One More Rape And Words Have Failed Me – By Halabol
Here are some words which I don’t know the meaning of any more: brutal, horror, terrible, rage, outrage, horrible, awful, ghastly, monstrous, savage, primitive, anger, shame, sorrow… These words ran out after December 16, 2012 when a young woman was gang-raped in a bus in New Delhi.
So now that we have another case where a five year old girl was raped and tortured, also in New Delhi as it happens, what is left to say?
There was some small hope that India will start taking cases like this more seriously last December, after days of public protests, a resurgence of women’s rights movements and promises from police, politicians and governments. None of that has come to pass since apart from the rape itself, the family of the five year old has had to deal with police apathy and callousness. A policeman told the father that since his child was found alive, why did he need to take the case further and he was also offered a Rs 2000 bribe so that he would not go to the media.p
The police covered itself with glory when an additional commissioner of police was caught on TV cameras slapping a teenage girl who was protesting outside the hospital where the young victim was being treated.
On the one hand we have violence and sexual crimes against women, girl and young boys and babies. On the other, we have a police force which cannot for the life of it understand what it has to do to deal with this.
But beyond all this, the core problem remains. The attitude to women in India at all levels remains appalling. And our inability to openly discuss sexual perversions means that we push these crimes into hidden spaces of our society where they are allowed to breed in darkness. As a society, we have to stop hiding behind shibboleths of our traditions which somehow make us immune to the same depravities that all humans suffer from.
It is also time to dump the idea that women who dress or behave in a particular way demand to be raped or as asking for unwanted attention.