Acid Attacks: What Makes Our Young Men’s Egos So Fragile?

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - May 12 : Survivors of acid attacks, attend a human chain to protest acid attacks and torture of women in Dhaka on 12th May 2015. According to Acid Survivors Foundation in 2015 January to April 14 incident happend and 25 survivors admitted in Medical. Acid throwing is a common problem in Bangladesh. Approximately 300 people attack each year in.Bangladesh. 41 percent victims are under age of 18. Mostly victims are 10-30.age groups. 78 percent acid throwing is happening with women. (Photo by Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/NurPhoto) (Photo by NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Yet another acid attack has shocked the country. This time in Srinagar. On February 1 evening, a 24-year-old woman in Srinagar was a victim of an acid attack. The attack happened on the road while the victim was coming back from work. Doctors said that the acid attack has caused damage to the victim’s eyes and face. According to the police, the victim had refused the proposal of the attacker after which he began to stalk her. There was widespread outrage following this even after the arrest of three men, including the main accused.

The punishment for an acid attack in India according to the Section 326 A in the Indian Penal Code is 10 years minimum. It can extend up to life imprisonment with a fine. Yet gruesome cases like this happen from time to time in our country making us question the humanity of our society. The attackers need to get capital punishment this time to set an example for anyone likely to choose to act this way.

But the question is why our male youth opts for this horrific act, unable to handle the refusal from a woman. Our society is at fault here. They raise their sons with such a fragile ego and teach them that women are lesser than males. Then the man’s ego is easily hurt by the rejection from a mere woman, and he opts for violent acts like this.

Although we have movies like ‘Uyare’ and ‘Chapaak’ which are based on acid attacks coming up, the majority of the movies and popular media play a pivotal role in building up this fragile ego of our young males. In the media, the man is often depicted as easily winning over a female’s heart. He is the ultimate ‘hero’ and never fails to get anything he desires. This is depicted as the ultimate desirable human form.

Also, on screen, we still depict stalking as romantic. The heroine falls for the hero despite his creepy actions and nasty dialogues. This atrocity immediately needs to stop or else this will continue to rot our young boys’ minds. 

We need to teach our youngsters that love is not something that you can achieve through force. Love does not hold any meaning if it has to be achieved by force. If the word ‘force’ is involved then what is in the boy’s mind is not even love, but just ‘obsession’ and ‘greed’. It is not something as positive of a feeling as ‘love’. It is as vile and disgusting as it can be.

Also, we need to raise our sons in a way that they can handle failures and setbacks. Even from females. Since early childhood, we need to teach them that women are humans who are equal to them. We need to let our young boys and girls interact with each other as equals. When a boy is defeated by a girl in a child’s game, he will learn to accept the failures that were caused by a female and learn to adjust to it since childhood itself.

However, in our society, we still segregate boys and girls and teach them that boys always need to protect their egos. We do not give enough space for the boys to display their vulnerability and always teach them that failure is not a virtue.

Now, at least now, please educate your children to gracefully accept failures so as they do not opt for these extreme actions in the face of failure. Only then we can hope to bring a change in society and put an end to these cruel acts made out of vengeance.

Poorna Krishnan

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