By Sukriti Roy:
“20 year old woman gang raped as per the orders of a Kangaroo Court in West Bengal.”
Disgusted? Appalled? Horrified? Probably no words to describe the reaction this news creates!
As always, it is the rape victim’s fault, thanks to the skewed psyche of the people. So, what was this woman’s fault? She committed “the crime” of falling in love with a guy who did not belong to the same community as hers. Is that even a crime? NO! Definitely NOT! And raping a woman is in no way of any help even if it is touted as the ultimate way of “teaching her a lesson for the rest of her life.”
Why was only the girl punished? Why wasn’t her lover brought under the radar of the moral policing? The punishment handed over to her is mind boggling and grossly inappropriate. She was raped on a raised platform in the middle of the village so that everybody could take note of it, children included.
Why was she raped? Because she did not immediately pay the fine of Rs.50,000 which was imposed on her. So, anybody who wished could rape her. Who was she raped by? She was raped by teenagers and some men who are old enough to be of the same age as her father’s. She knew all of them as her acquaintances. Her shrills echoed throughout the night but nobody came forward to her rescue.
I get goosebumps just by thinking about the incident. I am unable to express my angst here. I just cannot write it down in an article. Is writing about it going to improve the situation in the country anyway? No. Or shall I say never? Now, you might say that generating awareness is going to help. The incident occurred in a village which has been devoid of even electricity and is extremely poor. How do you plan to change their regressive thinking? In fact, what is even more shocking is that the women of the village did not find anything wrong with the judgement. What is wrong with this world?!
It wasn’t the victim’s fault. Falling in love with someone of the other community wasn’t her fault, nor can she be blamed for the heinous incident. And being raped does not mean that the woman has lost her honour. It is the rapist’s fault. Never the victim’s. Never ever. In fact, she should dare to fall in love again with a man who is going to stand by her against all odds unlike the coward who did absolutely nothing to save her. Is any man going to accept her? Male chauvinists won’t. And there are probably very few courageous men who support a rape victim without caring about the fact about how judgemental our Indian society is.
Is the law and order situation in West Bengal so screwed that the Kangaroo Courts have such authority? In fact, as per reports, even the police does not tend to interfere with the decision making of such idiotic courts. And the decision of such courts is held to be supreme.
No matter how much one cribs and protests about such incidents, it is a well known fact that the mentality of people cannot change overnight. It just cannot. And mind you, taking out rallies and protesting against the government is not going to be of help either. Will that help the girl recover from her trauma speedily? Will that heal her wounds in a jiffy? No.
Education begins at home. Boys need lessons in chivalry. This has probably been said over and over again but it is the truth. Women need to change their outlook towards things. Alright, I do not aspire that all women should become outright feminists though there is nothing wrong with that. But most importantly, the courage to stand up for what is right, despite the prevalence of shallow, regressive mentality in the Indian society, is the need of the hour!