Those of you who have watched KBC season 9 regularly, you would have observed that this year suddenly there were a lot of abused women coming to KBC. Many of their one-sided unverified stories went to millions of Indian viewers to create a one-sided perspective of India. The latest addition was Kailash Satyarthi who came in a Final episode on 6th November and projected Indian families as horrible places for our daughters and projected Indian girls as most sexually abused in the family when in reality it is the boys who are more abused sexually or otherwise.
How Kailash Satyarthi Failed Us
Kailash Satyarthi painted the following wrong pictures, by his choice of words (stories) –
- He painted Indian fathers as most cruel to their children, when in reality mothers were found to be doing more physical abuse (to discipline the child)
- He painted Indian daughters as more sexually abused when in reality it is the boys who suffer more sexual abuse
- He painted Indian fathers and close male relatives to be the rapists
- He told sexual abuse statistics and spoke about the rape of girls giving a feeling that one in every two girls are raped, whereas, in fact, sexual abuse consists of many different forms of abuses including rape
The first two points were already covered in this article, the last two points will be discussed now –
The 2007 WCD ministry report he referred to, defines Sexual Abuse as –
“Sexual abuse is inappropriate sexual behavior with a child. It includes fondling a child’s genitals, making the child fondle the adult’s genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism and sexual exploitation. To be considered ‘child abuse’, these acts have to be committed by a person responsible for the care of a child (for example a baby-sitter, a parent, or a daycare provider) or related to the child.
If a stranger commits these acts, it would be considered sexual assault and handled solely by the police and criminal courts.”
So, we understand, not all sexual abuse is rape. One point to note here is that even ‘Forcible Kissing” of a child is sexual abuse and this way most Indians could be a sexual abuser, even when they kissed a baby out of plain simple love. We all love children and would have fondled them but not with sexual intent, WCD ministry’s definition however made all of us sexual abuser. Even photographing a child in the nude is sexual abuse and most of us would have been sexually abused under this definition simply because WCD ministry has thought about it, even though there was no sexual intent in them.
Sexual Assault On Children
Since Kailashji has spoken about rape or sexual assault (defined in the study as “penetration of the anus, vagina or oral sex”) more and gave an impression that 1 in 2 children is raped, let’s take a look at the ‘sexual assault’ cases as reported in the study of WCD ministry. Ministry’s study has shown 5.69% (and not 53%) children being ‘sexually assaulted’ (or raped). To paint a horrible picture Satyarthiji has made fathers and close male relatives as culprits.
In WCD ministry’s study, of all children who reported ‘sexual assault’ 54.4% were boys and 45.6% were girls. Satyarthiji has projected just an opposite picture of ‘child sexual assault’.
Satyarthiji has also projected time and again that our children are unsafe in their homes. The reality from the WCD report is –
So, children outside their homes were found to be more vulnerable to sexual assault. Given below are the persons assaulting children sexually –
The segment ‘Uncle or neighbor’ also may not be close relatives. They may be neighboring uncles or aunts as well, but Satyarthiji projected the close male relatives only. In one way WCD survey also seems to be biased to consider men as sexual predators even before the survey.
Forced To Touch Private Body Parts
This is another form of sexual assault that may not be rape. The perpetrators were found to be –
Brother or sister/cousin/class-friends were found to be consisting the majority of perpetrators. Considering the highly sexualized environment we live in, is it very unnatural for young minds to go astray or try to do such things? Is it only their fault or as a society we all are responsible for this? In any case, fathers were not the perpetrators of this crime, as well.
Children Forced To Exhibit Private Body Parts
Approximately 12.6% respondents of the WCD survey were found to have suffered this. Out of these, 60.25% were boys and 39.75% were girls. Here are the perpetrators –
Again, the involvement of young minds like brother/sister or class friends only shows lack of proper sexual education in schools or unnecessary curiosity in young minds regarding sexual matters. Should we term them as criminals? Is this what a world-renowned respected social activist had to project? If we call every Indian as sexual abuser then who will reform them?
Children Photographed In Nude
Out of 4.46% children who reported to have experienced this abuse, 52.01% were boys and 47.99% were girls. The report stated that in the category too, friend or class fellow and uncle or neighbor emerged as main abusers. Now, this uncle may be neighborhood uncle as well and not someone in the family the way Kailashji has projected. Now by the definition of this crime, all those award-winning photographers who ever shot a baby in the nude for any baby product becomes sexual assaulter and all those who consumed those photos as ‘cute’ also become criminals. Surprisingly, painting a Hindu Goddess in the nude is not a crime, but an unintentional photography becomes a criminal offense.
Forcible Kissing Of Children
21.06% children in the survey reported this crime. It is found that one in four girls reported this crime. Boys were a close second.
Perpetrators were –
Other forms of sexual abuse were touching private parts or forcing to watch pornography etc. were found to be done by friends/brothers/sisters. This kind of outcome only suggests unnecessary curiosity regarding sexual matters in young minds (both boys and girls) rather than any criminal intention. When our sexual education happens only with our friends and same age siblings, are these results really shocking? One point to note here is that in many of these crimes, there may not be any intention to really assault the child.
Even though there is no denying that sexual abuse/assault cases need to be brought down but will it be any good if we term everything as sexual assault. during teenage, all kids grow curiosity about sex and they may end up doing something that is a crime. To tackle this, we need better sex education rather than terming everyone as a rapist or sexual abuser.
Why Kailash Satyarthi Must Apologize
The way a person of the stature of Kailash Satyarthi made a grim picture of our families and made our fathers as rapists of their own daughters has made him guilty to every Indian.
He must apologize to our boys because he had undermined their sufferings and projected an opposite picture to millions of viewers. When our boys are under attack, he has shown our girls being more in danger.
He is also guilty to every Indian father for projecting them as rapists of their own daughters. For projecting fathers as abusers when there are many surveys that fathers, in fact, love their daughters the most.
He is also guilty to our daughters for creating an unnecessary sense of emergency and fear in their minds about their close male relatives who are supposed to protect them. Now every daughter will be afraid to go to her father or brother. The sense of love will vanish in our children with this kind of wrong projection.
Kailash Satyarthi projected our homes as unsafe for our children by misinterpreting a report which has a lot of scope for discussion and understanding. Our fathers aren’t cruel to their children. The young children like friends/ brothers/sisters/cousins who were found to be abusers needed education and reforms. We can’t call our homes unsafe based on this. As a social reformist, he should understand this first.