In a bestial act, seven men raped a 12-year-old girl child in Kanpur, India. This happened in front of her younger siblings; after the act she was battered to death. A crime well accomplished, but a question lingers. Why? It's a open-ended question, with so many possibilities after that 'why' and before that '?' but that was all I managed to come up with. Again: why? It's a helpless cry; you cry because the event warrants an outburst and the cry is helpless because policemen, who were supposed to maintain the law & order were involved in the gang-rape.
Rapes happen all over the world. But such events can almost certainly never happen in the first world countries. It's the animal inside a man that pits him against a hapless tender female body. In a country like U.S.A, I'm sure that for seven men to have cornered a young girl, all of them need to be certified pedophiles working out a well coordinated plan to commit such a crime. Whereas in countries like India and other poor ones, these are normal guys walking the streets. They might have a history of harassment (lightly dismissed as eve teasing) but the police wouldn't bother to pursue, punish or prune such rogues, because they know the taste of female flesh themselves. I know I run the risk of generalization by blaming the entire police force. Mind you, Indian police is one of the 10 most corrupt police forces in the world. Had there been a survey on how they treat women, they would have been in the top 5. Which is why, on popular public demand, India has women-only police stations - such a shame.
Bloodthirsty hounds in human form, the rapists wouldn't even have a fetish for young girls. They rape because they can. That's how dark it can get in such societies. When they see a door open with a young girl in the absence of strong muscles, they jump on her. We have long tolerated a culture of physically over-powering men reminiscent of hunter-gatherers fighting over a piece of skin. And this toleration arises from a multitude of factors with the top 3 being: the offenders have political clout; they belong to the mafia; even worse, they are the police. For an average Indian middle/lower class to fight any of the three mentioned goons is a high stake game. You should be ready to forgo your life to bring them to the book. Since most of victims are aware of the emotional expenses involved in pursuing the criminals, they just put up with the event and get on with their lives.
How are we to prevent such incidents? Women empowerment? Minimize the segregation between men & women in closed cultures? A clean police force? More stringent punishments?.... There are many more bridges that will close the gap. But the primary driving force will be education. I know that I sound very text-bookish when I say education. I refer to education that produces an expanding mind that understands women's role in the progress of a society, a culturally open mind that doesn't fit womenfolk into roles which their grandmothers performed, a loving mind that addresses the need for women's freedom to express. Such a mind cannot be shaped by school education (though it will help to some extent). For a faster & efficient growth, men need to understand that societies need to be built with both hands.