Article Publish Date : October 4, 2020
On 14th September, 2020, India witnessed another shameful incident in the village of Uttar Pradesh where we again failed to protect our daughter after Nirbhaya. As per the sources, a girl of 19 years was gang-raped and brutally killed in a farmland of Hathras village in the early morning when she was working with her mother there. The family members of the rape victim claimed that her father repeatedly pleaded the four accused men to spare his daughter so as not to harm her marriage. The victim belonged to the ‘Scheduled Caste’ and the accused were of the ‘Upper Caste’. The victim’s brother filed an FIR against one of the accused but as usual, it is reported that no action was taken immediately. The girl was found dead in the field with a broken spinal cord and her tongue was cut. We all can understand the extent of brutality. This was not the end of it all. Later, it was seen that a covering game was already in play by the administration. The coverage showed the police forcibly burning the body of the victim. When asked by the media personnel the police refused to answer, and later said it was done with full permission of the victim’s family members. Again this was a false claim made by the police, as later the family members refused having said any such thing to the police. This was also very obvious when, very unusually, the funeral took place at midnight when generally the funerals take place in the mornings or afternoons. It is not the end however. In the series of unusual events, a video recording came out where the District Magistrate was seen threatening the victim’s family members to change their statement. How can we then forget UP Chief Minister’s derogatory remark that “Women are not capable of being left free or independent”, which exposes his sheer patriarchal mentality being a Chief Minister of such a populous state of Uttar Pradesh.
Now these were some of the crude facts which came forward during the last few days. Let’s unravel these facts and think beyond them. Hathras tragedy reminds us of the spine-chilling terrors of Nirbhaya and Priyanka. This Hathras incident clearly exposed the horrible caste system, maladministration and sheer patriarchy. In an interview with the victim’s family members, some points clearly came out. First, that they were Valmikis (a lower caste) and the accused were Thakurs (an upper caste). The people from the lower castes had always accepted the discrimination that they had to face. They were not allowed to enter temples so they had to build temples inside their homes; they were not allowed to sit with upper castes on the same bench and they were never allowed to go to any public functions. Isn’t it shocking, that we are living in the 21st Century and casteism is still practiced in our motherland? This is altogether very shameful.
All the more, we must be flabbergasted to hear now that after the accused were arrested by the police, the people from the upper caste organized protests for the release of the accused. This is our 21st century India. It is a bit difficult for us to understand this casteism while sitting in our air-conditioned rooms in a metropolitan city but the sad reality is that caste system is still very prevalent. Since the last few days, we have been seeing that the police have set up a small camp outside the victim’s house. The victim’s family members are not allowed to go out and speak to any media personnel, nor any media personnel can enter their house. Even their mobile phones have been taken away by the police. After all this, a thought must occur in our minds: Is this the largest Democracy we boast of all over the globe? We saw the chief opposition leader Rahul Gandhi being stopped forcibly by the Police while he was marching on foot with his followers to the victim’s house. He was thrashed and toppled down by the police. His fellow sister and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi was seen manhandled by the police there, which is extremely unethical and immoral. I have no intention of throwing a political colour to the incident, but in a country where the opposition voices and protests are crushed in this manner, it is very difficult for us to be proud of our democracy. Another serious issue that is coming in the front is that UP government has pushed the PR firm to make this rape incident a false claim, hence a conspiracy to bring down the state government on the basis of caste turmoil. Now we must not forget that Mr. Yogi Adityanath himself belongs to Thakur (the upper caste)? Can this be, therefore, the reason that he is so eagerly interested in covering the incident?
At the end, only one thing comes to mind: Was it Manisha’s fault to be born a ‘girl’ in Hathras or was it a more heinous crime to be born in a Dalit family that she had to face this brutal death? This is not surely the India which our constitution prescribes, this is not the India which the framers of our constitution wanted, and this is not the India which Babasaheb Ambedkar dreamt of.
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