The recent rape and killings in Kathua and Unnao shook the conscience of the nation. Ripples of anger and pain transcended the national boundaries. All civilised, people especially women came on the streets in large numbers in India and abroad. There have been other cases of rape and killing before and after these two heinous crimes, which need condemnation in unequivocal terms.
The question is why did crimes committed at Kathua and Unnao evoke such an intense response, do these two stand apart. The answer is yes. Let me at the outset make it clear that there is no ‘ordinary rape’ and there is no ‘ordinary murder’. All rapes, including marital, and murders must be condemned and perpetrators must be hated with equal intensity. However, the two cases stand out not only because these were premeditated, meticulously planned, committed with impunity and perpetrators were confident that they will go scot-free, but also because what followed the crime was equally ghastly.
Let me express my anger against the Unnao case just because there is every effort being made by the RSS network and some sections of the media to diminish its visibility, erase it from the public memory, so that they can say, secularists raise a hue and cry only about one section of Indian citizens.
They will not be able to do it, let us look at how Wikipedia records it, the top paragraph reads ‘The Unnao rape case refers to the alleged rape of an 17-year-old girl on June 4, 2017. The main accused is Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh, and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The case is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The rape survivor attempted to immolate herself in front of the residence of Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, on April 8, 2018. Her father died in judicial custody shortly afterwards. These incidents led to the rape being widely reported in the national media.
The Unnao rape case and the Kathua case, where an eight-year-old Bakarwal girl was raped and murdered, received national attention during the same period, leading to joint protests seeking justice for both victims.
We don’t know the name of the courageous teenager in the Unnao case and her father. They both showed uncompromising bravery. She even tried to ask the shameless Chief Minister to intervene. Their courage finds parallel only among women who fought for justice and put Asaram and Ram Rahim behind the bars despite the threat to their lives.
Remember we don't know the name of this courageous teenager and her father. They both showed uncompromising bravery. She even tried to ask the shameless Chief Minister to intervene. Their courage finds parallel only among women who fought for justice and put Asaram and Ram Rahim behind the bars despite the threat to their lives.
I am sure the family of the Unnao girl knew the likely consequences of fighting the powerful criminals of party in power. It was a prolonged protest yet we don't know her name and rightly so, because law of the land forbids revealing name or publishing photograph of the victim and her family members. This surely is not a crime perpetrated by a powerless goon. It a crime in which a political party and state machinery have connived to stall all response. Instead of standing by the victim they, intoxicated with power, shamelessly defended the perpetrator till public anger started spreading.
The second case is equally gruesome. Let us again refer to Wikipedia, “The Kathua rape case refers to the abduction, rape, and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Rasana village near Kathua in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in January 2018. A chargesheet for the case has been filed, the accused have been arrested and the trial began in Kathua on April 16, 2018. The victim belonged to the nomad Bakarwal community. She disappeared for a week before her dead body was discovered by the villagers a kilometer away from the village. The incident made national news when charges were filed against eight men in April 2018. The arrests of the accused led to protests by the Panthers Party, along with other local groups.
One of the protests, in support of the accused, was attended by two ministers from the Bharatiya Janata Party, both of whom have now resigned. They demanded release of perpetrators and a CBI enquiry, not because they believed that the accused are innocent and CBI will bring out this fact, but because that they were convinced that accused have committed the crime and CBI will save them.
Little did they know that, even if you communalise the society, thousands of years of syncretic culture put a bar on it. The Indian citizen rises and says ‘no more’. Despite all efforts made by the RSS to communalise one incident and hide the other behind vicious propaganda, syncretic India refused to distinguish the two crimes. The similarity is too stark
What gives them this confidence? Four-year track record of top political leaders who have committed crimes in broad daylight suddenly getting bails and acquittal, reported murder of Judges and the highest court refusing to even institute enquiry, shameless withdraw of cases against those who participated in carnages in Gujarat and UP, murders of witnesses in the biggest scam of admissions in medical colleges, silencing the voices of decent by killing rationalist and media persons, encounters which have become order of the day in UP, the long list of events have given the confidence to the criminals that if you belong to RSS, you will be protected. Bought out media, eager to oblige the masters, and bhakts will concoct stories to protect criminals by accusing every one as anti-hindu except those who are loyal to RSS.
We should remember that the media broke the law by revealing the name of the victim in only one case. It’s an easy guess, though we will never know if strings were pulled by the highest offices of power or not, but surely the media response was orchestrated. And those who revealed her name were confident that RSS has sufficiently communalised India; the were sure the name would tell people that that the girl was a Muslim, a tribal and that too from a poor and powerless family.
Little did they know that, even if you communalise the society, thousands of years of syncretic culture put a bar on it. The Indian citizen rises and says ‘no more’. Despite all efforts made by the RSS to communalise one incident and hide the other behind vicious propaganda, syncretic India refused to distinguish the two crimes. The similarity is too stark.
Fascists never learn from history. Shamelessly, the BJP resisted removing its ministers who had participated in the procession, which was organised by their outfit Hindu Ekta Manch. After widespread outrage, they were asked to resign, however, they have once again cheated the public by appointing the RSS speaker as the new deputy minister.
The menace they have unleashed after coming to power is grave. It will not wither away without an equally strong response from all those citizens who stand by the constitutional values and a diverse India.
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