Women MPs Talking Of Lynching Rapists Is Not OK, But It Underlines Our Messed Up Rape Culture

Posted: December 3, 2019

MP Jaya Bachchan mentioned lynching of rapists in Parliament. It just shows the urgent need for action against alleged and confirmed rapists, all over the country right now! 

I have never heard of anyone talking about lynching someone while standing in the parliament. The fact that Jaya Bachchan had to even utter that word in relation to the gruesome rape and murder of a 26 year old doctor in Hyderabad should make us realize how bad the situation is for women in our country.

For all the intelligentsia sitting in Parliament, courts, police stations and TV studios, this is a very very big warning: act against rape right now. For the love of God, just do it or…. (None of us may be prepared for how this sentence may actually end)!

Things have just gone too far

Let me clear this first: I do not support lynching in any form. So I do not agree with anyone who advocates this terrible act.

But put yourself in a woman’s shoes and then ask yourself if there is any other way to express their frustration with what we have done till now? Words fail to convey the manner in which we have failed them.

They are not safe in their homes. They are not safe outside. They are not safe in groups. They are not safe alone. They are not safe at night. They are not safe during the day. They are not safe in the cities. They are not safe in the villages.

They are not safe. Period.

Try and imagine your life this way with the fear of being raped and killed absolutely anywhere in the country, and then if you have the audacity to tell women “Not to overreact”, then I do not know what to say.

The epidemic of sexual assault has gone well beyond statistics now. There is a very strong feeling that something needs to be done and just amending the laws or issuing guidelines will not be enough anymore.

And this feeling is everywhere now. It will result in something drastic soon. But I don’t know if it will be drastic good or bad.

No political will?

There have been numerous opportunities to act against rape culture, but our politicians have always restricted themselves to ‘Kadi Ninda’ (strong condemnation) maintaining absolute silence while inducting alleged rapists and confirmed misogynists in their parties (because apparently they are winnable candidates – a clear reflection of how royally fucked up we are as a society) on a regular basis.

The fact that our ruling party made a lot of fuss and wasted precious time in acting against people like Chinmayanand and Kuldeep Singh Sengar tells you where their priorities are.

Do those sitting at the very top of their respective political parties realize that they are playing with fire, which they might not be able to contain once it goes out of hand? They can engage in shameless sycophancy to satisfy the ego of their colleagues, but sitting over a time bomb like this is not an option anymore.

We need more concrete steps

What our politicians need to understand is that we will require some concrete steps right now.

  • Setting up of fast track courts which actually deliver justice and not let the victims and their families keep hanging in anticipation for years,
  • training our police forces on how to be sensitive to the rape victims,
  • have a much better first response system where the police is prompt in responding to any complaints in a rape case,
  • have special cells for cases like these where our overly misogynistic police force is not able to interfere and
  • rigorously implement the laws that are already present with us.

Misogynist response of Telangana govt

I don’t even want to talk about the absolutely horrifying response of the Telangana government and its politicians.

From the Chief Minster restricting women bus conductors to operate during the night, to their honorable minister actually blaming the victim showing his immense capabilities of being insensitive, to the massively popular MLA from Hyderabad communalizing the whole issue as has been his forte which we have seen on previous occasions.

Precedent – the Jyoti Singh Pandey rapists

It has been seven years now and the case is still going on. I understand that every citizen has the right to file a mercy petition. But is it not possible that petitions in case of crimes like rape and terrorism can be reviewed within a day or two and be dismissed immediately if that petition lacks merit?

Will our system have the foresight to be prepared for these review petitions in advance, and make the necessary arrangements to send it directly to the President instead of letting it be delayed for so long?

I don’t really know how these fast track courts work, but its been seven years now and those convicts have still not been hanged yet. God knows what would have happened if this case was on a slower track. I guess ‘Hypocrisy ki koi seema nahi hoti hai’ (Hypocrisy has no limits).

A terrifying situation for half our population

We have absolutely no idea of furious and terrified women and children in our country are feeling right now. The sense of frustration is building up with every reposted case of sexual assault. If we still maintain the ‘rape hua toh hua’  (Ok, so what can be done if rape happened?) attitude, this will rub even more salt in the wounds of those affected by that rape, and will demoralise those who want to seek justice in such cases. .

Influencer Sonam Chopra (@redheadwayfarer) wrote a very powerful Instagram post articulating her pain, bewilderment, and anger which will resonate among so many women and men as well.

How can we say “Sab changa hai” (Everything is fine!)?

Why is it that our systems are doing everything that they can to test our patience? Can we really afford to go on with our lives and pretend that everything is normal? (I know that out Prime Minister was enthusiastically shouting ‘Sab changa hai’ at the Howdy Modi event, but the reality is very different!)

If you still feel that nothing is going to happen, do all of us a favour and please watch the movie Angry Indian Goddesses till the very end, and only then you understand the gravity of the situation we are in. None of the usual tactics will work anymore, and you will have to show proper remedial action to be taken seriously by the public ever again.

We cannot afford to have vigilante justice in our country whatever be the circumstances.

Someone please stop this madness

We cannot afford to brush this issue under the carpet any longer. The public is seething in its anger, and if we do not listen to it now things could take a very dark turn. If that happens there will be no winners, and the losses will be too huge to comprehend. Something that none of us want.

This is a national emergency and we need to deal with it right now keeping all our egos, prejudices and loyalties aside. We cannot afford to have almost half of our population live in such crippling amounts of fear and anger anymore.

Since the Prime Minister is the highest authority in our country, we would appeal to him to do something to stop this madness right now. You yourself have said several times that you do not sleep for more than three hours a day. It is time you actually wake up from the deep slumber that your government seems to have gone into.

Remember the wise words of Swami Vivekananda ‘Arise, awake and stop not till your goal is reached’.

Image source: YouTube

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