The Christian Brothers, a global Catholic Religious Congregation running orphanages and elitist schools worldwide, had to pay huge amounts in damages in Ireland, Canada and Australia. They were accused of sodomizing orphan boys under their care. In Australia they were accused of forming sex-cartels where one Brother informed other pedophilic Brothers about which boys were soft targets. This is not a phenomenon confined to the developed world or to only those Catholic Brothers. This case just shows that often those whom kids trust explicitly are harming and destroying their lives. Pinky Virani’s Bitter Chocolate remains the best study for the layman till date on the problem of child abuse in India. But the book is skewed towards abuse faced by girls. The abuse of boys does not receive much media attention but is tragically rising in our society. The New Media can correct this.
I have a posting here, about how to recognize whether your son is being abused. I have changed names wherever I have felt it necessary.
Ten year old Prakash is a beggar at Howrah Station, the main railway station connecting Kolkata to India. He cleans the floors of railway compartments and then begs for his rupee or so. He is a confirmed ganja (a potent hallucinogen) addict. He has acquired the habit from a senior beggar who pimps him for truck-drivers and coolies coming to the station. He refused to go with me to a refuge-home for young boys run by a Religious Order in the vicinity. He said there the conditions are worse and at least here he had freedom and his ganja. This was about three weeks ago, my efforts to trace him now has failed.
Biswanath Oraon, a boarder at a senior secondary school, was kidnapped by Naxalites in Purulia district, West Bengal. He was taken to Jharkhand where he was trained in firearms’ operations. At 13, he has run away from the camp and has been given shelter by the Jharkhand Government. Oraon receives regular counseling. Part of his past that he has to deal with is the sexual abuse he received from a senior Naxalite leader. The fear is so overwhelming that Oraon stays in a girls’ hostel and is counseled by a lady psychologist. He trembles to come in front of men or other boys.
Vivek, the only son of a well-off working couple is no longer willing to go to school. He is suddenly flunking English and History. Teachers at school found his sudden silence exasperating. Vivek is taken to a psycho-therapist in Kolkata. The old lady starts her sessions with him and then one day the truth dawns on all. Raj uncle, his private tutor, has been abusing him for sometime now. Raj teaches English and History to Vivek and also abuses him. Raj is serving a jail sentence now. But Vivek is irreparably damaged.
Researching for this article I have come across adult women abusing small boys. That too is heinous but for brevity’s sake I highlight only the plight of little boys being harmed by men.
Social scientists are of the opinion that as taboos against gay relations in India are becoming increasingly lax, and as chat room-predation increases, we shall see an increase in such violence. Also any basic psychology primer on child-abuse brings up a startling fact to the fore: pedophiles are incorrigible. We just need to hunt them out and make sure that they no longer have access to children. Unfortunately, that does not happen and our laws are too lax. Once, a much esteemed Christian Brother told this writer what should be done to those who perpetrate such crimes: they out to be neutered and made a public spectacle. It sounds barbaric but then what pedophiles are doing to kids is bestial and demands the law of the jungle.