In the recent years, we have seen a lot of hustle around the renaming agenda varying from roads, station, cities, island and many more. If this shocks you, then you are living in a different era of not knowing the inheritance of the name game. We are so used to our day to day routine, that we have let this pastime hushed under the carpet. We have our age-old tradition of labelling our favourites or even when we believe that it belongs to us in any miniscule way. We get so engrossed in our addiction of name game with right to expression as per Article 19 (1) (a) that we forget the need for consent of the other party in lieu of their right to life and liberty under Article 21 of our Indian constitution. This article tries to highlight the day to day name game that we become oblivion due to our pride and prejudice in our life. This article would shed light on our inner hypocrisy that we hide is our closet of cultural and moral values.
We all have either witnessed in or being part of the culture of demeaning females by such derogatory terms due to their life choices. Lifestyle Theory, one of the victomological theory suggests that an individual’s likelihood to suffer victimization depends heavily upon the concept of life style. In lieu of the said theory, it becomes conceptually very laid-back for victim precipitation and not instil the liability on such lecherous individuals, who indulged in such name-calling. Victim Precipitation as a concept in criminology deals in analysing how a victim’s interaction with an offender/perpetrator mat contribute to the crime being committed. The theory is mostly associated with homicide, rape, assault, and robbery. While looking into the said concept, we could recall the process of name calling likely Slut, Whore, Prostitute, Call Girl and other towards female who these individual finds of immoral character. Even after Supreme Court guidelines that “Even assuming that the women are of easy virtue, she has the right to refuse any sexual favours to anyone”. This landmark judgement doesn’t change the perspective of society and we continue to label any female who are rebel or are not under control of the patriarchy society.
The Latest Supreme court judgement in Criminal Appeal No. 2153/ 2013, where the supreme court has modified the conviction of a women accused of murdering her husband to “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” on the ground that it was a result of sudden and grave provocation by the deceased by calling the accused and her daughter as prostitutes. The judgement reads that, in our society, no lady would like to hear such word from her husband and most importantly not for her daughter. The prosecution case was that the deceased had a suspicion of his wife and his daughter has illicit relationship with one of the accused Nawaz. The case revolves around suspicious extra marital affair that led to verbal spat and then altercation that led to violence leading to death. This judgement of the honourable court revisits the inherited name game of labelling. This points out the question towards each one of us, that if name calling label the character of an individual. Do we now label all extra marital affairs as prostitution? Do we name females of easy virtue as Sluts? Do we decide what immoral character will be termed as Whores? Aren’t we trying to be all prude by this? We need to respect each individual and provide dignity towards any kind of profession. Shaming individual by terming them Sluts, whores, Call Girls, Prostitutes etc is in return disrespecting the profession of sex workers. This is one of the reasons why Sex Work is still looked upon as a social evil in our society. We need not like sex work or believe it has any redeeming social value, in order to respect their profession and provide them equal rights to live their life and choose their work.
In the era of globalisation, privatization and liberalisation, we still find the culture of gender stereotype very popular. The categorisation of task and duties in lieu of gender invites the agenda of victim blaming. Victim blaming occurs when the victim of an act is laid entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell upon them. The connotation of gender stereotypes put the onus on the individual to perform certain duties or responsibility because of belongingness to a certain gender or sex. This indeed curtail the rights of other gender plus put the discussed gender in acute pressure to perform as expected. This act can be seen from the childhood till the time we are old, it is seen in schools, colleges and offices, it is displayed by parents, relative, friends and unknown. At times, one would be shocked that they themselves would have committed this sin at one or the other point of their lives.
Quoting few examples would be Don’t cry like a girl to a boy, Girls don’t roam around at night, This job is not meant for girls, your biological clock is ticking women, Girls need not to be a rebel, Single mother is an invitation, Female bosses have reached their by favours, guys need to have six pack, machoism is a must for all boys, Mechanical engineering is not for girls, Home science is not for boys. These are just a few amongst the million ways of gender stereotyping. We compartmentalise various activities, duties and responsibilities to different genders in awe of developing a hypocritical mindset within us. Gender should not be brought forward as an excuse or weapon towards the course of life. Every individual should cherish the individuality of oneself and others in any sphere that may be gender, colour, caste, race, religion, profession and the list would go on and on.
The sense of nationalism is very subjective in nature and is difficult in terms of expression, but the current trends have refuted the claim. We have seen a different version of nationalism, where any one who disapproves a certain nationalist approach in termed as Anti-National. The offence of sedition, in India, is defined under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code as, “whoever by words either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation or otherwise brings into hatred or contempt or excite or attempts to excite disaffection towards the government established by law in India shall be punished”. This section is very widely used to bring down all the so-called nationalist, who come as a crusader towards the wave of nationalism in the entire country. The recent charge sheeted case of Kanhaiya Kumar v. State of NCT of Delhi, labelled every individual present in the event organised at Jawaharlal Nehru University on event of hanging of Afzal Guru in 2013 as Anti-Nationalist.
The sudden upsurge of nationalism in many individuals showcase the dichotomy within themselves that portray a class of act amongst fellow so-called nationalist and disapproves the preamble of our constitution that sets a foundation of nationalism within everyone in our country. We need understand that mere forceful behaviour and threats towards performance of nationalist activities would not portray the respect and love for one’s nation. One must acknowledge the cultural diversity and the synchronised harmony between different culture, belief and tradition within the country. The day, we approve the existence of different individuals varying in different perspective under one nation, that day we would make the flag bearer and founders of our constitution proud. We are the custodian of the constitution and we always need to uphold it to its integrity.
If the above context does bring a doubt in our mind that, are we creating victims in the society due to our hypocritical and stereotypical mentality, then it has served its purpose. We are so engrossed in our daily lives that we do not respect the life of any other individual. The sense of egotism, self-worth and pride have made us ignorant of the vulnerabilities and consequences of our act. These activities not only lead to victimization of an individual at physical, emotional or mental level but has an impact on future victimization. The major impact on any individual over such victimization is the emergence of the sense of hidden victimization.
Hidden victimization as a term is not elaborately discussed in any studies but it has depicted the form of victimization that have been subtle in nature and hushed under the carpet. The concept of Hidden victimization can be channelized as any social activities with a negative impact happening within the society and is not usually reported due to the unrecognised status of the act. The concept of hidden victimization can be understood in all the above scenario, where individuals are victimized by being slut shames, gender stereotyping or being called anti-national but cannot act against the same due to marginalisation. Activities like these contribute to hidden victimization in further course of life, where the individual would keep quiet over any abuse, torture or harassment within the course of life. The concept of hidden victimization can be attributed in any course of action, where the individual due to the fear of social norms or the paramount role of socialisation does not report any form of victimization and indulged in self blaming for the said act. This would lead to adverse effects on the victim and create prevalence for future victimization.