The brutal gang rape of a 19-year-old Dalit girl from Hathras village in Uttar Pradesh and subsequent death in the hospital in Delhi sparked outrage and anger across India.
It shook all of us from the collective dormancy that our society has accepted as a way of life and trouble the conscience of a nation. With this incident, the shenanigans of the elected representatives are on bizarre display in India’s Lawless state of Uttar Pradesh. Under Yogi Adityanath, the Jungle raj has not only survived but also flourished. Palpable display of brute majority coupled with arrogance of power and zero regard for human rights, they care two hoots for its abuses. The monsters of rape as a nightmare will not go away. This ailment, like termites, has been eating away into our social systems for centuries.
In India, news of rapes became an everyday occurrence. Nevertheless, what is happening now is horrifying, and a much bigger threat than it appears. Preconceived narratives began to surface from the realms of those who consider themselves literate even before the dust settled. And what more, we perceived from the Government’s lax response to the “rape epidemic” is also corroborated by the fact that the Indian definition of rape is “mistake”.
Normally, the case will probably drag on for months, maybe even years before the culprits are actually convicted in court. Even after the conviction, the sentencing will take even longer. Perhaps the trial will find them guilty and hands over the death penalty, for which they will languish for many years in jail. In the meantime, the case will have been milked dry of political mileage by every party. And the wheels of the think-piece factory will stop turning. Leaders on both sides of the political spectrum will move on, their outrage, and their anger sated.
Later another girl will become another Nirbhaya, another token name to utter in hushed tones until the next vividly horrifying rape with gruesome details shocks us into action. Within the cacophony of political scams, we are denying the travesty of justice. Together as a nation failed to protect India’s daughter. For this, no apology will ever be enough. Departed soul of hers’ will definitely wander in the corridors of parliament seeking retribution if not justice, the perpetrator of the most heinous crime on mother earth. At a time, when the politicians are busy with their vested interests making the law enforcement agencies parroting their master’s voice and using the investigating agencies like a bulldog, getting justice is not only a far cry but a wish list. If at all, justice arrives someday but it would do nothing to stop her muffled cries, ease the pain of her last moments or compensate for a life brutally cut short. Just when injustice occurs, it affects everyone despite their religion or caste. Once there is a loss of life, many lives are affected, and a few come to a halt- just like the lives of the Hathras victim’s parents.
The unfolding of the Hathras victim’s life screams a harsh reality: In the past, our candle marches, prayer meetings, and protests led to the conviction of the accused and we assumed that everything was sorted now. Little did we know that this horrific incident was just a prologue to gory and cold-blooded rapes all over India. With every such crime, we fail as a society. With every candle march, our faith in the administration in the state falters but we stay strong in the belief that justice will be done. Now the time came we should all scream and shout and protest once again until we get justice for the bruised soul before the temples of justice.
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