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Social scientists believe that cases like rape is not a law and order problem and it cannot be solved by legal procedure. Incidents of rape in India is a result of social transition caused by disintegration of joint family system, economic affluence, education, change in population demography and loss of ethical values. This problem will go away as soon as the society settles down.

Rape has, of late, become an acute disease in the Indian Society. A recent series of high-profile cases has ignited a debate of whether rape is a cultural or a law and order problem. I believe that rape in India is a cultural problem but it is not totally a result of social transition as statistics show that rapes are as frequent in rural areas as in urban areas. Rape has always been a part and parcel of Indias highly patriarchal society. Our family upbringing, societal conditions and religious sagas construct men and women into what they are males as aggressive and females as submissive. Rape is an act of that aggression. What modernization and education has brought about is changing the risks that females face. There are increasingly more independent women working in factories and offices and they are more likely to be in contact with strange men. Also they are more likely to speak up and report cases. This has caused an increase in the reported incidents of rape as earlier cases were suppressed fearing social stigma and ostracism. With disintegration of joint families, a child in a nuclear family in which both parents are working is more vulnerable to abuse. This deterioration has also eroded away ethical values further fuelling rapes. The rapid growth of Indias cities has changed demographics by erasing boundaries between the rural and the urban population and this yawning gulf between rich and poor are exacerbating the problem, with young men struggling to prove their traditional dominance in a changing world. This multifarious problem wont go away as society settles down ; a concerted effort is needed to change the society to an egalitarian one. This change has to come from the home itself. It is not enough to raise daughters as sons, it is necessary to raise sons as daughters. Society must be educated of the fact that its the rapist who loses his honour and not the victim. Along with societal changes, strict enforcement of the newly formed laws is required to combat rape. Finally, we have to understand that rape is a problem that affects not only women: it affects families, entire cultures. It is an outcome of a system based on discrimination just like slavery was.

Riddhiman Pal 2010A5PS776P