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Minor Girl Raped On Panchayat Orders In Bokaro: Twisted Sense Of Justice In Kangaroo Courts

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By Devadutta Bhattacharjee:

The Judicial system of India is constructed in such a way that it is free from any political or constitutional pressure. The one organ of the government which is truly and absolutely in the service of the people, it is one of the key reasons why every citizen is an equal being in our country. But there are trials which do not take place inside the courtrooms, where both sides do not get equal representation.

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Rape for Justice or Rape for Revenge?

A minor girl in Bokaro, Jharkhand was raped on the orders of the village Panchayat by a 25 year old man. Her fault was that her brother, allegedly, assaulted the rapist’s sister. No one objected or even raised their voices as she was dragged from her house to a nearby forest where she was assaulted. Her own mother, after pleadings which led to nowhere, meekly allowed for her daughter to be dragged away and raped.

This blatant abuse of power to do something as inhumane as this sent waves of outrage throughout the nation. The village headman and the accused have been taken into custody, but how many cases like this are lurking in the orthodoxy of the rural society, girls who’ve not been brought to justice?

The headman was not even appointed by the lawful methods of appointment of Local Bodies. He was self appointed, and his word was law. According to NDTV, locals said almost all the villagers saw that girl being dragged to the woods, and not a single one of them is willing to testify. It’s common knowledge that without witnesses, the accused can walk free, so much for justice.

Kangaroo Courts in the Panchayati Raj

Local Government like the Panchayat were created and given the power to use government money and pass judgments because it was believed local leaders understand the needs and grievances of local people the best. While examples of the panchayat using their power to perform or support heinous acts like rape and murder isn’t new, one thinks about why we fall into an ignorant snooze, waking up only momentarily when the next barbaric act makes it to the news.

Rape Culture: What Have We Done to Break Free from it?

There continue to be endless cases of rape and violence against women, the most recent ones being the rape and murder of two teenage girls in Uttar Pradesh, May 27. In Jharkhand itself, there has been a surge of rape cases being reported, a girl in Koderma committing suicide because she was being forced to drop the charges against her violator and marry him instead; a five year old girl sexually assaulted and strangulated to death; a 19 year old girl raped and killed a week before her wedding, the list goes on and on.

The Delhi rape case made people aware of exactly how much danger women are living in this society with. Protests, rebellions, strikes, demonstrations, every constitutional right was made use of. People succeeded, laws were passed. We vowed to be stricter towards rape, more stringent rules were made. But has changing the definition of rape, making it wider and adding stalking and voyeurism as a part if sexual harassment too, helped prevent the actual act from happening, or helped the women in remote and underdeveloped areas at all?

In conclusion, I’d like to point out that the rape of these minors, all of these are distinct examples for people who justify rape as something that the woman deserved, her fault because she was wearing provoking clothes or smoking, because she attended school or ate chowmein. The minor raped in Jharkhand was subjected to that not to bring another girl to justice, rather than to erase the spots from the “honor” of the girl’s family. Thus being proved as a gigantic irony to the concept of justice, it makes me wonder how many more minors have to be violated before a such a rape law is passed which helps women before they are raped and during the hellish ordeal of bringing their wrongdoers to justice.

Swami Vivekananda had said, “Can you better the condition of your women? Then there will be hope for your well-being. Otherwise you will remain as backward as you are now.” If what he said is taken to be as the truth, India is still trapped in the trenches of backwardness, with a long way to go for any hopes of development.

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  1. Aman

    There are many more such cases where a Dalit women in Maharashtra was stripped naked by the people on the order of the Sarpanch..because she was considered to be prostitute…

    All this any many more are just an example as why despite been well equipped with better resources …and geographically unique…we still have been a developing country from past 66 or almost the 67th year of independence….

