Beti Bachao, Bete Ko Bhool Jao? – Understanding the systematic ignorance towards Child Boys’ Issues !

Firstly, thanks to everyone who has been reading my blog posts.

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao!, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna, Balika Samriddhi Yojna, Mukhyamantri Rajshari YojnaMukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha YojnaMukhyamantri Laadli YojnaMazi Kanya Bhagyashree SchemeNanda Devi Kanya Yojna – I am sure you must have heard/read about some or all of the mentioned Government schemes/yojnas. There are many other similar schemes but let us take a pause for a moment. Now, take a minute & go through the list again and replace all the girl related words with their parallel boy related terms. Have you heard of any scheme called Beta Bachao, Beta Padhao! or may be Baalak Samriddhi Yojna? No, you haven’t. The reason is simple – no such schemes exist. So does this imply that as per the Government ‘Betas’ need no protection and ‘Betas’ need no education?

When I write Betas, I cover the younger boy children,  the boy children (12-13) and adolescents (15-18). The Government spends a lot on the welfare & empowerment of girl child. Somewhere in the midst of all the rhetoric & vote bank politics (more on this later), the Government has completely ignored  the mere existence of a Boy Child in the society.

The recent ordinance that confirms for death penalty for child rapists only stands for rapists of girls. Infact, those guilty of raping boys below the age of 12 years old would not be subject to the death penalty provision, at least till now as the Government is still thinking & finalizing the proposal for boys. So, steps are taken at lightning speed for girls/women but when it comes to boys, let the matter be. It is shameful that the Government is indirectly differentiating rapes as Good rapes & Bad rapes.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development of GoI conducted a “Study on Child Abuse: India 2007” and this report stated “More than half of the victims are boys”. To be precise: 53.22% children faced one or more forms of sexual abuse; among them, the number of boys abused was 52.94%. Read about it here.

The report also shows some eye opening facts:

Clearly, the boy child is a victim of PHYSICAL ABUSE, SEXUAL ABUSE, EMOTIONAL ABUSE & NEGLECT in our society. Check some more alarming statistics of Sexual Abuse of Boys in India

A study conducted on “Silence of male child sexual abuse in India” concluded very importantly –

“To make this world safer for children, we need to protect our sons and daughters equally. Patriarchy is not protecting our boys more than our girls in childhood. The very low rates of reporting and help seeking among victims of sexually abused boys in India could be due to the hegemony of patriarchy. This social construct is usually being applied to understand the subordination of girls and women, the fact that it is oppressing all children who are perfect victims irrespective of their gender is being ignored in male children who are expected to be superior due to their biology and also because of this myth of superiority, there are unethical expectations for them to overcome the harmful effects of sexual abuse of childhood without treatment.”

 Coming to CHILD LABOR, UNICEF states:

ILO World Report on Child Labor 2015 states that more boys than girls (38.7 million vs. 8.8 million) are forced into doing hazardous work.

I am not reducing the children to statistics. I feel disgusted to mention this statistics & figures, but what can one do when nobody from the Government or authorities is even ready to listen to the facts? And the Facts say-

  1. Boy Child are victims of abuse in India
  2. Boy Child do not receive proper care or attention from the Government authorities.
  3. The Ministry of Women & Child Development is either busy in making new laws for ‘so-called’ aggrieved wives or is busy in schemes for girl child. (It is a matter of a different post altogether as to what does the ‘Women’ & ‘Child’ stand for in the Ministry’s name)

Let us see why is this injustice happening & what are the reasons behind this?

1. Vote Bank Politics combined with TRP Politics

Women Appeasement is the name of the game. While Congress was & is pro at this, BJP has gone one step ahead & further divided this into Muslim women appeasement. News about atrocities on women sell. Mere allegations made by women generate TRPs. Politicians are competing with each other to establish themselves as the messiah of women empowerment, even if it means supporting feminists who do not strive for equality but whose whole aim is male bashing. Sympathy towards Boy Child or men in general do not garner votes or TRP.

2. Selective Outrage of Media, Politicians & people in general

One of the case studies mentions the victim’s (who is a 9-year-old male) father saying, “He is a boy; he neither lost a hymen nor will get pregnant. He should behave like a man, not a sissy”.

In another case study quoted here, the father of a 4-year-old victim of abuse in an educational institution says, “If he was a 4-year-old girl, raped by two older boys, school would be afraid of a scandal. Because he is a boy no one cares or accepts the crime”.

Till the time,  we all do not treat the CRIME against Boys with the same anger & punishment as the CRIME against Girls, we are not going to see equality.

3. False Definition of Boyhood & Manhood 

Mard Ban, Mard ko Dard nahi hota, Ladki ki tarah mat ro -this are some of the classic examples of machismo in our country. Men and boys are not supposed to cry. They are not allowed to feel vulnerable. They are not supposed to ask for help. If a boy cries, he is a loser. We all collectively have to change this mindset. A man can cry, a boy can feel vulnerable. Till the time we don’t generate that empathy in our hearts, nothing will change. 

