The debate on the incident in Guwahati where a girl was molested by a mob is still raging on. But the whole focus of these debates is on a woman’s right to go out, wear what she desires and do what she wants. That is all fine. But nobody is asking the root question: why do men commit these crimes?. After all a criminal is not born in a vacuum.
The fact that we have so many sexual crimes in our country tells something about our society. A Bengali film Ful Futuk Na Futuk Aaj Basanta (Spring in the Air) which handles the topic of sexual desire, was recently released. The director of the film Subrata Acharya says that an Indian man can be 26, but not have experienced sex. That is exactly the point. We Indians are not ready to discuss the topic of sex openly. It is a taboo topic in our families, while in our friend circles, it is a topic of jokes and crass humour.
If we leave a small percentage of urban populace and Adivasi tribes, an individual in Indian society is not encouraged to mingle with the opposite sex. Courtships are frowned upon. Pre-marital sex is a strict no-no.
Every human being has sexual desire. It depends on a man’s upbringing how that desire is channelised. Our society needs to rethink about the way in which topics of sex and male-female relationships are handled. Until and unless that happens, the incidents like Guwahati will not be one-off.