Today, we call India a developed country where civilized people live. But are we really civilized and developed? Yes, we are developed when it comes to material things, infrastructure, economy and not in terms of mental development and humanity. Our nation faces a lot of problem and one of the contemporary issues is regarding the safety of women. Under which the biggest menace these days is the growing incidents of rape.
Women the best creation of god, are suffering in this developed country from many atrocities. They are the one who are the reason behind many things including our existence. If they weren’t there then we wouldn’t have existed. We worship many goddesses hitherto fail to respect our women. But, are we able to provide them the basic rights, equal opportunity and proper safeguard. Many cases of sexual harassment, molestation and rape have been registered in recent time and most of them resulting into the death of the victim. These barbaric acts have been increased in the present time instead of the increase in the severity of punishment for the same.
In 2012, the whole country was shocked when a 23-year-old girl was gang raped and a rod was penetrated in her private part in a running bus in Delhi. She got multiple injuries and after thirteen days succumbed to death. It was thought that after this incident the number of rape cases will reduce, but unfortunately, they have increased.
Recently, “Eight-year-old girl went missing in the new year in Kathua district in Jammu region after her family of Muslim nomadic shepherds moved to the lowlands to tide over winter months. Her brutalised corpse was found a week later near a Hindu temple and investigators later named several Hindus, including a local police officer, as accused of raping and killing the girl. Investigators claimed the abduction, rape and killing of the girl was part of a plan to evict the Muslim minority nomadic community.”Six people were involved in the rape which also included the caretaker of the temple (Devi sthan).
Another 8-month-old girl was kidnapped from Rajwada fort in Indore by a 21-year-old relative, who took her into the basement of a nearby commercial complex and raped her and subsequently killed her.
A lot of rape cases are not being registered as the society rather than supporting the victim, stigmatise them. Many of the family members in order to save their reputation exhort the victim to be silent. And out of those cases which are recorded, many are not accounted for. It is not that laws have not been made related to rape, but their enforcement and implementation is not done in a proper manner. In a number of rape cases it is observed that the police had been lethargic and had tried to bolster the wrongdoer by attempting to bury the case.
Many Politicians and influential people misuse their power to compel the police to write off or drop the charges put on them by the victim. Political parties are only bothered about protecting their party’s image and avert from giving any statement on this critical issue. Both the ruling party and the part in the opposition plays the blame game, but they do not talk about finding a solution and stopping this evil thing from growing further. This irresponsible attitude of the present government towards rape would not be tolerated by the hoi polloi any further. The government will have to take this matter into consideration with utmost care.
A lot of people including the children of the victim are affected by rape as the society secludes them and treats them very badly. The victim is also seen as a curse to the society, as if she is the one who have committed a wrong.
What kind of society are we living in, where inhumane incidences are happening everyday with women? People watch women being sexually harassed and molested in public and don’t raise a single voice. Have we become so selfish and materialistic? Everyone is concerned with economic progress. But do we want progress and development at the cost of our women being gang raped and killed?
These are the questions that need to be answered by us. It is we who can change this thing and ensure that these things do not happen in future. Laws should be made to expedite the process of delivering justice. Some cases take years to be disposed and this does not serve the purpose of punishing the wrongdoer and providing justice to the victim. “The procedure is traumatic for the victim who has to face a society that considers rape as a social stigma only for the victim and not the accused, due to which most victims choose to keep mum about what they go through rather than to report it. Separate tribunals can be made for addressing the issues pertaining to rape and other crimes against women, so that speedy justice can be provided. Government need to take a hard call on women safety, by making more stringent laws related to sexual harassment, molestation and gang-rape.
If these types of things continue to happen then people will lose faith in the judiciary and the credibility of the government will be impugned. Focus should not be on restricting our woman to not wear short clothes or not to get out of their homes alone at night. Rather our men should be taught about respecting and protecting our women. NGO’s and other organisations working for women rights, can play an important role in spreading awareness about this misdemeanour by organising information camps and through street plays and by helping the victim in raising her voice to fight against rape. The punishment for such a heinous crime must be made more rigorous, so that it will act as a deterrence for other people.
Also, people need to be aware of their potential and the power of solidarity. It is a growing concern and a menace to our society and we need to eradicate these problems from their roots and it could only be done if we all unite against these social evils. We as a developed nation, having a responsive government need to take a harsh step, only than change would come.
Student, B. Com LL.B. (Hons.), Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.
Nilanjan mukhopadhyay, the child rape cases that shook Indian politics, aljazeera (july 10, 2018, 10:17 pm), https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/child-rape-cases-shook-indian-politics-180416091103385.html.
speedy justice for rape victims more than 133000 cases, hindustan times, (july 12, 2018), https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/speedy-justice-for-rape-victims-more-than-133-000-cases-pending/story-zkqeq5sbbjvqm0aflr6ali.html.