Review : An Indian Undercover Investigation, Tara Kaushal, Rs 399, Harper Collins
In a nation plagued by the memory of Nirbhaya and the misogyny of the Bois Locker Room, this is a bold step towards revolutionizing our discourse around sexual violence.
India has been ranked among the world’s most unsafe countries for women, based on yardsticks of sexual and non-sexual violence, human trafficking and gender discrimination. How did we reach here? In Why Men Rape, Tara Kaushal sets out to understand the reasons through a detailed investigation which includes interviews and meetings with nine men who have an inclination to commit acts of sexual violence.
The men interviewed for the book belong to all sections of society—a doctor who raped his twelve-year-old patient; an unemployed man who has decided to kill his former lover; a youth who gang raped; a serial gang rapist who doesn’t believe that rape exists. Alongside, the author gives insights from myriad survivors; world-famous experts; a jail inmate who provides us with commentary on the world view of rape convicts inside a prison; and many more.
It also talks about how hypersexualized mainstream cinema, prejudiced media coverage of rape cases, the explosion of pornography, and other historic and current factors have become collaborative agents in causing gender violence in India. At a time when sexual violence is crippling our society, Why Men Rape makes an important contribution towards making us aware of the problem—and finding a way to stop it.
PRAISE FOR ‘WHY MEN RAPE’
“The book confronts us with a truth that is disturbing and normalized. So much of why we are who we are is in it.” – Faye D’Souza, Jounalist
“Why Men Rape is an extraordinary journey to find an answer to a question that has begun to haunt India. Tara Kaushal looks at how a whole slew of factors–from history and environment to upbringing and ingrained attitudes about sex and gender have shaped male behaviour…This is an outstanding book and a major contribution to creating a safer world for women.” –Krishan Chopra, Publisher, Non-Fiction
“This is a rather unsettling book which will make you stand still, flummoxed, trying to grasp how our society functions. It needs a lot of courage and emotional strength to go undercover and come out with a book like this.”-Ananya Borgohain, commissioning editor
(Tara Kaushal is a writer and media consultant. She was recognized for her incisive journalism and social commentary and was awarded The Laadli Media Award for gender-sensitive writing in 2013-14. In 2018, she was awarded Femina Women Super Achiever Award. As the growing conversation about sexual violence is getting more meaningful and nuanced, Kaushal is one of the voices at its forefront in India.)