Check out 16 Return-To-Work Programs In India For Ambitious Women Like You!
What message did our justice system send victims of sexual violence, with its victim shaming remarks while giving anticipatory bail to Alok Nath?
With the #MeToo movement gaining momentum in the country, we’ve seen many women naming and shaming sexual predators publicly. However, what message did our justice system send to the victims of sexual violence, with its victim shaming remarks while giving anticipatory bail to Alok Nath, a rape accused?
It all started with a detailed Facebook post in October 2018 by Screenwriter Vinta Nanda who shared details of the sexual violence inflicted on her without revealing Alok Nath’s name, but mentioned the alleged rapist as being “the most #Sanskaari (cultured) person in the film and television industry.” Later, she filed a complaint with the police, following which Alok Nath filed for pre-arrest bail fearing arrest.
Today, on 9th January 2018, the court granted the bail to Alok Nath on a surety bond of Rs. 5 lakh. The issue of granting bail is not what is raising eyebrows; rather, it is the observations that accompanied the decision.
The court observed that the report filed by the complainant Vinta Nanda may be “defamatory”, “false”, and “inspired by the unrequited and unreciprocated love”, among other similar vile statements. The court observed the friendship between Vinta, and Alok Nath’s wife Ashu in the early 80’s, how the two had gained the friendship of Alok Nath in the midst of 80’s, and how Alok married Ashu. What follows sounds more like a movie script than anything real.
According to the court, “The complainant soon found herself to be secluded as she had lost her best friend” and that the allegation is “inspired by the unrequited and unreciprocated love and affection that she had for him.”
A woman, a successful woman, in the midst of thousands of other victims has spoken up about sexual violence in a patriarchal country, and sought the help of the judicial system of the country to avail the justice she rightfully deserves; are these observations the justice she receives?
It continues. The court, observing the reason as to why the complainant didn’t file a complaint for 20 years since the incidents, said that there’s “no record to show that Nath had given any threat or made any promise against lodging a report.” And also that she “did not lodge the report immediately after the alleged incident for her own benefit.”
Does the court expect every rape victim to record every threat and promises by the rapist so it can be used as an excuse as to why the victim didn’t file a complaint with the police? Is it feasible? Is everything recorded? There wouldn’t be a need for an institution such as a court or the police if each and everything that happens is recorded; we could just use that “record” like a credit to get “justice” and not struggle so much by approaching the court. Can we focus on the crime and not on why the victim didn’t file a complaint for a long time? Many crimes go unreported in our country, and it’s not the time to shame a rape victim for not filing the complaint right after the incident.
Now we come to the part where the court is very specific that anything that’s not recorded meant that it didn’t happen. It says that Vinta “remembers the entire incident but she did not remember the date and month of the incident.”
Our brains don’t work that way. It doesn’t remember each and everything that happens, and especially when it comes to traumatic events, the brain represses such memories to protect itself. We’re humans, and our brains are prone to deleting or repressing traumatic events and their associated memories, and not remembering the date and month is no reason to label a rape accusation as “false”. What’s today’s date? I could bet that not everyone would remember it right away (even though I mentioned it at the beginning of this piece).
“In view of all these facts, the possibility cannot be ruled out that the applicant has falsely been enroped in the crime”: On this, I could not help but believe that the court has taken no efforts to truly hear the victim. What happened to the detailed account of a living, breathing woman, her years of suffering from the trauma, as well as the five hour statement that the police recorded? These are to be brushed aside because she cannot remember dates?
But would it stop here? The rapists, and the institutions favouring the welfare of powerful men; would it stop here?
It’s either that, or we keep raising our voices against the sexual violators, and the lacunae in the judicial system that let powerful men go away untouched. The more the struggles and setbacks that slam us, the louder our voices should be.
Curious student for life. Periyar, Ambedkar, & Marx fills my gray matter; but I'm no blind pop-culture follower wearing a Che Guevara on my Tee, but a critical thinker who'll question any regressive read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
It is easy to give in to patriarchal expectations from a married woman and lose your self in a marriage, but the path to happiness is in keeping your independence.
Marriage is often described as the joining of two individuals’ bodies, minds, and souls. Upon getting married, you are expected to share everything with your partner, including time, money, and all other aspects of life. Your life should revolve around your spouse from beginning to end.
But is it necessary to spend every waking moment with the spouse? Are you not supposed to have a life apart from your spouse? And do these rules apply only to women or men as well?
Although both men and women may face this situation, women are generally expected to give up everything once they get married. Despite progress in several areas, expecting women to abandon their interests, passions, and friendships to align their lives with those of their spouses is still considered the norm.
The rising numbers of single women choosing this life shout out clear and loud that patriarchy and sexism will no longer break or chain us.
Another book on singlehood? It seems to be the season for books on the joys and freedom of being single. But Demystifying and Dignifying Singlehood: Life Journeys of Single Women Across the Globe by Uma Jain is different. The book does not glorify or glamourise the lives of single women in any way. These are real stories – with the good, the bad and the ugly, all there.
The book tells the stories of 15 single women across the world. A feeling of deep understanding and empathy fills you as you read the book and understand the challenges faced by the women who are single – by choice or chance. Some of the women chose to be single because they faced discrimination and even abuse as girl children. Some others had abusive marriages and sought divorce.
The tag line ‘Crafting pathways on rough terrains’ on the cover page is enough to tell you that this is a serious take on the issue of singlehood. If it focuses more on the rough than the smooth, that has been the reality for the 15 women.
Please enter your email address