What lessons has the nation learnt from Kathua-Unnao rape cases?

20 Apr , 2018 , 08:06 PM
A midnight candle-light march at India Gate (Representative Image)
A midnight candle-light march at India Gate (Representative Image)

Beti Bachao! Every time, the wave of protest rises with the tide and ebbs after a while. In anger and rage, the cry grows loud only when a rape case is highlighted by the media and concerned voices. To show support and solidarity to the victims and family, protests are carried out and candlelight marches are held. But the candle in the wind cannot hold out for long as the marches fade away as merely symbolic. After a while, the flame dies out as the girl child continues to drown in the pool of beasts. It's high time we let live change.

With Kathua and Unnao rape cases becoming a national issue, it’s time for the society to change its mindset instead of playing the blamegame. 

There’s an outpour of demand for justice to the rape victims and death for the culprits not only on social media platforms but also out on the streets, reminiscent of the Nirbhaya case.  Nirbhaya case happened in 2012. It’s been almost six years since. Yet, crimes against women and girl child continue unabated still. What did we learn? In failing to change our mindset, haven't we failed as a society again and yet again?

Or are we to blame our culture? The culture that is prevalent in the North may not be so in other parts of India. While it is so, incidents of rape and crimes against women and girl child appear to be more so in parts of the country. Perhaps, there is a lot more to change. Perhaps, we need to unlearn and look at the issue a little more deeper than before.   

Pulling out a wild card and causing a thriller night, while the ruling power remained silent or asleep, Congress president Rahul Gandhi did take out a midnight candle-light march at India Gate. In the heat of the moment, it drew a huge response. Other political leaders also vouched justice to the victims.

When the powers they be speak up, it’s assuring somehow. But political tinge to protests and remarks often plays spoilsport. When the political intent is achieved, the stories are forgotten.

And when the media highlights an issue, a surge or uprising often follows. But why do we raise our voice only when a child or a woman is gangraped? While incidents take place almost every day, several cases go unreported. And why do we differentiate between rape and gangrape? When the damage is done, what is justice? Would any act of justice bring back the dead or give new life to the surviving victims? And how do we save and protect the unharmed? The questions are many and the debates will go on for years with no solution in sight as evil and dangers lurk in places and loopholes.

Well, the government and the law-makers have to sharpen the Acts to stop the crime and protect womenfolk. And the society as a whole cannot remain silent or burn out. The common man, the keeper of the flame, has to keep the flame burning. This is the time to push the demand for justice and protection of girl child and women lest the nation wakes up to another horrifying nightmare to wrestle with. Strike the iron when it is hot and the tide high. While life lessons are tough, the society must unlearn few things and learn lessons to bring in the much needed mindset to adrress the menace anew. 

First Published: Friday, April 13, 2018 06:30 PM
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