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Have we really turned this apathetic towards the plight of women and minority groups in this country or is this who we were from the very beginning?
Trigger warning: This article talks about gang rape and murder.
Is it even possible to make sense of the judgement that led to the release of 11 men convicted of gang rape and murder in the Bilkis Bano case? And that too on the day India celebrated 75 years of Independence? There are moments in life when it feels that our existence is nothing more than an exercise in futility. This is one of those days.
Unfortunately, we seem to be living in a dystopian society where everything is going from bad to worse. This has to be one of the most bewildering, senseless, shameless, insensitive, and inexcusable of decisions where the people who raped and murdered women and children during the 2002 Gujarat Anti-Muslim Riots were not only freed from jail but also garlanded and given sweets. I am trying to understand the state of mind of those sick people who were celebrating the release of such rapist ******** but it is impossible to do so. It feels sickening to see those vile men smile from ear to ear while Bilkis is rightfully worried about her right to live in peace anymore.
Is this how we are going to treat rape convicts from now on? As if things couldn’t get any worse, there is always some misogynistic blabbermouth who will shamelessly justify something as indefensible as this decision just to satisfy their fragile ego. A panelist who was part of a news debate on this issue actually said that the convicts were entitled to be released as they had families. These 11 men were put behind bars for murdering 14 members of Bilkis Bano’s family (including her stillborn child of 5 months). They deserve to rot in jail for the rest of their lives.
As Rana Ayyub says, ‘What is left for a virus to kill in a morally corrupt nation’ ?
What is even more shocking is that there is not even a whimper of protest or activism over the Gujarat Government’s decision to release these convicts. Or is it? Hathras, Unnao, Kathua and countless other such cases were treated in a similar manner, so it would be foolhardy to expect anything different this time when rapists and murderers are openly felicitated.
The reality is that we are nothing more than a bunch of Islamophobic and casteist individuals who will go to any lengths to either brazenly justify or silently condone blatant injustice against these communities. We stay mum when Bajrang Muni threatens to rape Muslim women. We don’t say a word when the makers of Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals, apps that were openly auctioning Muslim women, are granted bail. We look the other way when Dalit and Adivasi women are brutally raped and murdered in broad daylight. So why would we open our mouths now?
Celebrated columnist Rana Ayyub was brutally criticized and trolled when she called India a morally corrupt nation. But the downward spiral that this country has descended into has proved that we are indeed morally corrupt and ethically bankrupt. Every new day brings with itself a fresh set of miseries that we are supposed to overlook so that our normal (read privileged) lives are not affected by the anarchy that has encapsulated the entire nation. Have we really turned this apathetic towards the plight of women and minority groups in this country or is this who we were from the very beginning? We celebrate politicians who use terms like ‘50 crore ki girlfriend‘ to describe women. We follow actors who use extremely derogatory words while talking about women politicians like Mayawati just because they come from oppressed castes. We adore sportspersons who brandish their misogyny in public without an afterthought.
My writing might seem like the ramblings of a depressed and hopeless individual but I can’t see things getting any better from here. I hope that my fellow citizens will prove me wrong but I fear that they won’t.
Images source: YouTube
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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.
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