insanely in love with and morbidly curious about life, death and everything in between.