Editor’s Note: This article discusses the reality behind this week’s “rape” tumult in India. It will mince no words in laying out the real picture of what drives “rapes” like this in addition to “traditional” rapes done for sexual purposes. We warn readers that candor in this discussion is likely to offend sensibilities as well as widely held opinions & misconceptions. That is the reality of this topic. So we suggest readers who may be uncomfortable about candor in this highly emotional topic should skip this article.
Three rape cases gripped the Indian political scene this week, one of a eight-year old girl who was raped & murdered in Northwestern state of Jammu & Kashmir (Kathua case) , the second of a six-year old girl who who was found bloodied after being raped in the Northeastern state of Bihar. Then there was the third case of a June 2017 rape of an 18-year old woman whose father died in police custody (unnao case) after he was arrested for accusing a prominent local member of parliament of raping his daughter.
Despite the media attention, none of these three cases seem to have created the nationwide storm that the 2012-2013 Delhi rape-murder caused. That rape-murder galvanized the entire Indian middle class because it could have happened to everybody’s sister. That unfortunate woman had gone to a see a movie with her friend & made the mistake of getting into a van that had four young men on the prowl. That case represented a danger that no one could live with and so the country erupted.
1.Political Violence & Exercise of Power
The three recent rape cases mentioned above are totally different. All three are results of the violent political reality in India, especially North India. The level of criminal physical violence is so high & so viciously brutal that most of us can’t even imagine it. For example, rivalry between political parties is so intense in some states that murder of volunteers from a rival party is almost commonplace, so commonplace that the media doesn’t even cover it.
Then you have violence over land. India is not America of the 19th century where land was plentiful. Land is scarce in India and so rural & semi-urban India is beset with violent conflicts over land rights. Add to that the virtual jungle of different religions, religious sects, Jaats or ethnic communities that vote almost always on jaat identity basis.
Take the first of the above 3 cases – the 8-year old girl raped & murdered in Jammu. The most cruel fact is that the girl herself was almost irrelevant in the conflict which was over a larger, more powerful community trying to drive out a nomadic community from their area. Instead of a pitched physical conflict, the powerful community decided to send a brutal message – they raped-murdered an 8-year old girl to say get out of here unless you want more of this. This is also evident from the sad fact that residents did not allow the dead girl to be buried in that community. Apparently, now her family has gone to the hills at least for the near future.
This is not a new story nor is it restricted to any community or country. That women & children become tools or victims to community, sectarian, religious or national violence is hardwired into human system. Proving to men of a community that they cannot protect their women & children has always been a common form of intimidation of that community.
We saw that recently on a mass scale in Iraq from ISIS; we saw that last week in the chemical attack by Assad Government in Syria. On an individual basis, we saw in Lethal Women 2 when the South African Embassy goon sends a message to Riggs (cop played by Mel Gibson) by saying “tell Riggs he can’t protect his women“.
The other two cases seem to be a pure expression of political power. The sad reality is that in rural or semi-urban areas of India, especially North India, the ruling politicians are the local “kings” with assumed rights over all they survey. Their ability to win their elections is the source of their power and their relative immunity from most offenses. The police work for the local administration that answers to the ruling politicians.
2.Role Model for India’s Powerful
And then you have the role model for all powerful Indians, especially North Indians; the role model who was celebrated in this year’s biggest Bollywood blockbuster film, the role model whose monument still stands in India’s capital New Delhi after 700 years. See for yourself in the 1-minute clip below:
The man is Ala-ud-din Khilji, an Afghan Muslim Pashtun, and the woman is his wife, the daughter of the reigning Sultan. Alla-uddin has just murdered the Sultan, her father, and has become the new Sultan. He doesn’t console his wife about the death of her father. He doesn’t explain; he is not tender. Instead, he tells his wife that he has just made her the queen of India and expects her to rejoice.
Ala-uddin puts his crown, the one that used to sit on her father’s head, and demands she “please” him. Read what he says at 00:21 of this one minute scene:
इस अज़ीम खुशीके मौके पर अपने सुलतान को बेपन्हा मोहब्बत करो
“On this occasion of extreme joy, make unrestrained love to your Sultan”
His wife dutifully falls to her knees and then … the message is for you to see – the woman is his property; she has to pay sexual tribute to him for him having won his power. Guess this clip is a visual demonstration of Kissinger’s famous phrase – “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac“.
