Then Nirbhaya, Now Asifa, When Deliverance??
It takes an Asifa to remind us that it was only yesterday that the country was aghast at the Nirbhaya rape. Widespread outrage and some legislative amendments followed. But it seems not much has changed. Abominable thoughts are still harboured by some diseased minds about the female body, however young or tender it may be. The only pre-requisite to become the target is the vulnerability which an average lady, more so a young child/ toddler, is susceptible to. The despicable thought that the female body is meant to be used or abused for male whims, continues to fester in many, if not most, minds.
India is still a ‘Jalionwala Baag’ for many women. Many General Dyers run amock knowing there is more than an even chance that they would escape and continue to rape another day.
Deliverance for Justice (in the Asifa case) through DSP Sharma and Deepika??
Thanks to the brave efforts of honest officers like Deputy Superintendent of Police Shwetambri Sharma and her team of cops some amount of evidence has been salvaged (though much may still be irrecoverable). Likewise, a lady lawyer like Deepika Singh Rajawat is taking up the legal fight against the accused. Deepika (like the police officers above) is being threatened with dire consequences. Time will tell how the Asifa case or the other cases including the infamous Unnao case pan out.
Politics and Probity
It is sad that Lawyers and BJP Leaders (J&K Ministers, no less) took upon themselves to obstruct the natural course of Justice. The normal process that should happen in every democratic society, regulated by an impartial/ unfettered Administration took a deviation. Some rhetoric also questions the outrage in the social media being triggered as late as April for a crime which took place in January. This is almost like questioning the victim of the rape (on her character etc) rather than chasing the accused. The BJP may wish to criticise the Congress’ ‘dirty’ hand for the ‘expose’ of this dastardly act in the social media (and the national anger it helped fan). But the plain truth is that if it is indeed the Congress that has engineered this outrage, the Nation needs to be thankful. No citizen can afford to let Power get into the heads of those governing the country. Even if it is the well meaning Mr Modi, whose personal intentions seem beyond reproach.
The government in power has the moral duty to ensure that its weakest subjects feel safe and are adequately protected. The BJP and its Leaders (majority in U.P./ and sharing power with PDP in J&K) have been guilty of not abiding by ‘Raj Dharma’ (the obligation of the Ruler to adhere to Dharma). We could still have understood Mr Modi’s and his men’s reluctance had the BJP not marshalled the kind of grass-root/ legislative base that it has today. More than 70% of the Indian Union’s states, probably contributing an equivalent/ more share of India’s GDP, are ruled by the BJP, either on its own or with its alliance partners.
The rape cases in the public domain now would have been an excellent opportunity for the BJP top brass to buttress BJP’s claims of commitment to better Governance. Somehow they have missed the opportunity to showcase these credentials in both the Kathua (J&K) and Unnao (Uttar Pradesh) rape cases. This also reflects poorly on the BJP’s commitment to its vision of Ram Rajya.
Vision of Ram Rajya is mere talk,
If Justice/ women, the Vanars, brazenly stalk.
The Crack in BJP’s Castle for Congress to Capitalize on
The Congress may have enough skeletons and more in its cupboard. But it has not wasted much opportunity to put the BJP on the back foot in the past few days. The BJP may push back, comparing these cases are a small percentage of the overall rape or crime rate in the country. But for a party which seeks to build a better Bharat and an Incredible India, BJP needs to show it is made of better Governance matter. It has to ensure that it’s own house is more or less in odour-free order. The Congress is but doing the Opposition’s role to keep the ruling party on its toes.
Congress by trying to mould public opinion against the BJP by leveraging these rape cases, is hoping its dalliance with Cambridge Analytica will be somehow buried.
Not Just the Body, the female mind is also under siege
That these acts are facilitated by the very mothers of the unfortunate girls, the same mothers who themselves are living victims, only shows the imprisonment of their minds.
We need to realize how Society has tied women up in all manner of knots possible. Not only have we helped perpetuate ideas about how women ought to behave or conduct herself, we have also created an eco-system wherein the female victim is more likely blamed or sadly enough, ends up blaming herself. The way we have created and helped perpetuate customs and practices regarding female behaviour may embarrass even Nazi Practitioners. How women are supposed to act, behave, be subservient to male interests etc. Some structured religious orders/ sub-systems take it to extreme lengths, even enforcing barbaric acts like female genital mutilation. That these acts are facilitated by the very mothers of the unfortunate girls, the same mothers who themselves are living victims, only shows the imprisonment of their minds.
Widespread Education Necessary – of both Men and Women
Men need to be taught to respect women. Women too need this training. To learn to respect themselves and train to protect themselves from an early age. Needless to add, it all begins at home. A parent who encourages a fair and equitable division of education, labour, favour, reprimands etc irrespective of their child’s gender takes the first step.
Stakeholders should also start understanding more about the psychology of sexual abuses. It is not about sex in most of the cases. It is about power. More often than not, the perpetrators don’t believe they are actually committing a rape or a crime for that matter, though they acknowledge having had forced intercourse/s. Such is the nature of this activity which (in animal society) is just strain of behaviour, but in our higher order communities is treated as a crime, and rightly so. For the truly evolved man/ woman, God lies within. For others including rulers , the fear of God needs to be instilled, by cracking the whip as necessary. What else is the Rule of Law/ the opposition for.