By Kennedy G Haokip and Moitrayee Das
It has been six years since one of the most horrific rape cases took the country by a storm. Of course, it is not to say that there were no rape cases before 2012. Nothing has changed since then. Oh, it has actually, only for the worst. Because now the rape victims are not just girls, women, men, infants and the aged, the list now also comprises dogs, pregnant dogs and goats. This is the level of inhumanity we are talking about in 2018 and it is safe to conclude that any ‘living being’ is vulnerable to get raped.
Yes. Any informative site would give one a detailed region wise and an overall national count of rape cases for every year. That’s what rape cases have become in India. Statistics. It is an everyday affair to read or hear about a rape case. I vividly remember the gory details of the Nirbhaya rape case and the chills it sent down my spine on 16th December 2012 and even now as we write this. On May 5, the Supreme Court of India upheld the death sentence for all four convicts. What Next? Nothing. Within a week a gang rape case in Haryana was reported and the instances continue till date. For those of us who naively thought ‘OK this incident should be a lesson to potential rapists’ were proved wrong in less than a week. Once we delve into the details of such issues, the concern regarding rape culture emerges, it is a culture which is highly prevalent in India. We already know that, don’t we? What we don’t know is when this will STOP? Research shows most of these crimes are committed by family members or someone known to the victim. You say “akele mat jao, bhai ke saath jao, mama, papa, chacha ke saath jao“, but what do we do if one of them is raping us? Shall we stop going out altogether? Stop dreaming? Stop living? Because even today a rape victim is questioned by the authorities like she is at fault and like she ‘invited’ the man. This has been heard by the seven-month-old wearing diapers, 18-year-old wearing skirt, 25-year-old in a burkha, 30-year-old wearing a saree,70-year-old nun wearing her uniform, and the PREGNANT DOG lying on the road.
The Nirbhaya case had made headlines in every newspaper, news-channel and media forum, thousands stood fighting for her, fighting for justice. But there are also thousand Nirbhayas born every day, their stories never reach us. Justice is mostly hoped and hardly served by the Indian legal system. The backlog of a rape case trial stood at more than 133,000 by the end of 2016, up from about 100,000 in 2012 according to the National Crime Bureau data. Each year during that period, about 85% of the total rape cases being heard remained pending.
So much has been spoken about and so much will be spoken about it. But we as a nation have stooped so low and failed to secure the basic human rights of individuals at so many levels. It feels so funny to even utter the words “acche din” because it feels like we could not have seen more “bure or ghatiya din” than what we see currently. Delhi is popularly known as the rape capital and India the rape nation, statistics are the proof after all. One of the contradicting and extremely funny trends in India is the concept of ‘Gau Maata‘, the English translation defines ‘mata’ as a Goddess. The fact that cows are safer than women (humans) speaks volumes of the times we live in and the utter failure of the leaders and their so-called laws. The fact that the government has turned a blind eye to this issue makes us think about the hypocritic nature of ‘goddesses’ in India.
So many things need to majorly change, from our homes to our society, for us to see minor changes in our everyday lives. Starting from the right kind of teaching to the young boys and girls to shunning silly sayings like“Boys will be boys” or “men will never grow up” and every other bullshit that we hear every day. If young children are taught the right things at a young age and if WE ALL as a society can learn to finally behave like humans, probably then we would start seeing changes we currently only dream of.