A week ago, I was engrossed in a cup of tea with my office mates in the cafeteria, when a headline captured my attention. “16 year old girl gangraped in Haryana”. The reporters were questioning the victim, Reshma(Name changed). She had covered her face with her dupatta and was holding her mother’s hands. As the interview went on she kept answering slowly with her head bent down and she did not once look up. “I have to move on, maybe leave the village,” Reshma said. “I have to study; I have to become an Indian Police Service official.” She continued. It took me a while to digest what I had just seen. The plight in her eyes and the helplessness revealed it all and deep inside I wished that this girl should become a public servant one day.
I went back home and was busy surfing the net when a news article took me by surprise. It was relevant to what had disturbed me that morning. Iwas shocked to see another rape incident in a span of two days and coincidentally in the same state of Haryana. It started to become a little tormenting.
This story continued for over a week,
Fifteen-year-old mentally challenged Dalit girl raped in Rohtak.
Thirty-year-old married backward caste woman gang raped inside her house by three men with guns.
Class XI teenage girl gang raped by four men in Gohana town.
Sixteen-year-old Dalit girl gang raped in Jind district
Class VI girl raped by the fruit vendor outside her school.
Each day a new story came into light and each day a victim lost her self-pride. I remember that earlier the victims would commit suicide when such incidents happened to them. However, these days it is the parents who decide to end their life. Eventually and sadly, the rapists spoils an entire family.
There is an epidemic of rape that has sprung out, an epidemic that is incurable especially in a country like India which is bitten by the sting of corruption, backward rural life, ignorant officials and money frenzy politicians. This epidemic, god forbid would take ages to be cured and by then who knows Haryana would have only once gender present, “Males”.
As I was following the entire news update everyday on this issue, I realized that this heinous crime has been torturing Haryana since long, but only recently has it come into light. Any guesses on what could be the reason, “A new topic to show concern upon and win the elections” But, wait a minute; no one in Haryana has actually spoken on punishments to the rapists or any positive improvements in the lifestyle of woman. It is shameful that the officials and politicians are caught making statements, “90% of the rape cases are a result of consensual sex”. Ridiculous isn’t it? I kept wondering that how can a rape case be consensual?
If it was, then it wouldn’t be called “rape”, it would be merely “pleasure”.
There has been a series of constant outbursts emanating from various political leaders. In one case, it was said that this entire story is a conspiracy against the Haryana government.
And to make matters worse, the khaps sent out a diktat which said that the marriageable age for women should be reduced to 16. It was a few years back when there was a debate that the marriageable age for women should be increased to 21. Is India actually going backward?
To stop the number of rape cases a solution is being pondered upon which would push a girl into the valley of marital rape. Well, in some ways, the life of a woman in Haryana is equivalent to living in the fire of Hell. Traps are set to kill her even before she comes into this world and by luck if she gets a chance to open her eyes and live, I guess she would think that the trap set earlier was better. Haryana boasts of the lowest sex ratio in India - 833 women to every 1000 men. Reason being the atrocities they are burdened with.
I was going through each story of the victims when one story caught my eye. It was where a sixth class girl was raped by the fruit vendor out of her school continuously for three months. It was more ironic to read that she and her sister were expelled from the school for a crime in which they were the victims.
In many cases, the police are not ready to lodge a complaint against the criminals. This in fact arouses them to freely roam around and happily spoil the lives of young women.
We are talking about increasing the economy of India, going nuclear, reaching the space, becoming a developed nation but I guess this has become restrictive to the elite population or rather the urban crowd. The upliftment of a country lies in its overall development which includes the rural and the urban crowd. Where does change come in? And who would bring it about? Do we still keep pointing our fingers at one another and start being penetrators of the crime or will we react? If Haryana and similar states would still be curbed by the local panchayats and village heads, it is evident that the crime rate is going to increase.
Paying compensation to the victim’s family is what the government has been doing since years. And keeping quiet is what the victims are doing for quite a long time. It is a pity that in our country every crime has the tendency to increase than to decrease.
Instead of bringing about a law to punish the criminals and penetrators of the crime, I think it would be better to educate the victims and give them a strong support in fighting with the society which shuns them.