When did rape become the cure to homosexuality, India?

Published: June 5, 2015

A schoolgirl holds a placard during a prayer meeting for a five-year-old rape victim in Jammu April 20, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

If you thought burning women, throwing acid on their faces, bombing their schools, shooting them for going to school, cutting their noses, shaving their heads, marrying them off to holy texts or animals/cattle, selling them into sex slavery or cutting their genitals off wasn’t bad enough when it came to violence against women, here is a brand new way of oppressing women and cementing patriarchy into its place.

In India’s Telengana state, men who were ‘suffering from homosexuality’ are given a corrective measure. That measure is rape.

Instances where cousins are betrothed from infancy/childhood/youth and if the male counterpart turns out to be ‘queer’ when he grows up, these men are told to force themselves upon their intended in order to ‘cure’ them of their homosexuality.

In our cultures, we see quite commonly that the measure of a ‘man’ or his ‘machismo’ is just how much he is able to dominate other people, especially his wife/female family members. The louder he talks, the more sense he makes. The more everyone listens to him, regardless of how much sense he makes, the bigger of a patriarch he is. No surprise therefore that in order to prove that he is a macho man, and not some effeminate ‘queer’ – a strange misconception, since many homosexuals are very much masculine – he is asked to show his force sexually.

Psychologically speaking, rape is more about power than sex. It is more about exerting control over another human being or feeling dominating rather than simply getting sexual release. There are many cases where rapists are sexually satisfied in their relationships or otherwise, but choose to rape (prostitutes, wives, girlfriends) because it is either a challenge, a threat to their manhood/power or a question of control.

That is one way of looking at this heinous practice – that men are being told to be ‘men’ in order to consummate their marriages and become ‘normal’ by forcing themselves on their betrothed. Another, albeit related, perspective is that women are objects. They are considered so subhuman that the fact that something as humiliating, painful and violating as rape is not considered a problem at all.

There are many societies that consider marital rape as acceptable, because once a woman is married to the man on paper or in the eyes of society, she is henceforth his property. He can treat her whichever way he so pleases. In a similar manner, a woman in a retrogressive society such as that of Telangana can be considered yet another object. She is not a human being for whom rape is a trauma – rather she is an ‘it’ upon which any or all experiments are allowed in order to cure homosexuality or any other ‘disease’ that comes to the mind.

Misogyny is not a local problem. Corrective rape is a terrifying act that occurs in not just India but across the globe. There have been reports of corrective rape in Thailand, South Africa, Ecuador and Uganda. In these countries, women who are ‘queer’ are raped repeatedly until they fall pregnant and are then forced to marry their rapists.

Whether or not society approves or disapproves of homosexuality, the idea of ‘curing’ it with corrective rape is beyond reprehensible. It institutionalises and establishes violence against women and marginalises a community. The more human rights’ group raise awareness and protest against this horrific practice the better.


Mahwash Badar

The author is a clinical psychologist, a mum to two boys and permanently in a state of flux. She tweets @mahwashajaz_ (twitter.com/mahwashajaz_)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Mehboob Jogezai.

    Had no idea. But Bharat is considered the rape capital of the world. so that
    means….oh! That defines the rage against women in Bharat to a great extent.
    It is well known that for every 1000 men there are only 700 women in Bharat.
    The ONLY country in the world with these demographics. Sad indeed.
    Latest tourist ‘destination’ numbers show a sever decline in tourism in India.
    Well, you cannot blame the women from staying away. And which man
    would take a risk for his wife, daughter,sister, mother to visit Bharat? None.Recommend

  • Amit Lunia

    Dear Mawashar

    The societal problem in some part does not reflect the attitude of the state or larger part of society in India

    With today headline in tribune i could write a blog with heading

    “Punjab Police has a problem, Pakistan” or

    “Women are not good enough, Pakistan”

    The title does not show you aas a mature personRecommend

  • Qadir

    Perks of living as a muslim – No matter what you will never be misguided to a patch of homosexuality as allah is there to protect you.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Lol! then as per statistics Pakistan is considered the child rape capital of the world.

    “It is well known that for every 1000 men there are only 700 women in Bharat.”

    Why do you Pakistanis manufacture your own “Facts”. Don’t you have any shame?

    Sex ratio India: 1.08 male(s)/female
    Sex Ratio Pakistan 1.06 male(s)/female
    Sex Ratio in Saudi Arabia: 1.21 male(s)/female (2014)

    “Latest tourist ‘destination’ numbers show a sever decline in tourism in India”

    India has registered a whopping 1086% growth over January-April, 2014, thanks to the new ‘e-Tourist Visa’ facility. Around 94,998 tourists availed the scheme launched last November

    You are only fooling yourself by cooking up statisticsRecommend

  • Gratgy

    “In India’s Telengana state, men who were ‘suffering from homosexuality’ are given a corrective measure. That measure is rape.”

    As per the original times of India report, there have been 15 such cases in last 5 years in a country of 1 billion people. That amounts to 3 per year. Well that does amount to a regular practice. LMAO!!

