Rape Crisis and Crocodile tears : When Congress Fails Us

Published: Monday, Dec 31,2012, 00:26 IST
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Rape Crisis, Crocodile tears, When Congress Fails Us, Damini, Bollywood movie, Abhijit Mukherjee, rape, sexual assault, delhi gang rape record data list

Crocodile tears fell from the eyes of Congress leaders following the death of a rape victim. She is called Amanat, a treasure kept in trust or Damini, for a Bollywood movie heroine, or simply braveheart.

The truth is, she could have been anyone. This is a lady who typified India’s respected woman, the one who deserved it all - the perfect life – but, in a tragic twist of fate, she faced a violent crime, a gang rape that left her with multiple injuries. Her battle for survival flashed through national and international media portals.

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While she lay dying, vast swathes of India were mobilised while others spoke of their shock at such a violent crime against an educated girl, a girl from a hard working family, a girl of character that commanded the respect of the masses. Her death has highlighted the plight of millions of voiceless women in India. They suffer in silence. India prays for the soul of one girl while there are millions of neglected souls in India that have perished over the years. There is no showcase for them, there is no fame or demand for justice, there is simply darkness.

Would there have been such a media furore and outpouring of sympathy if a woman of questionable character from the slums of India was snatched and raped? Or would the vast majority have turned a blind eye and allowed the case to disappear into oblivion like the majority of rape cases?  It is these cases that required a spotlight shone upon them. All women should be equal in India no matter what their caste, class, education or upbringing.

Damini’s case has forced the media to focus on the plight of every woman. India is undergoing a huge revolution to improve women's rights. Throughout the nation, protests have fired up. Despite violence from the police, the voice of the masses demand to heard. The public is demanding answers. In response to the protests and voices of the people, President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit carelessly uttered the following:-

"Those who are coming in the name of students in the rallies, sundori, sundori mahila (beautiful women), highly dented and painted," Abhijit Mukherjee, an MP from Jangipur seat which the President had vacated before his election, told a vernacular news channel, "Giving interviews in TV and showing off their children. I wonder whether they are students at all." He added, "What's basically happening in Delhi is something like pink revolution, which has very little connection with ground realities."
This demonstrates the glib reckless attitude of a mainstream Indian politician who has clearly never understood the basic concepts of fundamental human rights and treating individuals with respect. There appears to be an ever widening communication gap between campaigners and politicians.

The world, in turn, has cast its gaze upon India’s governing party – Congress. Their fear of anarchy, protests and further criticism has forced them to act sensitively. To save face, the words in Congress’ speeches were carefully crafted to persuade the masses that they were actually “concerned”. President Pranab Mukherjee spun lines that could have been written for the best Bollywood tear jerking movies. Many may have been charmed by his cosmetic sympathy to save face, to save position and to save the “good name” of Congress.

Combined with magic camera angles showing their faithful media worshippers, Congress has hoped to pull the heart strings of India - their game is to use Damini's case as a political football. They wish to be seen as saviours of women-kind now, but the reality behind the cosmetic façade is slightly more worrying. Behind the death of Damini lies the deaths and repercussions of many rapes whose stories are now lost in time.

Over the years, Congress has failed to set a good moral example to the male population of India. It has also failed to create robust policy that upholds the rights of women. The BBC summarised the violations of human rights and neglect suffered by women.

From the killing of female foetuses to the rising crime against women, India’s record is far from good - a woman is raped there every 20 minutes. There were 24,000 reported cases of rape in 2011. In 94% of cases, the offenders were known to the victims. New Delhi accounts for 17% of the total number of rapes in the country. But Delhi has the worst rape statistics with  635 sexual assault this year, up from 568 in 2011. Research demonstrates that women’s basic rights are neglected from the cradle to the grave. It also demonstrates a society that places men on a pedestal, leaving women as second class citizens. These problems have been ongoing for many years, with little action by the government.  It has all contributed to the rape culture endemic and entrenched in Indian society.

In the meantime, the greed demonstrated by Congress has been self evident for many years. Their lack of concern for rape victims, their failings in policy, their lack of attention and their carelessness to the real causes that matter all point to massive disinterest, at best. Their false tears for one victim do not erase the injustices they have committed against the vast majority of the female population.

Their immoral sex code was demonstrated by us in the Congress Karma Sutra. The article demonstrates the lax moral code that is set as an example to India. A lack of respect for women and a lustful need to abuse their power to use women as sex objects is abundantly clear.

Their sex mascot Mr ND Tiwari spent most of his tenure sliding between the silk sheets of lust. I am surprised he found enough time out of these sheets to tell the press "I have every right to live my life my way. No one has the right to look into my private life.” Having lost his way in certain silk sheets, he fathered a child who he then did not acknowledge.

That was until forensic science matched up his DNA and revealed the Congress star example of bad behaviour without accountability. Naturally, his misbehaviour had no untoward consequences for him or his career. The public has every right to scrutinise the quality of the moral code set by Congress. Moreover, we all look sharply at the cleared allegations against the Congress Golden Boy, Mr Rahul Gandhi. It is difficult to know the extent of scrutiny and investigation into the truth or falsity of the now cleared allegations. Without further evidence we must assume the innocence of India’s future leader.

