On September 14, 2020, a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped by the men of the upper caste society in hathras district, Uttar Pradesh. We are currently living in the 21st century and we humans are considered the most advanced race on the entire planet, but, do these incidents make us look like we are human enough? A country that is run by a powerful government can do nothing to protect the women. Instead of it, there are never-ending excuses for what the girl might have done wrong, to ‘incite’ the men to take such an action on her. The ridicule of women has gone on for a long time in India and is nothing new. Lakhs of women die to find justice for themselves, who have been the victim of rapes and threats, and for some reason, if they do bring it out loud, they are mocked so brutally, only the Gods can be the witness to that.
The statistics of the country are so horrid, that you would be shocked to know that every 1 girl is raped every 16 minutes. And who suffers the most? The Dalits of our society. Out of the total 32,000 rape cases that are reported in India, 11% of the victims are Dalits. Hathras case might be shocking for the natives of the country but it is not at all new. The same thing happened in the nirbhya rape case, kathua rape case, and every other girl who has suffered this assault.
What happened in the dreadful incident at Hathras?
A 19-year-old girl went to the farm to get fodder for the cattle, little did she know this was going to be the worst day she ever had to live up for. Four alleged suspects named Sandip, Ramu, Lavkush, and Ravi who belonged to the upper cast dragged her through the farm and injured her spinal cord. They allegedly raped her several times before cutting off her tongue and tried to strangulate her when she tried to resist their rape attempts. She was left paralyzed due to the injury in the spinal cord. When the victim was taken to the hospital saying that she has been raped the hospital made a mockery of their situation and ridiculed them enough to say that those were false claims and even went on humiliating them.
What makes the situation worse and saddening?
The victim was cremated around 2:30 A.M on the night of 29th September without any knowledge of the victim’s family. When the news first broke out on social media, the Uttar Pradesh police denied that all were false accusations and that the family was trying to hit a hammer on the caste-based tension in the country. The family also alleged that they were facing severe pressure from the administration and also kept locked in a room for several days. A video that went viral showed that the hathras district magistrate was trying to convince the family to change their testimony under the name of ‘not losing their credibility’.
The state government decided to suspend five police officials including the superintendent of police on 3rd October. News broke out that the government employed a Bombay based relations firm to send out press releases on the behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, that the victim was not raped. This just fuelled the fire for the ongoing caste turmoil in the state.
Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of the state suggested a CBI probe for the case. The suggestion was declined by the family saying that they would prefer a judicial action rather than the CBI probe. The government ranted out that all of these were made in attempts to defame the government. It is said that you can know a lot about the country just by looking at the political approach towards the problems and here we are with it. The Modi government promised tons of measures especially for the safety of women now if someone was to ask where did those promises go? The people from less privileged sections of our society believed that they were electing leaders by casting their votes instead of rulers, but as it turns out the story is no different.
What was the government’s reaction?
The incident has led the government to accuse each other of not being able to handle the welfare of the people. The hidden picture is that all of them as a whole has failed the entire country where women are not safe to step outside of their houses.
Former Congress president and current opposition leader, Rahul Gandhi, and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi were detained by the police in the state when they tried to make a trip to the victim’s house. Some may call it a political stunt and it may be that at least they were trying to establish contact. Was the Modi government anywhere near?
Mayawati, former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh demanded the resignation of yogi adityanath as he was incapable of protecting the rights of Dalit families under his supervision, also taunting him to look after the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Reports show that various groups that are formed have protested against the government and asked for justice for the victim. Also, more than 5000 sanitization workers went around the city of Agra, protesting for justice for the victim.
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi chief minister has said that the accused should be executed.
On October 4, a rally was conducted by ex- MLA of BJP supporting the demands of justice for the accused. The family members of the four also attended the rally. According to a BJP leader Ranjeet Srivastava, the accused are not guilty of the crime one bit and also questioned the police why such women were only found dead in the sugarcane fields or gutters and not in wheat or paddy fields This is what the leaders of the country think about women and teenage girls. Do you want to know how shallow can these leaders get? It is not at all difficult BJP MLA, Surendra Nath Singh said that the girls should be filled with sacraments to avoid such incidents. They can find pride in passing such a remark but would not find it necessary to instill some education in the men of the country instead. The people who need to be educated on an urgent basis are the leaders who are perfectly doing their job to downgrade women and blame them for all the savage crimes are committed to them.
Compensations have been made to the family for about 2.5 million INR and also a house in Hathras under the state Urban development Agency. What good are these things now, when the life of an innocent girl is lost? India may have the largest military and can protect the country from outside attacks with ease, but who is to protect the country from these monsters who reside in it?