The Government is going dead silent on these burning issues. Why, why why? No working is being done to change the mindset/to educate/to create awareness with regards to this taboo subject. While talking about betis, about menstruation, bleeding, sanitary pads, about sex is all encouraged, then why such important topics are being pushed below the carpet as if nothing exists. Such a blind eye. WHY?

4. The inherent Misandry in our society

The statements brings out the great thinking that all these women hold, the strong negative bias against all boys/men. I wonder what is the root cause of such misandry. Are all men brought up the same way – to be women haters. Men are not criminals, it is the person who is, not the gender. The jails of India and world are testimony that even women are behind bars for the heinous of crimes, they why make the scapegoat for all wrong acts alone?

5. False narrative that “Boys cannot get raped”

As Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code stands, rape is something that only a man can do to a woman. There is no room for adult male victims, much less female perpetrators. Although child survivors of both sexes are covered by the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, current rape laws leave out a large swathe of male victims, who cannot come forward for fear of stigma and a lack of legal recourse. Reuters writes “In India, Boy Victims of Sexual Assault Await Attention”. Several Eye-Opening Stories By Men Who Were Sexually Assaulted Need To Be Heard.

6. False narrative that “Women can never abuse or offend”, “Girls always speak Truth”

A simple search on Twitter with the hashtag #CrimeByWomen will be good enough to make people realize the magnitude & extent of crimes that are committed by women. 

 7. Gender Biased Laws

The laws which were made with the intention to help the distressed or aggrieved women are now misused blatantly to extort money & harass men & boys. A good read can be the article “49 Gender Biased Laws That You Need To Know Right Now” and another article “9 Gender-Biased Indian Laws That Are Unfair Towards Men”.

Women in India cannot be charged with sexual harassment, rape, adultery, stalking even though there have been hundreds of reports of it happening. 

8. Most Important Point – #PAISA

IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY. The Central Government’s WCD Ministry is allocated more than Rs. 18,000 Crore per year & it is increasing every year. Also, every state has a WCD Ministry & they have their own budget. Add to this, the women NGOs working relentlessly to get funds in the name of Women Empowerment, while sitting in their AC cabins &  sipping hot coffees. All in all – we may be looking at an industry at the tune of around Rs. 1 Lakh Crores. If audits are conducted for this women NGOs, most of them would be caught red handed with misuse of funds and neck deep in corruption. What do they do to get away from this – propose a new law or a new commission & thus, the audit is complete, yearly target is achieved. Media stays happy, Banks stay happy, Rhetoric stays happy, Fake Women Empowerment stays happy. 

Solution:

  • Who holds the key to this problem? We, The People. We have to make others aware about this issue and talk more about it openly. There should be no differentiation between our actions and/or reactions towards a girl child and a boy child.
  • Getting involved in the fight against sexual abuse is the only way to prevent it, specially boy child sexual abuse. We should raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about preventive steps, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse. We need to teach children, both boys and girls about empathy, respect, compassion and consent.
  • We have to nurture kids with unbiased thinking.
  • We have to get rid of Gender Biased Laws & bring in Gender Neutral Laws against all crimes.
  • Seeking stronger and stringent punishment to all those who file false cases, and put burden on our Judicial system, ruin innocent lives of others beyond repair to settle personal scores, using laws as weapons
  • Elect representatives, from municipal elections to Parliament elections, who strive to work for #MensRights, #BoysRights & #FathersRights. The representation of #MensRights advocates in Indian Legislature is as good as zero right now.
  • Highlight the shortcomings and biasedness of Media, Political parties and people along with naming & shaming of liars, hypocrites
  • Work towards eradicating Misandry from our society
  • Speak clearly and loudly – #CrimeKnowsNoGender

As mentioned in my last blog post, I say it again- I am an eternal optimist & believer that things will change & situation will  improve. Till then, support each other & support the needy.

Thanks !

Courtesy: The headline of this post is inspired from the headline of Harish Iyer’s article in Quint.

P.S. I asked the  that they celebrate National Girl Child Day but not the National Boy Child Day. They told me that “There is no such proposal at the present.”

Pankaj

2 Comments

  1. Nilesh Zope

    Hope your thoughts enlighten and wake up the existing government, human/child right activists and so called women and child development ministry as every child irrespective of gender, age and religion has right to live a life with equality, freedom and liberty. Any laws made to protect women n girl child should be equally made for men and boy child. If crime has no gender then why does Indian legal system treat crime and victims based on gender? We need independent men’s ministry for protecting men’s right n future gentleman of this nation who are entrapped, abused and exploited by all and will be an endangered species among living beings.

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