Ugly faces of Indian society
Posted January 25, 2013on:
The gang-rape and torture of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus in Delhi in the night of December 16, 2012 and her subsequent death at a Singapore hospital had resulted in an unprecedented outburst of people, particularly the youth, against the callous manner in which the politicians and bureaucrats have been running the country. The incidents also brought to the fore some ugly faces of the male-dominated Indian society, particularly among politicians and the so-called religious leaders.
The Justice J S Verma committee was “shocked” to note that “even after the recent horrific incident of gang-rape, many political leaders, including members of Parliament/State legislatures, spiritual gurus with large followings and other eminent persons” had made statements reinforcing the gender bias. Some even blamed the victim for having facilitated the rape by “her own behaviour.”
The committee, constituted by a nervous government in the aftermath of the countrywide protests, comprised former CJI J S Verma as its chairman and former Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court Leila Seth and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium as its members. The committee was asked to suggest suitable amendments to criminal law to protect the dignity of the women and it has already submitted its suggestions to the government.
BJP minister of Madhya Pradesh Kailash Vijayvargiya made the sickening remark that Sita was instructed not to cross Lakshman-Rekha but she crossed it and was abducted by Ravana that led to all the trouble. Vijayvargiya probably forgot in his zeal that he was painting Sita, who is held as the ideal of Indian Womanhood, as a disobedient and reckless woman not worthy of reverence.
In order to show as to how the leaders, both political and religious, have been making statements derogatory to the dignity of women, the committee cites in its report the following examples:
Anisur Rahman (Communist Party of India (Marxist) – West Bengal): “We have told the chief minister in the assembly that the government will pay money to compensate rape victims. What is your fee? If you are raped, what will be your fee?”
Asaram Bapu: “Only 5-6 people are not the culprits. The victim is as guilty as her rapists… She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop… This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don’t think so.”
Om Prakash Chautala (INLD – Haryana): “We should learn from the past… specially in Mughal era, people used to marry their girls to save them from Mughal atrocities and currently a similar situation is arising in the state. I think that’s the reason khap has taken such a decision and I support it.”
Sri Prakash Jaiswal (Congress): “New victory and a new marriage have their own significance. The memory of your victory fades with time, the same way one’s wife becomes old and loses her charm”