    And politicians are only bothered about there own parties and vote banks politics, and thus no one is even bothered to pass legislations or even make changes if required to the constitution…

    1. reardon

      Please tell me what amendment you require , there is no any law which supports a man , each n every law favors women tell me just one law and any provision which is in favor of men. Every day we read a husband has been killed by his wife in collusion with her boy friend ,people r committing suicide due to false rape charges , today i read a sister has killed her only brother because he was against her marriage ,can’t u read these cases , i have never seen that someone has raised voice against these cruelty against men by women .And some men also take the favor of women blindly without knowing the ground realities , women in every relationship only exploit men n however u try to get rid of them they ll be glued like parasites with u in certain relationship …..

    2. Devadutta Bhattacharjee

      Although I appreciate you voicing your opinion here, you are missing the whole point of it. We can play gender-blame-game for the rest of the eternity, or finally come to the realization that it is the crime that has to be uprooted, the perpetrators irrespective of their sex would cease to exist with that.

    3. reardon

      i m not playing any blame game , this govt is playing with our lives , we have been made slave of women by different legislation n laws, why laws can’t be made gender neutral , why women gets bail easily even after killing his husband ,cuz law has given such powers to women n they are misusing it with impunity ,govt is not ready to allow pre nuptial agreement , in this case ,the marriage is a sacrament but when it comes to women benefit it becomes an agreement ,wow! i hate this country for every thing, especially reservation n women have made our life miserable ,in any kind of relationship we men r victims , first,if u have sisters then hear abuses by their bfs if u have wife get killed by their bfs , why the r in any relationship with us , they ruin our life in every relationship …and this govt is drafting every law in favor of women , i know u ll not get all this cuz its matter of law , although everybody in this platform is omniscient, so i don’t have to say anything ……cuz its of no avail to discuss these things here…

  2. vaishali

    we are in a independent and democratic country.we call it so..but its bad that we hear all tis …even aftr so much developments the people of thevillages stil think women as the same they used to look around 50 yrs back.who gave tem d rights to become the heads by temselves….i hope tat the government appoints heads aftr lik an ias is appointed…tey dnt hav d right to do wat tey think wid d women in india…the punishments for rape should be more strict tat ppl shuld nt evenn ever think of doiing so.. ithink our india should impose stricter laws else….tis wil pursue..and who r tey to cmnt on wat a women wearrs nd bcoz c wears provoking dress doen mean u can do anything wid her…no person has that right to do anything he deserves…we may b in a free india but tat doen mean laws nd shold be made lenient…

  3. Anurag

    i have read more than 100 of articles on rape , women abuse and killings this is not only happening in villages but in big cities too the only reason behind this is environment . how dose a man become a rapist in small age he saw his dad beating his mother , abusing his mother , slowly he starts believing that the women are weak and same with the girl child she starts working for her dad and brother cooking , wiping and other works we make them believe that females are weak .
    if she cant give birth to a male baby kill her , if she is relaxing in short dresses rape her , if she dosent obey the rules made by her husband beat her .. to stop all this we dont need to respect women we just need to realize we are equal by competing them , not by supporting from back but standing together hand to hand , not protecting her from bad society but by giving power to fight and change that bad society ..
    we should give message to every girl that fight , stand , compete , with everyone , stop giving extra privileges to women that makes the society believe that they are weak , like reservation in trains , bus etc separate line for girls no we have to take them together holding there hands so that people will not differentiate between humans girls and boys both are human beings see them as humans thats all

    1. Devadutta Bhattacharjee

      You are absolutely right. The idea that men and women are unequal beings is majorly responsible for so many crimes against women nowadays. We immediately need to stop teaching the same twisted values to the next generation.

  4. Prashant Kaushik

    You ought to have a centralised for of government if you want to bring in drastic change in the societal make up. If people are left to themselves this is what they will do.
    All Social reforms in India (19th Century) and Political reforms ( 20th century) have followed the approach of Top-Down approach.
    The more, power and decision making is distributed, more such tendencies towards an anti-progressive and a regressive society.
    Unfortunately, one of the most expected Progressive party i.e. AAP threw its entire weight towards such decentralisation.

    SUch Mohalla and Aam Aadmi Sabha, are good, only in books and research paper, in reality they drag the nation towards darkness.

  5. Annu

    How is this even fair ? If her brother raped the other guy’s sister , isn’t her brother entitled to get rape as a punishment ?

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