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As Always, You Asked For It

Posted: February 19, 2012

The recent Park street case in Kolkata where a woman alleged that she was raped inside a car after being accompanied by some men from a nightclub, demonstrates once again what we’v always known: If you get raped, you’re likely to be blamed for it.

In this case, the woman went to a nightclub (GASP!), had alcohol (cue bigger GASP!) and had met the alleged rapists before she was attacked by them were all used as sticks to beat her with.

In other words, she was not the sati-savitri sitting at home and attacked by armed intruders breaking in, which is the only sort of victim one is allowed to sympathise with (and even there, someone will point out that she didn’t have enough locks on her door). In this case, that the lady had filed her complaint 4 days after the event was again stirred up. Given the way the police treated her to begin with, is it surprising that citizens hesitate to file complaints? Again, and again, women who complain are asked to produce character certificates before they will be taken seriously.

The fact that this state happens to be run by a female Chief Minister at present, made no difference whatsoever. I suppose it is too much to expect that there will be some sort of empathy just because of gender; on the contrary, the CM wasted no time in alleging that the woman had cooked up the incident to “malign” her government.

We know for a fact that crimes against women happen everywhere – inside homes, on busy streets and deserted ones, inside so-called exclusive locations like pubs and nightclubs, during the day and at night. Why, girls have been picked up from places as busy as a communal water filling spot.

If anyone should know this better, is is the police who have clear records of and experience with where crimes happen. Yet, again and again, police forces in this country persist in first launching an investigation of the victim’s character rather than into the mechanism of the crime.

In this case, the victim’s tenaciousness in pursuing the case, her refusal to bow down to any so-called sense of shame in bringing such matters to light, and the media’s persistence in following it up have helped to keep the pressure up on the police. Could you imagine if a similiar crime had happened far from a metro and away from media attention, with a victim who agreed to believe that she had asked for it?

Pic credit: Man Alive! (This image of a protestor at a Slutwalk protest in Manchester, UK has been used under a Creative Commons license)

Founder & Chief Editor of Women's Web, Aparna believes in the power of ideas

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  1. In this case, the CM seems to have set the tone and tenor of the case, aided crudely by Minister Madan Mitra. Had it not been for the tenacity of Damayanti Sen, the crime branch chief of the city police, cops would still be blaming the victim. Damayanti’s good work seems to have been undone, at least in part, by the comments of the Police Commissioner RK Pachnanda, who again harped on the media (and the victim?) maligning the government and the police. Since when is it the job of a police officer to defend the government’s image?

  2. @Sunil – that is true – and people take their cues from the top, which makes it so particularly important that they act more responsibly. Glad to know that another lady, the crime branch chief, has been able to do some good work.

  3. Few questions i like to raise about the park street rape case.

    1) What example she set infront of her 14 & 12 yr old daughter , when she comes back home drunken at 2-3 o clock in the night?
    2) she was unemployed ……… how does she afford to go to a 5 star disco on a regular basis? from where she gets the money… her divorced husband pays a little amount of money only.
    3) why did she allowed the stranger to pay the bill for 8 bottles of beer in a costly 5 star bar …….. would you let any stranger to pay for your drinking and eating bills that also when it is very costly bill?
    4) why she took a lift from an unknown drunker at the middle of the night……. are anybody foolish to do so?
    5) when other boys got into the car whom she did not talked in the club, why did not she got out of the car right there….5 unknown boys and 1 girl. did not she found that unusual and dangerous .why she did not got out of the car when it was inside the hotel lobby( infront of all hotel securities)
    6)If she was mocked by police , why she did not went to AC , DC or Joint CP ……..rather than rushing to Media..remember -revealing to media will disclose her identity more …when rape involves a social stigma
    7) if she suffered tremendous trauma then why did she again visited a club in kolkata immediately the next day of the alleged rape……… madan mitra raised this point and she admitted too.
    8) When police conducted an IT parade , why she was 100% sure seeing sharafat ali as one of the rapist.
    9) “ HII, I AM RUMAN KHAN SORRY LUVI GIDWANI“ why this statement was not given to police by her in initial stage why at the end of the investigation
    10) imagine in a honda 5 seat car where at the back sit 4 people can sit very thightly , how in the moving car one of them raped her ………….lack of space is a factor to be kept in mind.
    11)In medical report there is no remarks about injuries in the private parts of the lady.
    12) why did she all by her own went to a government hospital to get a report from a government doctor that she was assaulted ( not raped ) before even going to the police station for a FIR. why not rape assault , why she went for physical assault.

    There are still more issues that can be raised , dont worry,such issues will surface out in the trial court and and more truth will be revealed. More things i can write about her as she is one of my neighbour in parnasree pally but it is point less as i cannot give you proof of those allegation on this electronic forum, so that is why i raised only those issues which you yourself can answer using your common sense and logic thinking impartially.
    Joint CP , dyamanti sen never said that it is prooved that she got raped, she told that those culprit will be booked under 376 IPC. according to various verdicts and suggestion from high courts and supreme court – while a statement has been made about rape by a lady the police have to chargesheet the accused in a rape case( THAT IS MANDATORY) when the proximity of the accused and the girl is prooved. In this case the the proximity is clear seeing the CCTV and other allybies . But weather rape has been done or not at all clear.

    Well in court such a rubbish case will be very soon exposed. And the matter about intentions of certain influential corporate house to malign the government will be become more prominent.
    Just wait and watch.

  4. Paul – you are under the misapprehension that she is the on to be on trial. She isn’t. Setting a poor example to your kids and making poor judgements on when/where to drink isn’t a criminal offense – and she isn’t being tried for those.

    Rape, on the other hand – a grave criminal offense, regardless of what a woman may or may not have done.

    • Aparna, this guy Paul seems a little uncomfortable about women who drink, or are a little more open than our society permits. What he says is dangerous, and his knowledge of the law is, to say the least, grossly inadequate..

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  6. Paul- as long as she is not asking you to buy her drinks, you need not worry about her sources of income. Did you ever wonder what example the men of our households have been setting in front of their kids after they come home drunk? Did you ever hear any of them being prosecuted because they were setting a poor example? Any incident of drunk men being raped? So a woman drinks, lets another man pay her bills, accepts lift from people she didn’t know well discounts the heinous crime of rape? I wonder who’s paying you to malign her image? Any guesses people? *smirk*

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