Will Caste Now Decide If You Should Be Kept In Jail Or Given A Free Card?

Since when are rape and murder considered good sanskaar? And why is something like caste a factor in releasing criminals from jail in a democratic nation like India?

TW: This deals with rape and violence against women and may be triggering for survivors.

Imagine having to flee home uprooting your family and to seek shelter elsewhere only because you don’t feel safe at home anymore.

Imagine being attacked and hated for no fault of yours, but just for belonging to a particular community.

Imagine your fellow brethren and family including children brutally killed.

Imagine being gangraped brutally admist this chaos and having your three year old child killed before you.

Feels like hell has descended upon earth?

Has anyone thought of the repercussions of this action?

That was what Bilkis Bano had to go through, and after a long CBI probe, the eagerly awaited justice finally came. 11 of her rapists were convicted of rape and murder and served with a life sentence. She was awarded a compensation, but would anything being offered reduce her trauma?

On August 15, 2022 as India celebrated its 75th Independence Day, hailed our female freedom fighters and our PM called for women empowerment, these 11 rapists were freed from Godhra sub jail.

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The Gujarat Additional chief secretary was quoted saying that the remission was considered due to the completion of 14 years and factors such as age, behaviour in prison, nature of crime and so on. Nature of crime? What’s more heinous than rape and murder?

Not only were these criminals released from jail, but they were also given a welcome with garlands and sweets similar to that of a celebrated veteran.

Has it truly not occurred to them, the implications of this remission on Bilkis Bano and her family or on every other women out there?

‘Brahmins with good sanskaar’

While the country was still reeling from the shock of this remission, a ruling party MLA who also constituted the remission review panel justifies his stance by saying some of those convicts are “Brahmins with good sanskaar.”

Since when are rape and murder considered good sanskaar? And why is something like caste a factor in releasing criminals from jail in a democratic nation like India? In these 75 years have we truly even moved forward?

Dr. BR Ambedkar is often quoted saying that “Caste is a state of mind” and has our mindset worsened over the course of years? Are we even privileged enough to ask these questions?

I’m scared to be a girl in this country, scared for my sisters, mothers, friends, scared for every vulnerable person in this society, scared for Bilkis Bano and the horrors she might have to face due to this remission.

When we speak of the bright future, all I can see is a bleak one where people of privilege get their way, others are given get out jail free cards solely based on their castes, and the rest of us mortals are subjected to oppression.

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