I enjoy reading award related posts. One of the prime reasons for that is you get a chance to learn about some very good blogs which you may have never come across. I came across one such blog through Smitha – Shail’s Nest, and through her blog I read this article which got me inspired enough to write about the topic that has always bothered me: “What goes on in the psyche of a man who wants to impose himself on a woman unwilling to comply?

I do not know the answer to this question. Who knows why some creeps do the unthinkable! But there is one thing I do know: If all the women in India were to start wearing Sarees instead of salwar (which is the most prominently worn outfit across India), it will definitely not aid in bringing the rapes down as suggested by Seetamma and V Dinesh Reddy (See excerpt below)

Seetamma, in an interview earlier this week, said women needed a dress code “for their own good”. The independence of women, she said, had nothing to do with wearing modern clothes. What, according to Seetamma, might keep women safe from rapists and sundry low-life? “Only a sari,” she declared, “with long-sleeved blouses invokes respect for women, nothing else.”

Seetamma’s remarks represent the nadir of modern Indian thought and are the latest in a series of offensive, unthinking and plain stupid comments by public officials, who in a right-thinking country should have been forced out of office. Instead, many Indians, especially men — probably the majority — likely agree with them.

The latest round of absurd comments began last week when a reporter in Hyderabad asked Andhra Pradesh director general of police V Dinesh Reddy why the police had failed to stem the rising graph of rape (more than three a day in 2011) and murder. This is what the learned Reddy had to say: “When you are taking (sic) food that gives good josh, (my best translation: playful energy), as time goes by you tend to be more naughty… rapes and all cannot be controlled by the police. Even the villagers from coastal Andhra Pradesh, where it used to be more traditional, are wearing salwar kameez. All these things provoke these types of things, which is (sic) not in control of the police. So, rapes per se, increase or decrease, you cannot attribute (this) to the police.”

Are you serious? Do these people really believe wearing a saree is going to command more ‘respect’ for women? On what basis? From a logical, rational standpoint, a saree always gets more attention because it shows a lot more skin than a Salwar, which is covered from top to bottom… I love and respect saree as an outfit but it is irrational to say that a salwar is more provocative than a saree… Despite all the pinnings and caution, all those who have worn sarees at any point of time will agree with me that a saree is essentially a large piece of cloth. The number of mishaps/oops moments possible when wearing a saree far outweigh those when wearing a salwar!

Let us now move out of the realm of which clothing attracts perverts. Because frankly, I whole-heartedly agree with the conclusion of the author in the article – atrocities against women have nothing to do with what she wears. A pervert’s gaze will remain pervert whether you cover her in a burqa or a bikini!

If we go back a little in history… In the land of Ram Rajya, or even in the Mesopotamian era, the description of women’s attires often includes a bikini-top along with an angavastram tied around the waist. And yet, such atrocities against women were unheard of in those times. The whole purdah system came into place when the Mughals invaded India (More on this later).

Alas! Our so-called-leaders fail to fathom this and instead of going to the root of the problem, are busy torturing the victims further! As I prepare to end this piece, the question continues to linger on in my mind…