Editorial

Image Credit: Elise S., Clarksville, MD

Image Credit: Elise S.,
Clarksville, MD

The French revolution, Civil war, holocaust, Pearl Harbor, Vietnam war, SA, across the nations, down the history lane, you would find nothing other than exploitation of others.

                      Things that are shaking the world with female foeticide to child marriages to now, epidemic of rapes that are happening all across the Indian nation and elsewhere are shaking up the entire world.It is not the first time women are being raped and left to die.In 2006, in Khairlange village in Maharashtra, people may not have forgotten yet. It is not a thing to be forgotten even.

                  A Dalit Budhdhist family of Bhot Mange family has been killed by the other backward caste members of the Kumbin caste, very horribly.The women were gang raped and killed.For sometime Bhayya Lal’s family, had been harassed for their land. Bhayyalal’s family followed law and never accepted the threats from the Kumbin caste members.In this incident, mother Surekha Bhot Mange 44 years, daughter Priyanka aged 18 have been pulled on to the middle of the village naked, raped and Killed. The brothers Roshan, 23 years and Sudheer, 21 years were also tortured and killed. The brothers were forced to rape the sister and when they resisted, they were tortured, butchered and killed. They were hit with wooden canes, killed and thrown into the irrigation canal next to the farm.At the time of this incidence, Bhayya Lal was away so his life was spared.Worst part of it is that in this incident, even women were part of this horrible crime.Those women encouraged their men to rape Surekha and her daughter.After six years after the murders, the criminals were given death sentence, that was again changed to life imprisonment.

                      When this incident occured several people’s unions, Dalit Associations alone responded and protested. After this incident, many more attacks over Dalit Women took place. Even now the Khairlanje incidence is one of the worst incidents that happened. According to National Crime Record Bureau’s statistics, every day at least three cases of killing of Dalit women are reported. Domestic violences, attacks on minority Muslim women have become a common place.

               In 1992, a Dalit woman from Rajasthan, by name Bhanwari Devi was gang raped, however the judgement was an insult to all women folk, as that reflected the carelessness of upper caste people. It was said that, “since Bhanwari Lal belonged to untouchables cast, men of higher caste may not have raped her”. This created furore over the Dalit community for the injustice.Many feminists responded to these comments.Several cases of rapes that were committed later, that were reported, were just limited to regional newspapers and the police stations.Many women students were date raped and gang raped by their boy friends, recorded in camcorders and mobile phones and sent as SMS to friends. Irrespective of age, homemakers, old people, and even months old infants were raped and killed. Women working in call centers were attacked, raped and killed in questionable murders.

              Whatever it is, after so many incidents, it was like the last straw on camel’s back with the Delhi incident, which created furore and rage among people. Whether she was called Nirbhaya or Damini or Amanat whatever may be her name, everyone prayed for her recovery whole heartedly. Delhites protested against the rapists and murderers, to be given capital punishment or severe punishment. It was not perceived as a problem by some womens’ organizations or women’s groups alone.Students, men, women and all sections of the society responded to this, as if, it was a crime against someone they know very closely. People rallied and demonstrated with candle lights. They have offered prayers for her soul to rest in peace. All this they have done, because they felt the victim like their own friend or relative. Irrespective of the position they are in, women are women, all the elite ladies also shed tears. Only the Public Police have acted very rudely and attacked on the mob during the riots and sprayed water forcefully and hurt people as if they are some street stray dogs, in a very inhuman way.Let us hope this response and feeling will be there for every woman. That does not mean that they should be attacked, and people should so respond, it means that the response and feeling of ownership towards the victim continues with the rest of the survivors and that they will be treated respectfully.

                 There is no guarantee that all the rest of the women are spared, right after this incident as if it was a epidemic, several other women and young girls were gang raped in cars and other vehicles.The reaction that is generated among the people should have come to exist long time before. The law should have been amended to give severe punishment to the rapists and murderers. Not just that, Government, Legal system should provide justice and support organizations supporting human rights and people’s societies. This would provide some justice towards women and young ladies and the rapists would be punished and the incidents of  vakapalli, Nirbhaya, Srilakshmi, Swapnika, Pratyusha would not be repeated to anyone else.

-Hemalatha Putla

 

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