Of stifled cries, murky politics and denied justice
Despite the tall claims made by Central and State governments and much-hyped welfare and safety schemes launched by them, Indian girls are being...
It is not exactly the comeuppance stage for the rape accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar as of now. It takes some more time, perhaps for him to be brought to justice, if proved guilty.
Sengar is in jail as of now having been accused of raping the Unnao teenager, threatening her family and also of attempt to murder.
Neither rape cases are new to this country nor the plight of the victims. The unsatiated lust of men seems to only increase and lead to not just violation of women while in power but also embolden him to silence the families.
We keep repeating that the "nation is shocked" all the times we read the news. But, is it really shocked? What should be the reaction of a shocked nation to such atrocities? Why should protests be confined only to the Opposition?
When 'Nirbhaya' happened in the heart of New Delhi, the protests continued far and wide, Jantar Mantar became a regular mourning symbol for months on. People came from far and wide to register their condemnation and to seek justice. Finally, an Act was made but it remains redundant and irrelevant to this country.
Even as the Supreme Court was hearing the Unnao case after the Chief Justice of India became aware of a complaint sent to him by the victim's family about the harassment being meted out to them by the Unnao accused through the media and decided to take up the matter, came the news of a three-year-old girl in Chhattisgarh being taken away only to be raped and beheaded.
The Unnao victim and her relatives who were later allegedly bumped off in what is suspected to be an 'incident' and not an accident or the Kathua girl or even the Chhattisgarh's little one are not the ones against whom time and history have conspired together.
Their victimisation is the result of man's lust and failure of the law and order situation. Combined with political power, this lust becomes even more dangerous to the society.
A complainant is always the first suspect in our feudal society. The police have made it a general practice to question the credentials of the women and the circumstances which lead to a crime like rape against them.
We have seen this in several cases. The apathy is even more when it comes to the economically weaker and SC/ST community members. Be it a BJP-ruled State or the one ruled by the Congress or for that matter, by any other party, the tendency of our law enforcing agencies is the same.
On June 5, when a 35-year-old SC woman in Rajasthan's Churu claimed that she was gang raped by nine policemen, including the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Sardarshahar police station, for several days after she was taken into custody on July 3.
She also claimed that her 22-year-old brother-in-law died in police custody on July 6 and that the police burnt his body late on July 7 to remove all evidence. The family has alleged that the police had deliberately charged them with theft. Her husband repeated her statement and explained how the police tortured them.
The charge against them was that they resorted to theft. So, they brought her husband and detained him. Brought his brother and beat him to death. And then they found the woman, all alone and helpless, devoid of any power to protect herself and her family, and had gone ahead ravaging her for days.
There has to be a hue and cry over such crimes, otherwise, nothing is even acknowledged. Even in Unnao case, it took the Chief Justice's intervention, but for which the accused would have gotten away with his alleged crime. The ruling party did not bother to act against him in the first instance.
No one could call it an accident in the first place. The truck that hit the car in which the victim was travelling had its number plate blackened. The truck belonged to someone in the area under Sengal influence. The victim is now on a ventilator, her lawyer, critical and her two aunts, gone. If the rape was committed by a man, the accident spells the power he wielded.
The BJP might have removed the lawmaker from the party now. Yet, it was silent. It shows that rape charge in itself was not sufficient for the BJP to act. It took a second tragedy in the life of the victim for it to act. The accused politician enjoyed leniency at every step. The security cover provided to the victim was involved in informing her movement to the accused.
Only because the media exposed it, the accident became a news headline and only then it has come to the notice of the Chief Justice. If this were to escape media's attention...?
In every such case, there is police callousness, administration's apathy and political blessing (to the accused). Why? UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath claims to have remarkably changed the profile of UP's policing.
He is lavishing advertisements in pro-government media showcasing the modernisation and development of his State and its smart cities. UP has not changed. It is still the happy hunting ground of the rich and powerful.
The slogan here in UP does not seem to be 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padao'. Rather, it is "Beti Satao, Beti Rulao"..
It is BJP's choice and its leadership should decide what it wants to do with the likes of Sengar. India does not need smart cities. All that it needs is safe cities. It is not just 'Jal Shakti' that is to be recognised.
It would do better if it realises that just as each drop of water counts, each girl on this land is also precious. One cannot create a Swachh Bharat with dirty minds all around.