    There have been few cases of cannibalism in Pakistan, so I guess then cannibalism is an accepted practice in Pakistani society

    Or perhaps its an attempt at giving some publicity to a upcoming movie by Hyderabadi filmmaker Deepthi Tadanki’s, SatyavatiRecommend

  • Critical

    This is not something which is endemic to India…. Using rape ,making homosexuals watch sexual acts has been a method used by few people who think that this would encourage homosexuals to start liking heterosexual acts…

    There were several rehabilation camps busted in USA in the past for using such techniques and this premise was used as a base in an episode of “Criminal Minds”..

    What happened to those Kids in India is really unfortunate to tell the least but the way you have addressed the title is as if Indian Parliament had passed a bill to allow rape to “correct” homosexuals….

    Maybe while addressing sensitive topics like these,you shouldnt be pointing fingers at certain countries because three fingers will be pointing at youRecommend

  • Critcal

    Tell those to the victims of “Bacha Bazi” which is a common thing occuring in many muslim countries….Recommend

  • Animal Farm

    Stop arguing him with logic,he’s allergic to thoseRecommend

  • anon0912

    You are right but you seem to be missing the point.This is sort of like a marketing stunt to brew controversy so the article gets more hits at the expense of being a better journalist.On a weird funny note,we all live in the 21st century but we are going through the same things which other countries went through in the last century such as the UK.Some examples are the Ponzi scheme and cure to homosexuality by injecting them with saline solutions.Who said time travel wasn’t possible ? Just come to a third world country and have all your wishes fulfilled and you don’t even have to rub some lamp.Recommend

  • L.

    1.The author doesn’t decide the title.
    2. Titles are supposed to be controversial on ET. Its this thing called “click bait”.Recommend

  • http://insidedisillusion.wordpress.com Mahwash Badar

    I do not choose titles of the blogs.Recommend

  • Sacred

    I know that there are people who do not agree with homosexuality, but rape is no way to deal with it!!Recommend

  • Sid

    Why is this question against whole of India ? Is it India supporting the rape ? Is it in our constitution or law ? Does this act even have 1% of support from masses of India ? This is disgusting and lowest attempt to just malign a nation with whatever topic comes in mind. And then you guys need to ask Indians a reason why we hate you so much ?Recommend

  • John D’souza

    A popular joke in the literary circles run as:
    “Why does Pakistan have no rape cases?
    Because the Victim had a tough time convincing at least four of the accused to become witness!”

    Dear Ms. Mahwash Badar: Please worry about your side of the fence.


    John DSouzaRecommend

  • Minerva

    Another hypocritical rant from a Pakistani with greater concern for India than for Pakistan. I did not see the same vigor when Fazlur Rehman said women wearing jeans cause earthquakes and asked Miliatry to stop women from wearing them. It was not even reported in Pakistani media. To be clear I am against any kind of rape or oppression and I agree that we have a lot left to do in achieving a just society.Recommend

  • Azi

    Amit, when you have the whole world calling a country “rape capital” of the world you should know there is a problem. When this epidemic starts to become an everyday issue and is especially effecting visitors, they take back very sour memories of their experience in India.

    Not only is this an issue inside India but also in US. One would think that uneducated people would indulge in such acts but surprisingly in US, Indians with Masters and PhDs in respectable fields also are on prowl for 13 year olds. And I am not just making it up, watch a few episodes of “To catch a predator” and you shall see.

    Its a problem of mentality, bollywood takes a lot of blame for this due to its “unintended” , if you want to call it, message in many of its vulgar movies shown to teenagers.

    Its always the Indian way, have a problem? Look for other’s problems and announce then 2 fold instead of a fix.

    I think its rather ironic that you cannot analyze the world views and call anyone who tries to convey the message immature and instead lash out with nonsense. If anything, your politicians recently have been very immature with their statements, but then again pakistan bashing is the new attraction in India for votes.Recommend

  • wiserneighbour

    I saw a BBC documentary regarding abuse of boys by Pakistani bus drivers.They repeatedly rape young boys.The guys who arrange night sheltes to these drivers acts as the pimps.It is so widespread in Pakistan, I seriously doubt the mental make up of Pakistani male population. Recommend

  • Azeez

    Well said….Recommend

  • Chitral wala

    ET moderators, you allow foul language from hindus?
    That is the newspaper policy? Hindus are allowed special
    privileges on foul language comments?Recommend

  • Sapna

    In answer to your question dear Mahwash (as per the title of the article) :: This ‘happened’ just as when ‘water became a substitute for petrol for Pakistan cars’ (!) — remember the (in)famous scoop some time last year or so emanating from your country…? Hehehe….Recommend

  • Hameedullah

    Too bad those “perks” don’t include preventing pedophilia, rape, violence, corruption. But hey we got homosexuality out of the way right! All is fine now.Recommend

  • wiserneighbour

    You should also write about male child abuse in Pakistan. Watch that BBC documentaryRecommend

  • wiserneighbour

    When you have no credible logic,pls don’t argue with himRecommend

  • Ogadai

    It was on NBC News [US] too. A few years ago. Three of them caught
    in one town. A sting operation set up by the police. On an internet
    chat room.
    [police pretending to be a bored 16 year old teenage girl]Recommend

