Once upon a time ‘Rape’ was a word hardly heard and when heard, it sent shudders down the spine. But today this seems to be the norm, given the way it’s handled by those who are at the punishing end.
Nirbhaya forced the nation to stop, look around and listen. Many acted and reacted appropriately. Banning Deepa Mehta’s film or Leslie Udwin’s documentary didn’t make a bit of a sense. Nothing changed. Nothing worthy happened that would deter other ‘monsters on the prowl’. The convicts are still alive.
Shame on us that we still witness rapes and murders in alarming magnitudes and continue debating with who is at fault without really going out on the streets to make responsible people take responsibility. Rehabilitating a rape convict is the worst thing a government can ever do. A rapist is a rapist, adult or juvenile. He was lucky by six months. In the end a juvenile rapist who wasn’t in any way less willing a participant of that horror night will also be rewarded by our government. What does this convey to probable or anxious rapists out there?
Following in the steps of those four are too many in our country with their own special or respective modus operandi. It takes a perverted mind to rape so many girls or women in so many different ways. Brajesh Thakur did just that. The whole country watched the sordid episode unfold with a CM at the helm who could see, hear, read and understand things but pretended otherwise till he could manage that way. B Thakur was given enough time trying to help him step out of the safe world of procedurals by state police, district officials and Chandreshwar Verma. Those who connive, actually send out a message more than being treacherous. That is, they are equally dangerous to the society, violence is with them and they like to perpetrate it, may be indirectly.
There is a larger quest of ordinary people for justice, at the same time we also helplessly wonder at impunity. In independent India we see criminals with powerful connections getting away with crimes that are an affront to every norm of civilization. Acquittals of ‘strongmen’ usually hinge on faulty evidence, in a way linked to the duplicity of those appointed to uphold law and order. Looking at the way this drama unfolded after the findings of a three member committee of the Bihar State Commission for the protection of child rights was ignored by the social welfare department in 2017 and still unfolding, the infirmities of the system stands exposed. The courage of a ten year old victim and registration of FIR almost a month later led to the cancellation of another project worth 1 lakh/ month thereby saving enough beggars from the clutch of this sex pervert.
As skeletons fall off Thakur’s cupboard and investigators grow biased, won’t they channelize their efforts into reasoning as to why this serial rapist chose to shelter and train only girls and women in all age groups? Instead of distorting, withholding or fabricating evidences against this paedophile aiming interminable delays, will prosecutors take it on them to send out deterrent verdicts without shocking the conscience of the judiciary?
Unfortunately, this ‘fixer’ is able to fix things to his comfort even after being arrested. Violations continue because of few reasons: cynicism of politicians, our laws provide for appeal and remission, societal attitude towards the victims and money and muscle power. Let’s not be surprised if this ‘nonce’ fakes his certificates to prove himself a juvenile. The comforts of the jail hospital is far better than the barrack to put his evil mind at work for he knows in India, rape is the most common crime and incident. Given the treatment this child molester has been enjoying ever since his sex drama was made public, he will look forward to not only satisfy his carnal desires but display declaration of his power, assertion of invincibility over helpless victims and celebrate triumphs of his perversion.
In addition to being treated for diabetes, slipped disc and hypertension, Brajesh Thakur should also be treated for ‘satyriasis’ too in jail hospital is my strong opinion. Seizure of papers from this maniac which had phone numbers of who’s who including a minister in the government of Bihar is noteworthy.
Having cancelled Thakur’s PIB accreditation is a small step in the right direction but it’s high time the allotted government accommodation in New Delhi on PIB quota is browsed for drugs and skeletons.
Miscarriages of justice will never check incidences of rape. Cruelties against girls and women in any magnitude speak loud about the fall in standards. Union minister for women child development Maneka Gandhi said, “ "Molestation on buses is about (inappropriate) touching. It will not be picked up by the CCTVs since buses are so crowded. It is just a waste of money”. BJP MP Hema Malini once said “women should not go anywhere alone”. “Don’t take it so easy and go anywhere you want… anything can happen… you can get caught”. Understandable that what Hema meant was women have to be cautious when they decide to venture out alone. She didn’t stop with that but went on to say “Krishna would always come to protect Draupadi, but we aren’t so spiritually-evolved that God will come and protect us” which irked many. Why won’t Krishna punish the offenders instead of trying tactics to protect the victim? This is religion that subjugates women, directly or indirectly. Forget venturing out. What do we advise girls and women who have fallen prey to demons like Brajesh Thakur in homes? Not only shelter homes, many a home turns out to be dodgy for female infants, girls and mothers.
Loss of faith in political leadership mounts up as actors, players and those with criminal records decorate legislative assemblies and our Parliament. How callous our political leadership has turned out to be towards rape and rape victims! On the Deoria shelter home abuse case Hema Malini’s offhand response “yes it’s bad but what to do” did come as a shocker to many but few who knew her class didn’t go offended.
Politics affects every aspect of Indian life. When political values deteriorate, life’s values also deteriorate. This in turn explains why India is the most unsafe place in the world for women. Rape is a national disease. As is always the case, Thakur is also known to be an aspiring politician who had tried his luck in 1995 and 2000. Now, all watchful Indians know as to why our government watered down the recommendations of Justice Verma committee.
The 2 terrifying questions are:
What if this Bihar muscleman bring to bear his political influence, walk free, restore his credits and licenses, establish bigger shelter homes and set a dangerous precedent?
Will we be acknowledging and commending candle light vigils against rape, go on indefinite fasts the non violent way for justice besides harping on Indian culture and Sanskritic glory in the coming centuries?
With every case and event as this, there is an opportunity to create and recreate a system that ensures quick justice for all in time.(Published on 20th August 2018, Volume XXX, Issue 34)