Wednesday, September 09, 2009

IIPM News - Trust, but verify

Abusive, even destructive, teen relationships are on the rise in india. girls, lured by the thrills of free mingling with the opposite sex, are falling easy prey to predators and seekers of cheap thrills. caution is the key, report priyanka rai & Hitesh Ankleshwariya

Maya was a sprightly teenager in love with love. Her boyfriend, Rakesh, meant the world to her. She often lied to her parents, even fought with them, to be with the man of her dreams. But a nightmare awaited her. She had no idea that the boy she trusted so blindly was using his mobile phone to record every moment of intimacy that she shared with him. Rakesh threatened to make the MMS clips public if she did not agree to satiate the lust of his fiendish friends as well. Maya was trapped. And before she knew what had hit her, the embarrassing clips were out in the market. Her world came crashing down.

Numerous tales of horror similar to Maya’s have been hitting the headlines in India with alarming regularity in recent months. The story is virtually the same everywhere, in big cities and small towns, in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Cuttack and Alapuzzha, Kerala. Sexual predators masquerading as lover boys take advantage of fast developing technological means and a growing permissiveness among the urban teen crowd to trap girls in their web of deceit, sexual exploitation and blackmail.

On the face of it, being a teenager in new-millennium India is exciting indeed. There is freedom to mingle. There are countless opportunities for boys and girls to give free rein to their inner urges. And there is the pleasure of living life to the hilt. But the flip side of this ostensibly rosy scenario is that it is fraught with grave danger. Youthful liberty can often lead to fatal follies, as it tragically did in the cases of Cuttack’s Asima Mohanty and, as recently as last Saturday, a high school girl in Thane, who was lured by four boys to a secluded spot near a movie theatre and brutally gang-raped .

A promising student of journalism and mass communication, Asima was driven to suicide by her boyfriend, who sold pictures and MMS clips of their intimate encounters for a fast buck. Asima’s fault was that she not only fell in love with the wrong guy, she also trusted him completely. Gullibility was her bane. By the time she realised that the man she had surrendered herself to was actually a pimp, it was far too late. For him, betraying the trust of a woman and making and circulating a pornographic CD featuring her was all in a day’s work. For Asima, it was the last straw. She preferred death to living with infamy.

Last Saturday's incident in Nalla Sopara in Maharashtra's Thane district also ended in the 15-year-old girl's suicide. Four local youngsters took her out on the eve of World Friendship Day and raped her repeatedly. The grievously injured girl dragged herself home the next morning and used a nylon rope to end her life.

The first MMS scandal to erupt in India was the one involving a girl student of Delhi Public School. Since then, sexually explicit clips, circulated through mobile phones and the Internet, have proliferated across the country. Who is to blame for this reprehensible phenomenon? Both parents and behavioural counsellors feel that girls need to exercise greater caution. “Clips mania is spreading dangerously among the younger generation,” says Ahmedabad-based psychiatrist Dr. Hansal Bhachech. “With perverts on the prowl everywhere, girls need to keep a check on who they their friends are.”
“Girls are more vulnerable today than ever before because of their casual attitude towards sex,” says Prof. Rabindra Kumar Dash, retired principal of a government college in Orissa. “As the father of a young college-going girl, I hold the victim responsible. In a modern society, every girl has the right to choose her life partner. But when in love, they should avoid indulging in any kind of sexual activity. This openness makes them easy prey.”

A girl in Mehsana district of Gujarat, Namrata (name changed), a victim of rape and blackmail, would have valid reasons to disagree with that assertion. In her complaint registered with the local police, she has alleged that a man, Vishnu Chaudhary from Rupaal village of the same district, proposed to her and a few days later lured her to a hotel room. There, he forced himself on her and recorded the act on his mobile. Tired of his blackmailing, Namrata complained to her parents about the incident and filed an FIR with the police. An upset Vishnu settled scores by circulating the MMS clip in the market.

As a result of parental and societal conditioning in her formative years, the average girl in India tends to be too trusting of the man she loves. Once she is in a relationship, she gives in to every demand that the lover makes. While it gives her a sense of freedom – she feels that she is doing what she is doing of her own sweet will – she is often actually at the mercy of an exploitative man who perceives a woman as no more than a sex object.

Take the case a 19-year-old Mumbai college girl who was raped first by her boyfriend, Parag Mhatre, and then by a bunch of his friends. Parag had befriended the Bhayander girl about seven months before the incident. He would wait for hours outside her college and shower a lot of attention on her whenever he met her. He introduced himself as Ritesh Patil and she fell in love with him. One day she accompanied Parag to a hotel where she was forced to have sex with him and his friends. Parag also filmed the act on his mobile phone and threatened to make the MMS clips public if she dared to complain to anybody about the incident.

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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2008

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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