  • Gul Zaman Ghorgasht

    That was a joke ? No wonder they are fast tracking Ghar Wapsi for
    Christians. Christians get an extra ration card. Extra rice bag and a
    can of coconut cooking oil, when they convert.Recommend

  • Torch Bearer

    Read a news article recently that Pak men were caught doing the act with donkeys! Does that mean all men in Pakistan have similar interests? So much respect for women & all attackers on Malala were quietly released from prison! God help Pakistan!Recommend

  • John Dsouza

    @Gul Zaman Ghorgasht
    To the best of my knowledge, not a single Christian in India(or around the world) is escaping to Pakistan looking for better life. Please let me know if you see one.Recommend

  • Abdul

    LOL this coming from a country where 4 eye witnesses are required to prove rape and forensic evidence is not accepted. Mahwash Badar take a walkRecommend

  • Kolsat

    Like it is not reported in this paper that eight out of ten militants who were sentenced have been released on 30 April.Recommend

  • The author’s anger would be right if the huge facepalm in her article wasn’t that she got the details of the story wrong: the so-called corrective rape is actually an age-old practice around the world to “cure” queer women, not queer men. The Indian cases are also about gay women who were raped, often by relatives, to ‘correct’ atypical sexuality. Next time, check your facts!Recommend

  • What are these “literary circles”? Haha… you just made something up and tried to pass it off as halfway credible.Can’t even copy properlyRecommend

  • GoodDeedsLeadTo

    Two wrongs do not make it right. The only solution is, when Islam is in your heart, and good deeds on a continual basis with aim to die nothing but a muslim, seek Allah’s pleasure, avoid Jahannam & punishment after death, be rewarded with peace in our phase of grave, phase of resurrection, phase of the day of judgment and phase of final judgment.
    Islam starts with discipline, 5 times a salah, paying zakat to the poor, paying charity, forgiving to please Allah, fasting to restrain oneself.
    If we submit our will, then the punishments a deterrent for the society, become something across the fence, everybody lives in peace inside the fence of Islamic life.
    so, many bad 7 heinous things happen everyday, which make Islamic life the only alternative to attain peace in societies. A small segment society living in peace or special cases is not a good example to counter this fact. Submitting to Allah gives peace inside a human being, and the person lives with peace & concentration and reaches very high potential of mind and heart.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    clearly a case of victim mentality Visit a shrinkRecommend

  • RFD

    Dear Amaat Laaminya
    The author does not get to choose the title. Please use ‘Spellcheck’
    application. It helps correct spelling mistakes. Otherwise comments
    like yours look even more garbled.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    In my opinion ,Any Indian is entitled to say anything about pakistan.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    Fort your information, a columnist for this newspaper (Chris Cork) has opted for Pakistani citizenship after surrendering his UK nationality.Recommend

  • John Dsouza

    wow! You were able to finally find one person.
    Have you had a chance to read Mr. Cork’s last few columns? I rest my case.Recommend

  • Gul Zaman Ghorgasht

    No one is trying to prevent YOU from from converting to
    Hinduism. We all wish you the best. May they give you the
    extra ration card. Extra coconut cooking oil and two extra
    bags of rice. With careful portioning that should last your
    family a whole 6 weeks! Vishnu be praised. Hail Bharat.
    Just be careful when you pick the caste. Select Brahmin.Recommend

  • True Pakistani

    There is more rape in Pakistan than India. In pakistan, victims are not strong enough to report them and India, they are being reported.Recommend

  • John Dsouza

    A simple question:
    Given a choice, would a person prefer to be a Christian in India or a Christian in Pakistan?
    I think we all know the answer.Recommend

  • Jehangir

    Dear Omit Lamunya,
    Author does not choose the title. ET
    picks the title.Recommend

  • sara

    as a pakistani i have to say that please write stuff relevant to pakistan,we dont care about what is going on in india. anyways it’s their problem they can solve on their own the last thing they need is a pakistani questioning and giving advice even if its a logical one. stick to where you make sense and write stuff that highlights our problems and raises interest locally about them okay :) stop obsessing over india, sometimes i feel you write these topics on purpose to get traffic on your pages which get swarmed by haters from across the border. the last thing they want is a pakistani bashing them. cant you get it straight into your head and respect that? sometimesit feels like we are not living in pakistan but instead india because any channel or newspaper u read its always glamorizing indian people and their problems and media, ughhhhh….we have enough problems of our own with homo peadophiles running our transport system and raping kids on every block being one of them why not highlight and recommend solutions for that first huh???Recommend

  • Raghu Reddy

    Let them write such articles. After having been on Pak news , with much experience and waste of time, I can tell from inference, all such news come out from ISI paid pockets,ISI funded colleges because they are supposed to create articles with some predisposition so as to create anti India nonsense. Let them succeed. We tried a lot. Lets not another generation of Indians waste their time,money on Pakis. We will just do what we need to do. Lets not try changing them.Recommend