Dear Rapists, Thank You
May 09, 2013
You have achieved what no one else could. You made me feel guilty for being a man.
Open a newspaper, switch on the TV, or go online fix and you are confronted with yet another rape. Rape has become the Indian media fixation of the year. I bet it was going on for quite some time. No one bothered until the youth of today decided that they had had enough and took to the streets and made India look at itself again.
We tend to forget that we actually have a voice. That we can make a difference. That our government’s job is not to rule us but to govern us. There is a difference.
I fail to understand a rapist. Normally I am one of those idiots who tries to see things from another person’s perspective. I used to believe that everyone has a reason for the things that they do, that they are all justified and that there is no such thing as a bad person - just people with hard choices.
Then there are rapists. Where in fucks name do I fit that category in?
That’s when I realized, what I feel towards them is a deep sense of gratitude.
Yes. I am thankful to them. For all the rapists out there, let me take this opportunity to thank you for making me see the light.
Thank you for effectively destroying my belief that people are by and large good. That given an opportunity, people will not hurt another living being but rather help them. Under which rock did I crawl out from?
Thank you for making me teach my children never to trust a stranger.
It’s funny, since I have always believed that trust is the biggest gift you can bestow upon anybody. Gandhi, another fool, used to believe that by trusting you prevent the other person from hurting you because they will always strive to live up to that trust.
What a load of crap!
In a world where even a father cannot be trusted to keep his hands off his daughter or son, what trust are we talking about? It’s better to be sure than be sorry for it later.
You taught me that, my dearest rapist.
You taught me to distrust that old man who sits in the park watching the children play. You taught me to keep an eagle eye on that cook from Orissa who has a daughter the same as mine. You taught me to reach for my kids, with my fists ready to strike, when I see anyone talking to them. The same me, who lived his life on the kindness from strangers. The same person who was entrusted, along with my 8 year old brother, to a family we had never met before on our first train trip to Delhi from Trivandrum. I deny my children that. Thanks to you.
Thank you for making me aware of what my wife wears. This from a guy who normally doesn't even notice if she goes and shaves her hair. Now, thanks to you, I pay attention. If it was up to me, I will make her wear a veil. I will keep her inside the house, under my watch, with a gun in my hand. But thankfully, it isn't up to me. This woman, who faces everyday what I fear, wears what she feels like. I, who has never interfered with any ones right to decide what to wear, will now suggest a scarf, or a dupatta or a shawl. All thanks to you. I pay more attention to what my wife and children wear, lest that could become your cue. Thanks to you, upon my insistence, she now carries a weapon and knows how to use it. I have made my wife accept the necessity of spontaneous violence. I have made her into me. Thank you.
Thanks to you, I walk with my head down. You have achieved what no one else could. You made me humble. You made me feel guilty for being a man. You have made me introspect. You have made me look within the dark recess of my male self to see if I too am capable of what you do. After all you are a man, leading a normal life, with a family, supposedly born of a woman. So, if you can, then it stands to reason that I too must have that impulse. You did that. Gave this fear of the beast that might be inherent in all of us who dangles our stick of shame. Thank you.
Me. Who has always believed that I always fought the good fights, is compelled now to stand with the mob, crying out, like a French peasant, for the lynching of people like you? I, who abhors war, manmade boundaries, the sacrifice of youths in the name of patriotism, now stands confused. I have been told that man has a tendency to destroy what he doesn't understand or what he fears. I don't understand you and I fear you, therefore, everything within me says if we meet I will destroy you. I, who have stopped praying 3 years ago, pray now that we never meet.
I would like to fill this page with the choicest abuse I could hurl at you, but every single expletive that I can think of inevitably abuses a woman alongside with it. Thank you for making me see that. Today the only curse I utter is fuck. You have successfully achieved what my mother and my wife have been trying to do for years. You have cleaned up my vocabulary. For this I thank you.
So I stand before you, humbled, fearful and angry. But at the same time filled with immense gratitude. You are one in thousands, yet you have defined a race. No amount of washing is going to clean this stain on a man's perceived nature. No amount of words and justifications are going to earn back the trust we possibly never had. As long as we are incapable of looking beyond genders, this blight that is you could be a part of all of us. I don't know. I can’t do rhetorical.
So, who can blame a woman for not wanting to take that chance?
I feel no indignation when a woman hesitates to enter into a lift with me. I understand when a friendly smile is rewarded with cold indifference. I get it when they walk faster when I slow the car down to ask for direction.
You have managed to widen the gap a whole lot further.
Really. Thank you.