The recent Delhi Gang Rape,quite brutal,has prompted introspection in India.Ideas range from banning bollywood “provocative” movies to hanging the offender on the spot. People who took no issue with MF Hussein’s nude paintings of Hindu Godessess and women,argue in favor of banning “offensive” rapper Honey Singh’s lyrics. A rape epidemic in India has been in the works for decades ever since women began to be “liberated” and work and live on their own,expressing themselves independently and “immodestly”.This includes its outward expression,that of wearing clothing deemed “revealing”. But what’s the fundamental cause of the issue?
A study of history and societal attitudes towards women in India reveals dramatic changes from Pre Islamic India.
Both Islamic and pre-Islamic Hindu society had patriarchal characteristics,but each had different attitudes towards women,appearance and notions of “modesty”.
In the pre islamic period,numerous examples point to women’s appearance being liberal and not aiming to satisfy requirements to suppress male titillation nor are there any indications of unhealthy lewdness or branding of women on account of their appearance or dress. Temple art,popular expressions of public attitude and texts show a liberal culture that didn’t place women under Purdah or restrict their appearance. What might have passed for miniskirts today,were worn without comment or attracting unwelcome attention.Women in pre islamic India did not suffer from lewdness or perverted attention on account of their dress or lack thereof. During the Islamic period,all such depictions disappeared,and temples subsequently began being constructed without depiction of the “revealing” female form,thus pointing to a change in attitude towards women and the female body owing to Islamic rule and law.
In Islamic society,the converse is true and has always been so. The Qur’an and Hadiths specifically enjoins women to cover their bodies completely and cover their hair.The Hijab and Niqab are direct outcomes of this fact. The reasoning is male titillation ensues and it is the duty of the woman to cover herself to prevent male titillation and lewdness.Further,her contact with males is restricted to a close circle of males related closely by blood.
When Islamic conquest occurred in the Indian subcontinent,Islamic laws and requirements found expression in laws and social mores changing to accommodate Islam. Thus, Hindu society and attitudes changed as well over a period of 800 years. Change was most pronounced in North India. Hindu women began to cover themselves completely. Where previously they may have chosen not have covered their upper bodies, covering them became required to show modesty in accordance with Islamic inspired requirements.Covering their faces also began to be observed in areas which had close contact with Islamic populations and rulers.Rajput princes were forced to practice or express their “honor” by restricting their women as well to avoid lewdness from Muslims. Attitudes towards women,became Islamized and restricting women a matter of social prestige (Purdah),including confining their movements,their appearances by covering.
These Semi Islamic attitudes and mores continue to reverberate in India and Hindu society today,despite the formation of Pakistan. However, the modern Indian women,especially as they adopted western dress, no longer conformed with the islamic inspired definitions of Modesty. In a sense,they were going back to the liberal ethos and dress of pre Islamic India. However,the Hindu male continued to have his mind infected and influenced by 800+ years of notions of Islamic modesty.
The cause of the rape epidemic in India today is a toxic clash between Islamized attitudes and modern values. Modern values inspire women to dress freely and not be in confinement or Purdah. Despite being a patriarchal society, Pre Islamic India neither confined women nor restricted their dress. So a transition to Modern values from Pre-Islamic Hindu values would not have been as jarring,since many of the elements of modern society regarding appearance,movement and engagement were already present in Pre Islamic India.
60+ years of post independence pseudo secular rule by the Congress party in India made no attempt to reform Islamic inspired attitudes and pandered freely to Islam in Indian Muslims,who were inspired by values ingrained into them by the islamic conquest. Thus, modern Indian society continues to expect women to “dress islamically”,be confined,and unhealthy,perversions found expression in lewdness and Rape. If raped, it was their own fault.
To understand how and why Rape is treated in Islam,It must be noted that Rape is extremely hard to prove in Islamic law. 4 male witnesses to the rape are required,and the woman victim’s evidence is not admissible. Rape is also treated as a light offence, in contrast to adultery (Zina),which is punishable by stoning to death. In contrast, the best relief a raped woman may obtain in Islam is often “marrying the rapist” or being accused of adultery herself. It is not a surprise that no Rape convictions have EVER occurred in Pakistan,which applies Islamic law and convention to Rape.
Going further, the rape of non muslim women is sanctioned as appropriate in Islam.The Islamic prophet Mohammed enjoined his followers to rape and impregnate non muslim women as fruits of Jihad. Consequently, in Islamic societies,non muslim women,even if married, are fair game to be raped and impregnated without attracting adverse consequences.For example, Rinkle Kumari,pakistani hindu teen has been repeatedly raped and impregnated and has no hope of receiving justice. The Indian congress government,while loudly advocating for Palestine for 60+ years,has conspicuously ignored hindu women in Pakistan who are subjected to arbitrary rape and impregnation and concubinage by Pakistani Muslims. Rapes have gone up by 873% in 60+years, predominantly driven by pseudo secularism leading to a disintegration of hindu society.