Open letter: How not to get raped in India

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 01, 2017 10:05 hrs
Women hold placards outside the residence of ex-Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit during a protest over the gang rape of a woman in New Delhi in December 2012.

Dear Indian girls,

I say this for your own good. Do not criticise the politicians who hold you accountable for your own safety. They mean well. After all, the government is not obliged to ensure the well-being of citizens bent on bringing harm upon themselves, is it now? It has far more important things to sort out, including devising new inconvenient ways to smoke out the illusory black money that has not turned up in three and a half years of good days, minimum government, maximum governance etc. etc.

As an Indian woman, though not one used to gallivanting to the mall to watch films in the company of unrelated males, I have some advice to give you, and I can guarantee that following all these steps religiously – you’re not a sickular who is offended by the word “religious”, are you? – will preclude prospective rapists from targeting you.

First, do not use shared transport, particularly when your co-passengers are male. Better still, do not get into any vehicle driven by a man, unless the man is your father, husband, brother, or son.

Do not use public transport at night. Better still, do not use public transport at all.

Best of all, of course, is not to go out. Why must you work when there is food to cook, and Aryan babies to manufacture? Back in the truly good days, it was said a woman only crossed the threshold of her nuptial home twice – once when she entered, and once when her corpse was taken out.

But, of course, you modern girls, influenced by the west, want fancy things like independence.

Well, now, if you must go out, carry a rakhi with you. When a man tries to rape you, focus all your energies on calling him “bhaiyya”, “anna”, “dada” or your regional equivalent, and tying the rakhi around his wrist before touching his feet. Since god-fearing men cannot lust after their own sisters, you have nothing to worry about. Just in case this man does not fear god, make sure you learn handy quotes about brothers from every religious text and recite them in turns – you never know which one might click.

Once you have made your prospective rapist your rakhi brother, he is obliged to protect you against all other prospective rapists. So, you need not worry even if he is not alone.

However, if you have been foolish enough to put yourself in the same space as more than two men, you cannot bank on a single rakhi brother fending away two non-brothers. So the onus is on you to have enough rakhis on your person, in an easily accessible place.

At all costs, make sure your prospective rapists are not influenced by the west or China. Consumers of beef and chow mein are prone to ignore sisterly appeals, unlike their devout Hindu counterparts.

If you are so unfortunate as to encounter a rapist who does not want to be your rakhi brother, do not alienate and emasculate him by screaming for help or attempting to fight back. Everything can be worked out to protect your honour even after the rape. Ensure that you live within calling distance of a kangaroo court that will ensure your rapist marries you.

If you are raped by more than one person, find yourself a scholar of scriptures who can point out instances of polyandry in mythology-history-what-is-the-difference and persuade him to become your lawyer. If he refuses to become a lawyer, tie a rakhi around his wrist too. You will then leave him no choice but to make a case for you, and win over the kangaroo court. Once your rapists have married you, your honour is no longer sullied.

Of course, there is the annoying matter of the Supreme Court judgement that recently illegitimised  marital rape. This is most inconvenient. So make sure your rapist is the kind of man who is too macho to be bullied by non-kangaroo courts.

It is hardly necessary to say this, but if you have been silly enough to dress in a way that exposes anything but your face, hands, and feet, mend your provocative ways immediately. Boys will be boys, after all, and you cannot blame them for listening when you ask for it. Responding to a lady’s subtle signals is one of the most crucial aspects of chivalry.

Once you are dressed like an Indian version of the Egyptian mummy, ensure that you keep your eyes down at all times. Making eye contact is a challenge to your prospective rapist, and will provoke him for no good reason. If he is checking you out, make sure you accept the compliment of his interest gracefully. Do not snap at him. It is most unbecoming, and – if you have seriously learnt nothing from our movies over the last century – rejection is the greatest aphrodisiac to the Indian male.

If you’re the kind who likes to wear jeans, we have a bit of a conundrum. Not just in India, but across the world, it has been pointed out by omniscient politicians that women wearing jeans cannot be raped. However, great eminences in India have said jeans are against Indian culture, and you cannot blame our patriotic boys for wanting to pull off a garment that is in contradiction to Indian culture.

If you really care about preserving your honour – rape, naturally, will sully it irreparably – make sure you wear a chastity belt. Do not compromise on quality. Buy the best forged metal in the market, with a reliable lock, and make sure you don’t carry the key around.

If you buy the kind of chastity belt that comes with a number lock, make sure the code is not your birthday. Even if it is your birthday, make sure you don’t carry any proof of identity with you, so that your prospective rapist will not be able to guess at your birthday.

Oooh! Better still, ensure that you have a custom-made chastity belt on you, which can only be opened by your husband’s Aadhaar-verified thumb print. What? You’re not married?! Sigh. Well, listen to your parents and get married before the love jihadis – who are a lot worse than rapists – come for you.

Just in case your prospective rapist is strong enough to break an export quality metal chastity belt, ensure that you wear another underneath. If he breaks that too, marry him. It is always a good idea to have a husband with strong arms, even if he uses them to strip you first. Didn’t we learn that from Avanthika in Baahubali?

If none of these solutions is acceptable to you, move to Pakistan. That way, you will not get raped in India.

With blessings and hopes that you will not attack me on paid social media,

Bhartiya Nari

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