Yet another Nirbhaya

No end to shameful sexual crimes against women

Yet another Nirbhaya

Photo for representational purpose only.

With a seriously injured woman breathing her last in a hospital a day after being raped and assaulted on her private parts with an iron rod on a Mumbai road, the people of the nation should hang their heads in shame — for repeatedly failing girls and not instilling in boys the value of respect for women. For, going by the regularity with which sexual crimes against women are committed, it is clear that we as a society are shamelessly impervious to the pain of the victims and their kin.

The Nirbhaya case of 2012 did stir the country’s conscience and trigger widespread outrage, leading to stricter laws and fast-tracking of justice. The government pulled out all the stops to ensure severest punishment. But it seems that things are back to square one, marked by a cynical lack of empathy, even as the unfortunate victims’ family members run from pillar to post to see the rapist-killers punished. That little progress has been made on this score is reflected in the staggeringly alarming figures of sexual crimes.

Nothing reveals this mindset more than the initial reactions to rape of most ‘custodians’ of society. Ranging from outright disbelief to pinning the blame on the victim and her ‘provocative’ clothes rather than the perpetrator, they serve to cement the idea of toxic masculinity. Take the Hathras and Unnao cases. Unless the media raises a hue and cry or an outraged civil society protests, the tendency is to downplay the gruesome crime. Last month’s Mysuru gang-rape is the latest example of a minister caught pointing fingers at the victim. Sadly, few people on seats of authority assert themselves to lessen the victims’ pain or quicken the pace of investigation or justice. They are all accountable, for they cumulatively serve to embolden the criminal elements. 


Also read: NCW team visits Maharashtra crime site

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