Rape as a political weapon

The self-appointed champions of Hindu sanskriti (culture) have now turned rape into a political weapon. A student of Lady Sri Ram College, Gurmehar Kaur, had pleaded for peace in educational institutions following the recent spate of violence unleashed by the saffronite students’ body. Immediately, she became a target of venomous and vitriolic attack. Besides being subjected to the choices abuses, she was threatened with rape and compared to Dawood Ibrahim. Gurmehar was a kid of two years when her father, Captain Mandeep Singh, was martyred in the Kargil war of 1999. Her father’s supreme sacrifice for his country is now being posthumously rewarded by giving rape threats to his daughter.
What is far more worrying is that these students are getting moral support from their elders. They should have been condemned in the strongest terms. They have not been. Instead, Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju and a BJP MP have vented their ire on the unfortunate girl student but they did not have a single word to condemn those who issued the rape threat. It may be recalled that about three years ago, a Trinamool Congress MP, Tapas Pal, in a public meeting, warned that he would send his ‘boys’ to rape women who were in the CPM. Pal was roundly condemned and severely warned by the leadership of his party. Herein lies the difference. For the first time a group of students owing allegiance to a particular political ideology, are issuing rape threats with impunity. In the topsy-turvy world we are living in, the guilty are getting away scot-free. It is their victim who is inviting more scorn and ridicule.
The guilty have one advantage. They are organized. They enjoy State patronage. Members of the civil society who disapprove of their actions and conduct are not organized. Hence their protests are individual and can be shrugged off easily. Unless the civil society unites in defence of the values and ideals enshrined in the Constitution, the values and ideals which evolved out of India’s hundred year old freedom struggle, India will cease to be what she has been through the millennia to the present day. India will become an intolerant and impervious society where anyone voicing any idea, any opinion which goes against the view of the rulers will be immediately dubbed as anti-national and seditious. It is time for the civil society to wake up and ward off the danger looming ahead.

Thursday, 2 March, 2017