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First of all, we should know what rape is? Rape in general parlance refers to sexual penetration by force or without the person's consent. it is also a tool to show patriarchy in the worst way. Patriarchy considers women always inferior to men.

Women had faced hostile situations from womb to tomb. From time to time, many scholars, theorists, administrators, legislators, framers of the Constitution, activists, reformers, both among women and men, had taken various agendas for women’s emancipation.

It was the radical feminist who brought the topics like rape into the public domain. Earlier, like before 1960s, it was more of a topic of private discussion. Historically, in India, we have known how much women were tortured during the freedom movement, during partition, or during most of the social movements and riots in the post-independent period. It seems that by and large there are suggestions of the death penalty for Rape. But, before that would like to give this issue a thought.

Rape is not simply an act of force of man upon women, it is also a tool to show patriarchy in the worst way. The victim ( if alive) faces unbelievable physical torture due to the pain of the act and mental, due to social stigma associated with it.

Patriarchy makes women always inferior to men. They are the second runner in society. If they speak or act against society (read male) decided norms then they have to bear the brunt of it. These norms may be related to their mobility or dress code. There is cultural policing to guide all that. But, these policing very rare challenge the social evils which women had faced from womb to tomb. These may include female foeticide, female infanticide, child abuse, child rape or molestation, kidnapping, trafficking, eve-teasing, rape, molestation, dowry, marital torture, wife battering, domestic violence, ostracization of widows, and finally to 'tomb'.

Issues of violence against women are not new in India. Indeed in mythology, we worship many goddesses like Durga, Saraswati, Parvati, Laxmi, and Kali yet from the epic period we have known of torture against even the most chastised women be it in the form of Vastraharana or Agni-Pariksha.

Historically, we have known how much women were tortured during the freedom movement, during partition, or during most of the social movements in the post-independent period. In the recent past, the ghost of communal riots in Gujarat haunts us all. The inhuman torture that women had faced during this ordeal is a national shame. One group in the riot mostly targeted women of the other group to display their power and to show how incapacitated the men were to save their women, Women were always sacrificed at the male altar. Rape is more a tool to subjugate women.

There is an evergreen fear that women may be raped if they fall in the clutches of misfortune someday, Every woman now seems to be vulnerable now... But, behind this vulnerability, will the death penalty problem alone solve the problem of rape.

If we take the case of capital punishment or death penalty in other issues like killing or murder, has this problem been solved at all with capital punishment? Rather these days there are more and more incidents of killing innocent people be it through terrorist acts or by personal feud. Terrorists these days are using tactics like fidayeen to target innocent citizens. So, where there is a guarantee that the death penalty would stop rape. It is the matter of equal rights and status for women that is the need of the hour. 

Theoretically, we have equality for men and women but, in practice, this equality is only in Utopia. The whole social thinking of the status of women should be changed now. There may many cases where women do not complain even about being raped because of the social stigma associated with it. So, in the case of capital punishment only the reported case may get justice, but there may be many unreported cases. What is required is to diagnose the thinking of the society only.

If we compare society with a human being, then with the treatment of capital punishment only the disease of rape may be checked for the time being. But, there is a deep-rooted problem that needs a CT scan of the issue and to correct where the actual wrong is. Women will never be safe till they are considered fairer and vulnerable sex. A rigorous discussion is also essential whether various training methods like training for self-protection are enough for women to protect themselves? Whether discussion on the rape itself should be ignored to ignore the criminal itself? Another cause of rape is now and then linked to caste. Is it justified to give it a caste look? Is it not important to discuss more on the vulnerability of the victim and find solutions for it? I think, yes, it is important!

But, the main question is of violence which women suffer physically and mentally. She has the human right to be safe and alive.

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