It has been a week since a 27 year old veterinary doctor was gang raped and murdered in gruesome manner in Hyderabad. Her perpetrators have been gunned down by the Police in an encounter. Within a week another case came to light of a woman in her 20s who was allegedly raped, shot and burnt in Buxar in Bihar. The Unnao rape survivor who filed a complaint against her two tormentors in March is critical after being burnt by five men on Thursday while on way to court for her case hearing.
The Nirbhaya rape case in Delhi in December 2012 where a girl studying to be a paramedical doctor was gang raped in a moving bus in Delhi, sent shockwaves across the nation. People came out in protest, candlelight marches were held and lawmakers were under pressure to take action as Nirbhaya eventually succumbed to her injuries. 7 year later, her perpetrators mercy petitions are lying before the President of India and crimes against women have not stopped. Has anything changed after the Nirbhaya rape case?
What Changed After Nirbhaya?
Numerous brutal incidents take place against women in cities every minute. What is shocking however, is the brutality of rape crimes, be it the rape cases in Delhi, Kathua or recently in Hyderabad. According to a World Health Organization 2012 report, 1 in every 3 women in India face violence each day. India’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), confirms that every three minutes a crime is recorded against a woman in India. Every six hours, a young married woman is found beaten to death, burnt or driven to suicide. The striking question is, apart from television news debates, sloganeering and candlelight marches, is anything changing? Statistics show that on ground little has changed. Every 60 minutes, two women are raped in this country.
Be it rape crimes or incidents such as physical assaults and brutal deaths, massive protests break out across the country. Whatsapp groups are created in several names, people change their profile pictures, banners and posters are held up with, ‘Stop rape/ stop violence against women’ written on them while panelists line up in serious television debates, shouting at one other and chest-thumping their opinions.
There are also phone numbers flashing on television screens during call in shows. It is disturbing to see the situation not improving in a big way. Rape crimes should have reduced over the years with stricter and swift punishment meted out to perpetrators.
There have been many debates on the floor of the Parliament where SP MP Jaya Bachchan voiced her opinions against these crimes on women. She had said that rapists should be publicly lynched, while some others said that they should be castrated and beaten to death. TMC MP Saugata Roy said that rapists should be hanged. DMK’s P Wilson also commented on courts being empowered to surgically and chemically castrate convicted rapists before they are released from the jails.
Gen-Y Speaks Up
The youth of the country too feel the same. 24-year-old Raunak Basu (name changed) a software developer from Noida said, “Women are often seen as objects in the eyes of men and feel women need to satisfy men and meet their desires. This leads to their forceful behaviour.”
23-year old Rajita Dutta(name changed) an MBA student from Kolkata said, “I have lost all faith in the system and do not know when society will change. Rapists should be burnt alive before the public.”
30 year old Reema Chatterjee(name changed), a former professor of Jadavpur University says she feels unsafe when she is walking alone on some streets at 6:00 in the evening. “The Hyderabad incident has shaken me inside out.”
From a male perspective, 56-year-old Biplab Bhattacharya too feels there should be stringent punishment against any rape accused like death penalty.
Criminal Psychologist, counselor, social activist and advocate Anuja Trehan Kapur says in a video in YouTube that no criminal is born a criminal. It is his mind which picks up a lot of wrong things and he learns it gradually. It is his mind which turns into criminal through his lifestyle, upbringing and past experiences.
Former IG and IPS, Mr Sandhi Mukherjee from Kolkata is upset with the legal system. He says there is a lacunae between the law and governance. He believes that law and order is such, that even if the police want to do something impartially, there is often interference from some people in the system. “As long as we have some people in power in an autocratic system, the police will not have autonomy. Also, today we see extreme corruption. The problem starts from here. The judiciary should act quickly.” Says Mukherjee. He adds that in some cases there is internal manipulation and the trial process is very low, due to which incidents keep on happening all across the country.
These rape victims could not be stopped from being sexually assaulted and murdered. However, the laws in the country should be more stringent and judiciary should act swiftly, to stop more deaths of women in future. It is time need a unified movement is born to fight the menace of unnatural male psychology to fight the dark days. Women of our country need more assurances from the lawmakers on safety of their surroundings. It is time to stop the blame game and start acting to prevent sexual crimes against women.