Ala-uddin was relatively gentle in the above scene because the woman was his first wife, queen & a Muslim. His treatment to a captured Hindu princess was worse; he kept her in chains as he caressed her in the above film. Then he hears of Padmavati, the most beautiful queen of a Hindu ruler, and sends an emissary demanding the queen for his pleasure. When her husband refuses, Ala-uddin takes his army and massacres the Hindu King and every single soldier of the King’s army. The queen and her group of ladies-in-waiting jump into a huge fire to protect their virtue & bodily slavery.
This film became a huge blockbuster in India, especially North India. And, strange as it may seem, none of the “liberal” women journalists had anything negative to say about Ala-uddin, his character and the way he treated women. Instead, in a classic blame the woman victim approach, “patriarchy-hater” Barkha Dutt of Washington Post & her cohort blamed queen Padmaavati for jumping into the fire instead accepting the life of a concubine-in-chains for Ala-uddin’s pleasure.
Ala-uddin was not merely a Sultan of Delhi. He was the first great man of the Indo-Afghan Continuum. He was the first Muslim conqueror to cross into South India and make all southern kingdoms his suzerains. In one his southern conquests, he seized the world famous Koh-i-Noor diamond that now adorns the crown of Elizabeth, the native queen of Britain.
You can argue that Ala-uddin’s legacy pervades today’s India, especially North India. Though, Ala-uddin was an Afghan Pashtun, the culture he respected & adopted was Iranian or Persian. Ala-uddin made Persian the official & royal language of his India. Today’s North Indian Classical Music was created in Ala-uddin’s court by the great musician, poet & scholar Amir Khusrow by mixing Iranian music with Indian Dhrupad music. Khusrow is reputed to have invented the Sitar by combining the Indian Veena with Iranian Setar. The Sitar was made famous in the west by the great Ravi Shankar and most outside India associate Sitar with Indian Classical Music to this day.
Today’s Bollywood is a living testament to Ala-uddin Khilji. Not only is Bollywood’s language of Persian heritage but the majority of Bollywood superstars are Afghan Muslim Pashtuns. Just like in Ala-uddin’s time, Bollywood’s beautiful Hindu actresses have married these Afghan Muslim Pashtuns. And one of them has named his son from a Hindu wife actress as Taimur, the Persian name of the brutal Muslim conqueror Timur the Lame who massacred non-Muslims in India & the Middle East about 50 years after Ala-uddin.
Not content with a 700-year old physical monument to Ala-uddin in India’s capital New Delhi, Bollywood has now created its own monument to Ala-uddin in the film Padmaavat, a film that celebrates his conquests and the need for dominant sexual abuse of women.
3. Ala-uddin’s Other Legacy
Watch the above clip again & at 00:40 you will notice a man watching Ala-uddin & his wife. That man is Malik Kafur, the castrated eunuch lover of Ala-uddin. It was Malik who accompanied Ala-uddin in his conquests and served as Ala-uddin’s “bacha” lover.
In November 2017, the US Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General reported that the entrenched Afghani practice of “bacha baji” was being practiced in the Afghan Army but said “.. there’s nothing we can do about it, … It was out of our control,“.
What is “bacha baji”, you ask! It is the practice of keeping young pre-puberty boys for sexual pleasure. As an Afghan soldier quoted by the Washington Post in their April 4, 2012 article:
- “You cannot take wives everywhere with you, … you cannot take a wife with you to a party, but a boy you can take anywhere.”
Given that today’s North India is still dominated by Afghan Pashtun culture of “mard” or manliness & given the role model of Ala-uddin and his “bacha”, wouldn’t you expect to hear about rape of young boys in India? You should & you would when the Indian media covers it. New York Times or Washington Post don’t cover these rapes because rapes of boys are inconvenient to their narratives.
But rapes of boys do happen in India & sometimes the Indian media covers it as they covered rapes of boys in Delhi & Mumbai in November 2017. But no one in India, especially not the Indian Government, wants this to add to the shame they feel about rape of girls. In this “patriarchy hater” reporters like Barkha Dutt & her cohort are complicit with the Indian Government. Guess even pre-puberty boys are symbols of patriarchy to them. Is that why rapes of such boys are fine with these women reporters?
