While we cry hoarse over the Delhi rape case did you know the Guwahati molestation verdict is out?

Posted: December 29, 2012 in Women
Tags: , , , , , ,
The Guwahati incident

The Guwahati incident

Chances are you didn’t know. And even if you did you just browsed through it on the net or read it in the morning paper and moved on to TV to keep yourself abreast about what was happening after the rape of the 23-year-old girl in Delhi.

On December 7, 11 of the accused of the Guwahati molestation case have been given two years of jail term while four, including the journalist who covered the event, have been acquitted. For more details go to: http://blog.tehelka.com/guwahati-molestation-case-verdict-pricks-many-uncomfortable-questions/

But as Tehelka journo RATNADIP CHOUDHURYwrites : While the incident evoked a sharp response, it seems nobody cared about the judgment. No women rights groups were present in the court premises; there was hardly any reaction on the judgment from civil society who were up in arms to fight for proper justice for the victim. The fact that they did not bother to express their ‘happiness’ or ‘anguish’ over the judgment, makes it clear that public outcry is only immediate. The ‘national’ TV news channels only aired the judgment in ‘brief’ since it is no more the “TRP driver.”  Once again an issue from the Northeast faded out of the mainstream media mind space ‘too soon’, the disease long harped upon.

This goes on to prove that we are a flippant nation. As we observe Black Saturday today I raise a few questions:

Why are we so flippant?

India has a short public memory so it is easy to get away with anything and everything here. While it feels good that India has finally woken up to the issues surrounding women and people of all age groups and all classes have taken to the streets to join in protests not only in Delhi but all over India but the question is how long will the protests last and will there be any positive outcome?

First and foremost parents will tell their wards, “Beta don’t get involved in all this. You are safe why do you care for others? Tell what you have to say on Facebook you don’t have to venture out.” And as NDTV will move on to some new TRP-raking programme we will move with them too.

It’s a shame how the outrage we felt at the Guwahati incident fizzled out. Really, how many of us now care if two years is enough for the culprits or have we questioned why such criminals have been allowed to roam the streets on bail? And the girl, does anyone care about how she is and if she is okay? I just hope and pray the Delhi incident doesn’t die such a death.

Why are we so cowardly?

While we spring to social media with our instant reactions do we do the same when we are out on the streets?  How many of us can say that we have stood by a woman when she was being eve teased or molested? We talk, we write but when it comes to the real scenario we say, “Gosh! That’s none of my business why should I get involved?”  If the perpetrators of crimes against women knew that the public would be on the woman’s side if she raised her voice they would have thought twice before making a single move.

Let’s take it that the nation has woken up post-Delhi rape case then if I had been a journalist on the ground in India now the story that I would have done is by asking women taking public transport: Are more men coming to help when you raise a voice of protest inside a public bus or train?

A girl protesting in Delhi

A girl protesting in Delhi

Why are we so gullible?

It’s so easy to fool us. Really, believe me. The Government tried to prove that they were taking the girl out to Singapore on a six-hour flight for better treatment and we all thought they are trying to do their best. But not a single reporter asked a politician/doctor/government employee what exact treatment did they intend to give her there? Given MT Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore is the best in organ transplant but you can do a transplant on someone when that person is in a relatively stable state of health. Can you do it on a woman with her insides completely affected in septicemia? My layman’s brain says it’s not possible wonder what the docs have to say. The idea was to ensure Safdarjung Hospital docs couldn’t be blamed for her death. The poor girl has been yet another pawn in a political game.

By the way, there are 20 ministers in India with rape cases pending against them. Who are we kidding? We are pushing for capital punishment with this government?

There can only be rule of fear

Intellectuals are constantly talking about sensitization and changing of the mindset in India. It is possible but it is a long-drawn affair and can happen after 100 years. Definitely!!  What’s the immediate solution? I would say FEAR. Someone said on social media: If they sent the girl to Singapore for better treatment they should send the criminals to Saudi Arabia for better punishment.

The same Indians who pass lewd comments at women in their home country and don’t think twice before raping or molesting them don’t dare to look them in the eye in countries like Saudi Arabia or even in the UAE. Why? Because they are shit scared of the law and the police. They know one single complaint from a woman could land them in jail and end with deportation.

Capital punishment or no capital punishment there has to be fear of inevitable punishment then only women in India will be safer.

