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Ghoora [घूरा]: Why I object to the phrase ‘brutal rape’!


Ratnakar Tripathy

Ratnakar Tripathy

The way I grew up and the kind of people I have come to know through choice or inheritance, the very word ‘rape’ was avoidable. As for the act, one thought rapes happen in some kind of netherworld that never dare come into contact with my universe.

Way back in my teens, there was some hushed up gossip about a distant family member inflicting himself on a pretty worker in the village, I knew quite well. The matter was suppressed. But I do remember the woman wilting away with indignity after the incident and her stuttering husband’s face too, who lost all affection for our family that was supposed to protect her and his honour. The rapist was part of our Brahmin clan and the pretty, ever flirtatious woman was from the potter’s caste. So pretty and so flirtatious, she didn’t spare a boy of twelve like me till she was sure I had been charmed off my feet. She loved to talk, to charm and to win hearts. She just won’t let go till she saw the faintest look of admiration in my baby eyes. All this magic even without the holding of hands! I am talking of such utter women!

The last time I saw her in my late teens, she was not smiling. She had paid a heavy price for having smiled at the handsomest, the ugliest, the oldest, the youngest, the richest, and the poorest. Suddenly in a matter of minutes, I knew the gossip was right and I also understood the meaning of rape – it was not about chasing a woman down the lane or over the haystack. It was about choking her vitality, her natural womanhood.

Which is why I developed an enormous respect for women who were then labeled ‘flirts’ but in the lingo of our times are outgoing, talkative, charming, friendly and not above using their seductive powers to get you to do something they want – like escorting her to a movie ‘Life of Pi’ at a Delhi cinema and accompanying her back to her place. As I grew up, I found the company of such women fulfilling in itself. Of course, the hormones kick up and dil mange more !

In my case, when dil mange more, it was not grand moral ideas that stopped me since there was no need to stop me, actually!  You stop yards away from the door or the bed if no one asking you to walk in or jump in. Or hopefully even charm and encourage you to walk the extra yard towards consummation.

I don’t write this to prove my piety, but certainly to prove my utter male averageness, my average male-hood which I am quite comfortable with, smugly. I also believe that the male friends I had and still have belonged to this boringly average non-Changez Khan kind of class. Such men, they want to be desired as they desire. We are all human males in the boring sense of the term and no Mithun Chakravartys lurking around the corner hoping to save a woman in distress!

What I do find disturbing about the Delhi incident, as much the incident from my village long ago, which is coming back to me now with heart-tearing force, is how the sexual urge can turn someone most desired into the most destroyable. My village rapist, I was told slapped the husband and the wife into submission and silence in their own house. As for the Delhi rapists, soon after raping the desired girl, they saw her body as just a piece of forensic evidence and tried their best to get rid of it by inserting an iron rod into her body and pulling out the intestines. And throwing her out of the bus! Romancers of the mortuary?

Worse, it was preplanned – they robbed a vegetable vendor of Rs 7,000 and chucked him out the same way as they would later dispose of the couple. Then they laid a trap for the day’s entertainment, their version of an evening out!

This is where my title comes in. This kind of rape attack is not ‘brutal’ or ‘animal’. This is human and we better admit it. This is also ‘civilized’ and we better admit it, too. I have been going through all my evolutionary biology and pop Discovery information sources and sites.

My Shame: according to the brute!

Is it really my Shame: ”No way’, says the brute!

Yes, animals rape, yes, animals even indulge in homosexual rapes. I haven’t spoken to the snails to get their take on the matter. But there is evidence even they are not ‘human’ or ‘civilized’ enough to want to destroy the target of desire as avoidable evidence. In fact in their ‘innocence’, they would like it advertised not being sufficiently aware that many/most of the non-mammalian/mammalian females vulnerable to rape have evolved muscular/chemical techniques of pissing out the rapist’s sperms.

In brief, in my limited knowledge, animals don’t try to destroy the ‘object’ of their desire after a few spasmodic moments of fulfillment, as we do!

So the next time you use the epithet ‘brutal’, do rethink your language, whether Hindi, English, RSS’s Bhagwat’s Marathi or Asaram Bapu’s Gujarati!


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