Trigger Warning: Rape, Sexual Assault
A man rapes a woman in India, every, 15 minutes. While you’re living in your pretty, little bubble and reading this particular article, at least one rape would have been committed.
The Who, What, and Why? The country is grieving the loss of
one two well, I’ve lost count now, but hey, we Indians are back to mourning the rapes and murders of more women this October. Two that shook the whole nation all over again are the Hathras and Balrampur rapes followed by murders. These are proof of just how well-developed of a state our country has grown to become! It’s surprising how people still argue the necessity of gender-upliftment programs and, well, feminism. They fail to recognize the increasing gap and crimes against women, which, in turn, is lowering the bar of equality and upliftment of them to a greater extent. Even worse is the condition prevailing amongst the Dalit women, as they face the atrocities inflicted as a result of their caste, in addition to gender-based discrimination. Rape isn’t just a pathetic violation of human rights for the victim; it is more of a way to establish dominance by the rapist over another human. And so, this incident forces us to look at it in a way that includes the viewpoint of caste. In India, casteism has existed since time immemorial, and so has the oppression of the lower castes by their upper counterparts, more so, in rural areas.
The Cruelty of the Crime and What the Police have done About it: Back to Hathras, which gave birth to the age-old discussion again, here, the rapists cut the victim’s tongue, broke her spine, paralyzed her body, and shattered her lungs. Even though the public has accustomed to gender-based violence news, the outrage is slightly higher this time because of the extremity of the brutality involved. As if there wasn’t enough frustration for the victim’s family already, the regional police officers added some more by cremating the girl’s body during the wee hours of the night. They barred the family from entering the cremation site, didn’t allow them to perform the last rituals, and the reason was said to be ‘avoidance of violence problems‘ later. The police have now arrested the four accused on charges of rape, murder, and violation of the SC/ST act. Most certainly, the convicts deserve more torturous punishments, and I was positive that they should hang… until I read this article, which made sense. Sadly, before serving justice to a young girl who was wronged, the authorities must think twice solely for fear of the consequences that might have.
September 14, 2020: Date of rape of the girl
September 17, 2020: Victim gestures that the criminals sexually assaulted her.
September 22, 2020: Medical examination takes place. (8 days after the heinous crime, which means plenty of time for evidence to get lost)
September 29: She succumbs to her injuries and dies.
The Reaction of Citizens Hundreds of people took to the streets, protesting for the victim, and spreading awareness about the now widespread rape culture. Netizens did their bit by demanding justice on their ‘millennial streets’ called Twitter and Instagram. The COVID-19 couldn’t stop them from raising their voice on the internet by conducting Twitterstorms, creating ‘carrds’, and flooding platforms with relevant information connected to the mentioned subjects. While the younger generation is fighting for a good cause, shockingly(not really), there are literally people out there standing in support of RAPISTS. Sadly, this is no news to us Indians for it’s the second time we’re seeing a community come forward to save criminals; first being the Kathua case. As long as people with such ideologies exist, rapists need not fear 🙂 That said, we still hold out hope considering that there are numerous better men trying to change as well.
How can I help? The fact that YOU are eager to change a problem says a lot, and there are a few things you can do concerning it. Along with suggestions, I’ll be adding a few resources to help you contribute something meaningful for everybody. So a safe place to start would be by
1.Educating yourself and the people around you. Begin by studying about how societal differences took birth and how they took the form of such social curses. Learn about the cruel deeds the UCs(upper-castes), the men, and the Male Brahmins have practiced on the Dalits, the women, and the Dalit Women, respectively. Links:
2.Acknowledging your privilege. Accept that you have rights based on your identity, and that there are disadvantages which other groups get to face, also based on their CASTE and/or Gender. Rather than being anti-reservation with absolutely no knowledge of the caste system, strive to be anti-caste. Comprehend how your ancestors might have treated their lower equivalents, and think of ways to empower your Dalit friends. Links:
3.Helping initiatives by your female/’lower-caste’ friends. Believe it or not, many casteists amongst us would never support a Dalit’s business even if they found it deserving of recognition. Same goes with misogynists and women. Several of them must be finding it difficult to sustain in such an environment with all the financial pressure adding to it. Therefore, YOU need to be there and encourage them to keep going. Be a good person and stop oppressing them even if their ambitions intimidate you. Links to some Dalit venture stories:
1. Monthly Magazine and Youtube Channel by Ashok Das 2. Pipe Supplies Kamani Tubes by Kalpana Saroj 3. Freight Forwarding Company MCS Logistics by Raja Nayak 4. Engineering Company DAS Offshore by Ashok Khade
4.Using your Platform for good It’s okay to send funny memes to your friends on Instagram but it’s NOT okay if you do not concurrently talk about serious points. If you have a thousand followers and all you share are Spotify playlists, I hope you lose those followers. Post about everyday struggles women go through, post about the pedophile who raped a 3-year old the previous day, post about everything that you should actually be caring about. If someone can start using a product because YOU advised them to, they can definitely change their mindset if you convince them to.
P.S. Stop calling yourself a feminist if your feminism is not intersectional. INTERSECTIONALITY is the point here. Let’s not divert from that.
Also, if this took you 15 minutes to read, know that another woman just got raped by a man and by the end of the day, it would be a total of 6-7 DALIT women. So before you demand the removal of reservations, ask yourself a simple question. Would you demand the removal of caste and gender inequalities the exact same way?