The startling attitude of Congress was demonstrated in Oct 2012. The  Harayana Congress leader said,

“I don’t feel any hesitation in saying that 90 per cent of the girls want to have sex intentionally but they don’t know that they would be gang raped further as they find some lusty and pervasive people in the way ahead.” Firstpost and IBN Live.
Clearly, he had no understanding of the Psychology of Rape or the findings of the The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics who wrote

The accused has often gone free, because the victim did not file a complaint, or because of poor evidence gathering and well as lacunae in the law”.

Of course, it doesn’t help that there are a high number of politicians who have rape cases against them [Source - Association for Democratic Reforms].

Clearly, the policy makers of India have a lax moral code of conduct themselves, thereby setting a poor example to the rest of society. India’s rape culture demonstrates various patterns of behaviour endemic in politicians including “victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape”. A shocking example of this can be demonstrated by the attitude of the Delhi Police who blamed the victims’ attire. First Post summarised the flawed attitude of the protectors of society. The infamous quote was this

“Unless a woman is fully covered from head to toe at all times, she wants men to rape her.” - Arjun Singh, SHO of Surajpur Police Station.
This attitude demonstrates a denial of the seriousness of the problem. India’s history demonstrates a lax attitude to accountability for rapists. Many years ago, the infamous Bandit Queen – Phoolan Devi sacrificed much to demonstrate the poor treatment of women and the frequency of gang rapes. Few listened or acted on her concerns.

In 1996, research into violence against Indian women showed that every 54 minutes a woman was raped, every 26 minutes a woman was molested. Despite Congress’ knowledge of these statistics, little appears to have been done. Pre and Post independence saw Congress inherit the old habits of the British Raj in terms of the neglect of women’s rights. Details of this can be seen in the book  – The History of doing.

In 2002 Law Professor Upendra Baxi  said as follows

"Rape culture signifies ways of doing party politics and managing governance in which brutal collective sexual assaults on women remain enclosed in contrived orders of impunity." The ‘strong’ state makes itself possible by lawless and unconstitutional exertions and endeavours. It fosters practices of national integration that remain deeply and pervasively human rights violative; it emerges for the minorities as an ‘institutionalized riot system’; it remains a - ‘state in search of a nation’ and embodies a resilient rape culture."
India’s legal history is peppered with tragic rape cases that were never given justice.  There are numerous tales from villagers about the rapes of women and their eventual demise or catastrophic consequences. The case of Bhanwari Devi was initially dismissed by the police, who claimed that she, was “too old and unattractive”.  The Mathura Rape case is one of many that disappeared from the public’s eye. No one questions the consequences to these women, the effect of stigma and the destruction caused to their lives. India is a country that places women’s purity on a pedestal that looks down upon those of so called questionable character. In a land where purity is the ticket to happiness, what hope do women who have been raped have? Numerous victims are the forgotten, left by the way-side, forced to fend for themselves and discarded from society.

A different perspective of historical rape was outlined succinctly by Mr Haris Rigoo from Karan Nagar Kashmir. The government’s inaction in the matters he raises leads us to question whether any case concerning rape is ever taken seriously within the authorities in India.

He wrote :

“I fail to understand why people are asking for justice in the Kunan Poshpora case or similar to that? It's a pity on our part if we haven’t understood the pattern of Indian occupation in Kashmir. They have always used rape as a war weapon here in Kashmir, while rape in Delhi is completely different, Delhi rape is out of lust. In Kashmir, “war weapon rape” is done with authority from Indian state. Though, I too was saddened by this gruesome act against humanity,  my Kashmiri mothers and sisters have seen worse than this."
Perhaps the government hopes that allegations will eventually be forgotten as memories fade and people eventually die. It will then be just a case of spinning a new press release and pretending the past never existed. That is after all the Congress’ Party piece. It is therefore an uncomfortable fact for them  that beyond the cosmetic façade lies the tears of many silenced victims. These  collective tears will eventually fall on the party much like a Tsunami – all demanding justice. These events will be a watershed in the history of India’s rape culture.

In most cases, the perpetrators have not been investigated or held accountable at all. The current message to would-be rapists is that there will be no repercussions if they were to rape. The government has therefore failed to set a good example, to ensure that there is accountability and a proper deterrent.

India is in turmoil and in grief over the death of one woman. It is searching for solutions for a better India. One much talked about solution is a death sentence for rapists. Does an eye for an eye make the whole world go blind? Ms Nazmin Akthar, a barrister from the United Kingdom, commenting for the Muslim Women’s Network, stated as follows recently :

“I understand the anger caused by the gang-rape cases coming to light in India but I wish people would stop letting anger cloud their judgment with reactionary statements. If justice systems were competent enough to administer the death penalty then we wouldn't have problems to begin with. Sexism, racism, elitism, corruption - they're all rife and undermine due process. How do you guarantee an innocent person will not die? If the laws of evidence in UK can be smashed to pieces what makes you think India can manage? In fact you're doing governments a favour; they just need to introduce the death penalty to show they are being "tough on crime" without making any actual changes. And please don't forget rape still occurs in countries WITH the death penalty. I am not concerned about the rapists and whether they live or not; I care about innocent people that may become victims of maladministration and I care about our sisters who will continue to be victimised because the public misdirected their anger and asked for the wrong thing.”
We have public outrage in India now and for good reason. Every person in India should play their part in fighting for a new India – where all women are equal, respected and protected. That, rather than a knee-jerk reaction to a single, albeit atrocious, case is what will protect women now and in the future.

In memory of ALL the women who have lost their lives following a violation of their human rights in India.

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