Three different rape cases in different states have shocked every Indian. But the outrage was not as aggressive as it was for Nirbhaya. Lucknow’s horrific rape and murder of the 32 year-old woman in Mohanlalganj area of the state is very much alarming. Police have arrested some suspects, both the key accused and the victim were employed in Sanjay Gandhi Post-graduate Medical Institute (SGPGI) and knew each other. The victim reportedly worked as a lab assistant in the premier institute. A mother of two children, her husband died few years earlier after a prolonged illness. The brutal crime took place last week when the victim left with the accused and her badly mutilated body was later found in the outskirts of the state capital. Her body bore injury marks including stab wounds and a blunt object was also inserted into her body. Later, she died due to haemorrhage. The horrific crime took place even as the area was under tight security and few kilometres away from the venue visited by former US President Bill Clinton. Uttar Pradesh has always suffered with law and order problems. Such incidents have taken place in Bangalore, Rajasthan, New Delhi and Tamil Nadu also.
Tamil Nadu was always considered to be safer than any other state in India. It is difficult to believe that rape incidents have increased in the last three years in Tamil Nadu, when the state is ruled by a woman Chief Minister. Jayalalithaa prescribed castration as punishment for such criminals when the case of Nirbhaya came to light. Will she enforce the same law in TN? The government must frame strict laws to avert such crimes. In 2013, 2.41 per cent of the country’s total crimes against women were recorded in Tamil Nadu. The state recorded 923 rape crimes during the previous year. Among the victims, 280 were in the age group between 14 to 18 and 395 belonged to the age group of 18 to 30. Sixty one to 78 victims were in the age group of up to 10 and 10 to 14 respectively. According to the Crime in India 2013 data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there had been 7,475 cases of crime against women which included eve-teasing, stalking, domestic violence by husbands, in-laws and harassment at work places. Statistics indicate that even children below the age of 10 have been victims and similarly sexual assault of women in the age group of 50 and above was also reported from the state. The statistics of 2013 shows a steady increase compared to 2012 and 2011. Total cases of crime against women in 2012 were 7,192 and 6,940 cases were reported in 2011. As far as cases of rapes were concerned, there were 737 cases recorded in 2012 while only 677 cases were recorded in 2011. Cases of incest which were 2 in 2011 went up to 4 in 2012 and it had risen up to 6 in 2013. In more than 95 per cent of rape cases, the offenders were either relatives or persons known to the victims. This makes India a place where there is no safety for women on a national scale.
Recently, a 19-year-old college girl was gang raped by four youths after they tied her 24-year-old male friend to a tree in a grove at Rayakottai village of Denkanikottaitaluk in Krishnagiri district. Cheralathan (24), a cab driver of Velampatti village, was on his way to a temple in the car with the girl on that fateful evening when the youths in an inebriated condition stopped the vehicle, assaulted the girl’s friend and took them to the grove where they tied Cheralathan to a tree with the girl’s sari and raped her. They also took away a mobile phone, gold jewellery, silver chain and Rs. 1,460 in cash from them.
A six-year-old student of class one was raped by a school staff in Bangalore which was confirmed by medical reports. Angry parents continue to protest at the international school against the management demanding safety for their children. They gathered in front of the school and expressed their anger when the management refused to meet the media and give explanation about the incident. Enraged over the incident, hundreds of parents swarmed the school demanding answers from the management whom they accused of being “insensitive” and not forthcoming with information, as they suspected involvement of some staff members. If the principal or fellow teachers cannot point out wrong doings by their colleagues, they are as guilty as the accused.
If this continues in India, then no doubt the nation will bag another prestigious title, this time of “Rapistan”. Action has to be taken on multiple levels rather than on just a simplistic and emotional front. We need to be a more open and supportive society so that children can discuss such topics with their parents without fear. We need to inculcate sex education in our kids and teach them about predatory behaviour. We need to have a robust law-enforcing police and judiciary. Opinion leaders must openly discuss such topics and there ought to be helplines available for confused and vulnerable children. People who commit such crimes must not only undergo severe punishment, but also have psychiatric counselling to prevent further crimes. Lastly, management should throw off the cloak of secrecy and aid authorities in dealing with criminals in their midst. The disease of raping is becoming infectious in the country. It was heart-rending to read such news every hour. The mushrooming lower middle class; drop out in schools; aspirations and Ad World bombarding Tag Heuer and host of brands Arrow LeCooper Levis worn by Techies; the driver ending up ferrying these people day and day out; the openness of this generation in talking and doing all sort of things in front of them; hugging, kissing etc are triggering the lust of the drivers. The beast in these people pounce on the young prey when alone, sometimes their inebriated condition make them unable to realise the sin committed. Where does the solution lie?
Liquor is at the bottom of many crimes, especially those against women. Now even women have started drinking and like all bad things, this is spreading fast. Cinemas contribute to this addiction, as every single movie has a long scene of drinking orgy. A whole lot of youngsters have taken to drinking. Our film producers also owe it to the society and should stop showing such liquor orgies on screen. There is something called “Directive Principles” in our Constitution. It’s time to drive the attention of political leader towards these directives and force them to implement them. Most surprising factor is that, Modi government is quite silent on these ongoing issues of crimes against women.