  1. tumpa says:

    well written amrita….i absolutely agree with u….taking a woman in such critical condition to singapore…it was just political game for political masters…..but u know i m happy that the girl is in a far better place now where there will be no abuses, no such violent incident …than she was….u knw every night i think of that girl when i go to bed…what she must have gone through,….but amrita in india we r verbally, physically, raped every second….even the gaze of men is so bad…
    u know amrita there is so much of hypocrisy…among every body…police,judiciary, politician, media, academician….we r all hypocrites….i have seen in my college …so called marxist / non-marxist prof…only speak big big things …u know there was a guy , 1 year juniour to us in college, from history department, he spoke so badly to me…but nobody protested….infact i was told to keep quiet and maintain a distance with him….some senior teachers ….women teachers ….started tarnishing my image…as though i have soft corner for him…see how insensitive people can be…n mind u they r all so called educated people with a ph.d degree….i believe all of us have gone through such experiences which leaves a deep impression in our mind….but i dnt think as u say anything is going to happen….remember during mumbai attack also people came out…..n then everything became as it is….

    • amritaspeaks says:

      Dear Tumpa,
      I appreciate your passionate voice here. yes it is strange but true education has no connection with sensitisation in our country. It’s usually educated people who talk bullshit about women’s issues all the time. But at least Kasab was hanged so there is still hope.


  2. This is so good. Today only I thought to myself that I should write about it but luckily you have covered all the points.
    Like Kiran Bedi said, there have been more 700 or 800 (not sure about the number) in the country in 2012, is only one girl that imp? was only this case needed to “open our eyes” or is this some sort of cover up for other things happening in the country and the media is bribed to make hue and cry about this case till those other things are settled.

    Very thoughtful this issue is. 13 days of drama!

    • amritaspeaks says:

      Hi Sakshi,
      You are right. It is amazing that the nation has woken up at last but they should also press for real change and not be fooled by the media-govt nexus. This case is so horrendous that they HAD to take notice but now the task is to ensure that the real cause is addressed.

      Thanks for sharing your view.


  3. sighs… * will get back on this.. but its only so humiliating!!! 😦 sighs* again!!!

  4. Reblogged this on mymotionpicture and commented:
    I would voice for a anti-Rape Squad! We all can be members! I know it asks for a number of debates! I am sure, this idea can be implemented..
    @Amrita I understand your anger! and I empathize!

  5. I would voice for a anti-Rape Squad! We all can be members! I know it asks for a number of debates! I am sure, this idea can be implemented..

    @Amrita I understand your anger! and I empathize!

  6. Barnik Choudhury says:

    How was the journalist let off? It’s amazing how media can go to any lengths to manufacture TRPs. 2 years will pass off in a blink and those beasts will be free to roam again & target more women. However the speed of passing the verdict impresses me. What happened to those other cases eg the girls targeted similarly outside Taj hotel, Mumbai some years back on a New year’s eve? Forgotten & conveniently swept under the carpet. I have tried to voice my support for women on trains & buses earlier but without any more support from other co-passengers. It’s a frustrating experience. Girls have to be taught to defend themselves using karate, pepper sprays, pocket-knives in school & college. That is the only way we can get the prospective rapists/molesters to back off.

    • amritaspeaks says:

      Dear Barnik,
      Thank you for adding your strong voice here. Yes women should take measures to protect themselves. As you say men who stand by women have become an extinct kind. I can understand your plight. I have seen men who do that are often jeered at by fellow passengers. But that should not stop you. You need to show them the way.


    • Journeyman says:

      Barnik, that’s who you are. Don’t stop.
      Somebody somewhere respects you for you have shown respect.

  7. Journeyman says:

    Nice articulation and I also like the picture on your blog. There needs to be an equivalence established for the various crimes against women and not look at something as a greater or lesser crime. Some thoughts here: http://partlytrue.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/class-equivalence-of-sexual-offence/

  8. sayantani says:

    Very well written, and articulates real concerns..feel quite helpless to keep faith in any change.

    • amritaspeaks says:

      Dear Sayantani,
      Thank you for going through my blog and agreeing with me. But we have to keep hope. Women have come really far in India. There will be a way there will be change.


  9. himashrees says:

    Nice Article Amrita. What happened to her could happen to any of us. We live in a unsafe city, unsafe India, where there are so many such cases that any single one fails to get the deserved attention of people. We are so used to horrors of rape and molestation being reported that now we have begun to treat it as normal and that is what is the biggest threat to our society

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