4. Sex & Power
This phenomenon is not confined to the role model of Ala-uddin or to India. It seems to be a universal phenomenon that is hardwired into humanity. So writes Dr. Ian H. Robertson, professor pf psychology at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and visiting professor at Columbia University, New York. We quote below from his article about John Kennedy, FDR, David Petraeus in Sex & Aphrodisiac of Power:
- “Both men and women who have a high need for power have sexual intercourse more often than those who have lower power needs[i] and dominance and sex are biologically linked in every mammalian species, including humans. … Sex and power are linked as they both cause a surge in the hormone testosterone in both sexes.”
- “The high testosterone levels which high political office triggers can therefore further increase sexual appetites in a politico-erotic vicious circle which can bring the most able of people to do things that their self-controlled selves would not countenance. … remember, power can be a stronger aphrodisiac for the acquaintance than for the leader.”
Hmm! Does the last statement mean Monica Lewinsky was more responsible than Bill Clinton for their interaction?
Getting back to India, it is well known that both politics and sex are totally intertwined in India’s political machine. All political power in India comes from winning elections. To run for an election, you need to get a “ticket” or nomination from one of the parties. A senior Congress party official had publicly admitted during the previous Congress government that women candidates sometimes/often agree to do sexual favors for powerful party officials in exchange for getting a “ticket”. A prominent political twitterati admitted a few months ago that sexual favors were the price for getting prominent reporting assignments for political reporters in India.
But that is completely & utterly different from the brutal rape-murders of young girls & boys by power-drunk politicians. That happens because, as we have been writing since 2011, that India is only an Electocracy and NOT a Democracy. That is mainly true because of the enormous disparity in power between the elected politician and the common man/woman/child. The entire government machinery is driven to support and obey the winning politician.
Nothing will change without serious administrative reform and that will never happen without an awakened & active voter base. And that is unlikely until the voter base gets more prosperous and financially independent of government handouts.
Until then far more cases of rape-murders like the three cases of this week will be ignored & swept under the rug. This is a sad and unpleasant reality, the Ala-uddin reality of India.
5. Gandhi Vision vs. Ala-uddin Reality – Sexual Mess in India
The real problem in Indian consciousness is the wide chasm between how Indians, politically aware Indians, think of themselves and the reality of today’s India.
The Indian people are absolutely convinced that Indian women are the most & uniquely “virtuous” women in the world. Indians “know” that “white” women are less virtuous & more promiscuous than Indian women. That is why India’s politicians have enacted medieval laws that mandate “modesty of a woman” and hold women totally non-responsible and blameless for all their sexual acts.
In fact, the Indian Supreme Court is currently deciding whether a woman can be held legally responsible for her consensual adultery. Current law states that only the man is responsible for consensual adulterous acts with a woman and the woman is held totally blameless. So a single woman can have sex with a married man or a married woman can have sex with a single or married man without any legal responsibility for her acts. The man is held 100% responsible and subject to jail for up to 3 years.
The above is a Gandhi vision for India, a vision in which abstinence is treasured and men are deemed responsible when they tempt virtuous innocent Indian women to stray.
Contrast this with the reality on the ground in India which is undergoing a sexual revolution even more intense than the American sexual revolution in the 1970s. Pre-marital and extra-marital sexual activity is exploding. Morning after pills are readily available and so are clinical abortion medications. Since porn is not available, young kids videotape their sex acts and circulate it among their networks to serve as porn. Many college students earn money by sexual activity with middle age men & women in affluent neighborhoods.
According to an article we saw from Times of India last year, abortions by 13-15 year old girls rose by 67% last year while abortions by 15-19 year old girls rose by 47%. These government figures are severely understated and, in any case, do not include clinical abortions or abortions not done in govt hospitals. The girls care even less about exposure than boys because they can always claim “rape” and escape blame or get financial damages.
Combine with this sexual revolution by & of women with the ruthlessness of raw political power and you get the Ala-uddin reality of India.
6. India – Incredibly the World’s Only Gender Apartheid regime
The reality is India is now a Gender Apartheid regime just as the “white” South Africa was a Race Apartheid regime. India is a society in which a 2-year old boy was legally charged by the police with sexual molestation of a 35-year old woman.
The sad reality is that these Gender Apartheid laws have made NO DIFFERENCE to women who suffer sexual violence from the powerful as the above three cases demonstrate. Instead, these Gender Apartheid have created a thriving business of lawyers & smart opportunistic women who use these laws to extort money from ordinary middle class men. This is creating a severe but unstated backlash. And the direct result is an increasing difference to women claiming rape or molestation.
This is an incredible mess, a mess that has no real solution. May be that is why they call it “Incredible India”!
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