03 September, 2013

Will justice be served ?

(Pic courtesy : santabanta.com via Google)

So Asaram Bapu tried to get off the hook by claiming that the girl in question was mentally unstable.  Apparently, so were her family members.  Seemingly, this ploy did not work and Asaram Bapu now finds himself behind bars.  My question is – for how long ?  Do the politicians in India have the spunk to let the courts charge and try Asaram Bapu like they would, any other citizen of the country ?  Furthermore, would they let the judiciary act like it is supposed to, if it actually comes down to sentencing Asaram Bapu ? 

For a start, he is clad in a saffron armour.  This self- proclaimed godman (or whatever else he claims to be) has a large portion of Hindu votes under his thumb because there amazingly is, a large population that believes and falls for everything he says or stands for.  They apparently haven’t seen through the fa├žade yet.  In the light of this large vote bank controlled by this sham of a person, no politician in India would openly oppose him or go out of his/her way to make sure that this Bapu spends the rest of his life practicing yoga behind bars.

It is a known fact that most of the BJP and the VHP members first need to take the trouble of shaking off their ever persistent state of hibernation and bring themselves out of the cave that they seem to have holed themselves up in.  They need to make an attempt to step out of The Stone Age and think twice (or more) before they proceed to shove their entire foot into their mouths and down their throats. 

VHP’s Ashok Singhal is reported to have asked “How can someone aim such heinous allegations against an 80 year old seer ?” Well, someone ought to enlighten Mr.Singhal that this started because his “80 year old seer” thought it was perfectly alright to molest and rape.  But then again, that is never heinous.  If the rape victim lets people know, files a complaint and rightly points fingers at the rapist, that is heinous in the VHP’s books ?

Why is it that society still thinks it is alright for these people to commit rape and walk around with their heads high and their chests puffed up with pride while it is the rape survivor who is further ostracised ?  Rape survivors often don’t register a complaint with the police.  The rape goes unreported.  Many rape survivors have been known to commit suicide.  The rapist continues to roam free in society, while the rape survivor is forced to hide behind a shroud of anonymity.  The rapist continues to retain his identity with just as much pride (if not more) as he did before while it is the rape survivor who faces the threat of losing or “giving up” her identiy, for fear of facing further ridicule from members of the society.

We continue to live in a society that places more value on boys than girls.  We continue to live in a society that blames the rape survivors before even thinking on the lines of prosecuting the rapists.  We live in a society that associates words like “shame”, with the rape survivors when, truly speaking, that word ought to be associated with the rapists.  We live in a society that terms rape survivors “degraded” or “stained” when the degradation really needs to be aimed at the rapists.  We live in a society that transfers the onus, the guilt onto the survivor rather than place it squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrator.

It is in this biased society that the sixteen year old and her family stood and spoke up against Asaram Bapu and his crime.  They deserve not derision from people like him who have labelled the entire family “mentally deranged” but rather the support of the society and the political community in booking Asaram and ensuring that the judiciary is allowed to perform its duties without fear or favour towards him and in ensuring that he is made to pay for his crime.

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