Of Rape, Dirty Politics, And Paid Media: The Kalpana Giri Case

Posted on April 14, 2014

By Hitesh Bhatt:

Rape is an unfortunate event irrespective of who is raped, where the victim resides, what her caste is and who the rapist(s) was/were. Each victim has to be given utmost attention and justice should be delivered in a speedy manner. This is the irony in our country that on the one hand when a rape takes place in a metro city like Delhi, people make hue and cry about it, politicians start playing politics out of such heinous crime, and the whole world hears the clamour for justice; while on the other, several rapes keep happening with innocent females on the peripheries of such big cities and no one even notices.

This is a real story of a girl named Kalpana Giri. She was not only young but vibrant, talented and energetic. In an early age, she had started climbing the ladder of politics and had reached the position of Secretary in Yuva Congress. On the evening of 21st March, she went to attend the birthday party of a local Congress MLA Amit Deshmukh and never returned home. She was raped and murdered, and her body was found on 23rd March, drowning in a lake near Tuljapur town, 70 kilometers away from Latur. The probe is on and the suspects are a few Congress leaders of Latur.


How many of us knew of this story? Not many. In fact a very few did. There are a few points worth pondering over. First, no Congress party leader came forward to condemn this heinous crime and none went to Kalpana’s family to console them, promise justice, or extend solidarity. Why did they fail to do so? It seems simple to answer this question. As this is the “crucial-election-time”, coming out with this incident in public would prove a major vote loss for the party. The irony is that the party which boasts the most about women empowerment and social justice does not even want to talk about this issue at this point of time.

Secondly, no media house, except one or two, bothered to give coverage to it as they would usually do had it been a case of Delhi or Mumbai. Either they did not see TRP in this story or they all sold themselves to the party who does not want the news to come out. We all know the status of electronic media, that how inefficient and biased it has become. Electronic media, which has an important role to play in a democracy, has become a profit making business, and continues to delude the country. Last and the most important, Kalpana did not get any attention of the actual common men and women like you and I. Even the students from JNU and TISS, that claim to be pro-people, did not come out for a protest march to extend their solidarity as they usually do. While TISS, Tuljapur had organised a candle march for the 16th December Delhi rape incident , it did not do anything when a similar incident happened in the institute’s proximity. Strange, isn’t it? Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook did not give the issue any attention- no page was created, and no big intellectual discussion took place.

Leave aside politicians and electronic media; we, the common people, and the change makers through social media, have become biased towards “causes”. We need to think as to why our hearts boil only when the country’s center is shaken. Why do we not get affected when the periphery is also crying? We should not forget that center becomes a center only due to its peripheries.

RIP Kalpana.

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