Another morning has started with the horrifying news about a girl being gang-raped in West Bengal. Though there is no why or how in rapes, this case though particularly gives you chills when you set on to answer the why and how. Here is a twenty year old who has been meted out the punishment of gang-rape by thirteen men because she was reportedly having an affair with a man belonging to a different community. While it is impossible to even imagine the kind of physical and emotional trauma a rape survivor goes through, what leaves me numb and speechless is our shocking extent of brutality.
I look at the state of affairs in Bengal and it appears as if certain elements in the state are competing over claims to brutality. It has been one case of gang-rape over another with absolute shamelessness and apathy on the part of the perpetrators and administrators. A woman gets gang-raped and is accused of prostitution. A teenager gets gang-raped, runs pillar to post for justice only to be finally burnt to death. Another woman gets gang-raped returning from work and finally one for being in love. And this, when we are only talking about the cases reported.As Bengal is sharply becoming the rape capital, I am wondering what the state and local government are doing to combat that. I keep looking for signs of empathy and efficiency in the government, but they apparently are too busy manhandling people for drawing supposedly notorious cartoons. What is seriously up with West Bengal?
— CNN-IBN News (@ibnlive) January 23, 2014
I shudder thinking how we have allowed rape news to become routine for us. It is just another headline from a different time and space. It is just another case report. It is no more about another girl being devastated for life, another family being ostracized for no fault of theirs, another community scared to let their girls emancipate, another failure of humanity. It is a little beyond me to understand the misplaced medal of victory rapists move around with. I personally don’t pity any other category of humans more than rapists. I think one has to be at their weakest and most pathetic to force themselves on someone else to satiate their need, their vengeance or whatever. But equally pathetic are the cultural fanatics who can then come forward and say a hundred senseless things about the clothes the girl wore, about the way she moved, about the manner in which she lured and about the way she didn’t fall at the rapists’ feet calling them her brothers.
If we didn’t have cases of women in Burqa being raped too and sisters being raped by brothers I would have still lent them a ear. Rape always was and will be the fault of only the perpetrators. To make the perpetrators sound like the victims of clothes and lust is simply outrageous. Human beings by their nature are meant to lust. But not at the cost of stripping a woman off her dignity, safety and right to choice. So let’s just get over blaming the women.
Is it too much to ask for a nation to just grow up? To expect a basic amount of sensitivity and respect? To expect outrage instead of apathy from the citizens each time a person is violated.To expect mothers to inculcate in their sons the right values instead of gloating him with misguided ideas of his masculinity? To expect the chains of patriarchy to be broken? To expect a society to let a girl be, to let her grow uninhibited, to give her the freedom of love, relationships, movements and speech? Is it too much to ask for?