As I write this article, at least one girl somewhere in India is in distress who desperately needs help
Brahma Iyer, Opinion@ The HushPost: Rapes have various ‘hues’ and rapists have innumerable shades of grey. Just as they have different names, belong to different professions and status. In India, hitherto unknown places such as, Unnao, Kathua, Sitapur, Kotkhai and now Rewari pop-up on Google news if you add the word rape to the name of the town or even without. Haryana maybe the epicentre currently, but the rape tremors are being felt across the country.
As per the figures of the National Crime Record Bureau, 24,923 rapes happen in India every year. To make sense of it, it means that as I start writing this article, at least one girl somewhere in India is in distress who desperately needs help. She is being chased, probably by now has been subjugated by sheer force. Or she has been forced to give ‘consent’ owing to a threat that someone close to her would be harmed. But the bigger question is what leads to rape?
Any adult would know there are three ways a perpetrator of this crime takes a decision on how to make women their prey. In their vocabulary, there is forced ‘consent’, then there is a passive yes. If none of it applies then even a ‘no’ means a ‘yes’. Certain other expressions too are used such as ‘hansi to phasi,’ or a fleeting gaze means she is looking for something. This vocabulary and such expressions are taught in our society to children even before they are taught the reproductive system in the school. The child learns it during lunch hours in schools, in parks and their teachers are their peers in school, and friends, cousins.
Half the crime is done when such a thought is born in someone’s mind. Even if the victim is in safe environs, she still needs to worry
Thus the making of a rapist begins from the times we call them by their pet names such as, Chunnu, Munnu, Nishu when they are just toddlers. And they graduate each day just as they learn English, Maths or Social Sciences.
A glance through the Facebook posts of Rewari rape accused Nishu, proves it all. In one of the posts he writes in Haryanvi dialect, when casually translated into English it goes something like this, “Everyone thinks I have a girlfriend. But I like to snatch other men’s girlfriends and women.”
In a different post, he is seen showering patriotic words on a picture of a slain army jawan’s family photo. He wanted to join the Army on the footsteps of his Armyman friend and co-accused Pankaj.
Nishu doesn’t just represent his Army jawan friend Pankaj. He also represents some alleged rapists and molesters coming from elite backgrounds. These include Tarun Tejpal, Suraj Pancholi, Col Anil Singhal, Shiny Ahuja, Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Bapu Asaram, SPS Rathore, Kuldeep Sengar or thousands of others held guilty by the court of law and lakhs of those who fantasise committing rape.
Rape is not being carried out when it is committed. Half the crime is done when such thought is born in someone’s mind. Even if the victim is in safe environs at that point in time, she needs to worry. But she doesn’t know who is hatching a plan to violate her. Even as I write this, many a plan is being hatched and some will be executed.
And who is hatching them? Rapists come from all castes, creeds, ages — from a 13-year-old to a 90-year-old. They come from among all professions — doctors, journalists, army officers, police officers, engineers, politicians, bankers, teachers, principals, school chowkidars, godmen.
When UP legislator Kuldeep Sengar was still at large, the entire flock of BJP politicians of UP was either not interested to talk about it or spoke about it hiding behind legalities of the case.
At the time, Godman Asaram was in jail and awaiting conviction, many a Godman still argued his case.
When Journalist Tarun Tejpal was accused, a woman journalist was allegedly trying to arbitrate for him.
While SPS Rathore was in the dock, his wife Abha Rathore fought his case. While Shiny Ahuja’s wife said in a television debate that her husband was not guilty at all.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim the biggest among the perpetrators of rape and much-much more was protected by various governments for votebank. Of course, Honeypreet was throughout by his side.
The wife of Rewari gangrape accused Pankaj, has abandoned him. However, his sister says: “There must have been something from the girl’s side as well.”
Such is the gravity of these cases that in the Rohtak gangrape case, there were students of Class 6 and 7 involved. ‘Khel khel Mein’ is the word I would use to tell how these juveniles thought the whole thing was
After the Rewari gangrape, another gangrape took place in Faridabad. A day after Faridabad another one took place in Gurugram and one in Rohtak. The media was busy writing about it. And just then on the sidelines of these cases, another gangrape of a student in a boarding school of Dehradun was reported. As if it wasn’t enough, there was another rape of a Class V student by her Principal in Patna.
Pratibha Suman, the chairman of the State Women’s Commission of Haryana says something more alarming. “Such is the gravity of these cases that in the Rohtak gangrape case, there were students of Class 6 and 7 involved. ‘Khel khel Mein’ is the word I would use to tell how these juveniles thought the whole thing was. They never thought it was a crime.”
Jagmati Sangwan, a keen watcher of women’s affairs in Haryana says, “If you think a lot of rape cases are being reported from Haryana, you are wrong. What is in public light is just the tip of the iceberg. Many parents and victims don’t speak due to the shame associated with it.”
The focus may be on Haryana, for the epicentre is Haryana, but the situation is grave everywhere too. As I end, sadly comes a thought I began with that another rape is being hatched or committed in some corner of our country, which may become the headlines tomorrow.