Few years ago when “Nirbhaya” was gang raped there was a great revolt in Delhi. Thousands of girls and boys spearheaded it, paralyzing the city for days. Following her death, the then UPA govt took many decisions, a commission was appointed, its report was published, and the state machinery and the ruling political class assured that most prompt action shall be taken to save the country from this plague! But after so many years what is happening? Everyday newspapers come out with news of increasing number of rapes, gang rapes, rapes of even 3 year old babies and molestations even at workplaces. As happened at Alwar twice last week or at so many places, even if a rape is reported the police refuse to act; even if the case comes before the judiciary the justice is delayed or refused. People get outraged and at many places, as in Kashmir now against rape of a three year old, revolts take place in the streets. But the alertness shown by the state machinery to maintain law and order at such times is hardly shown in putting an FIR when a rape is reported. No qualitative change in the situation at all. On the contrary, these gruesome incidents are increasing manifold. Why?
Because, India has become a country which is more patriarchal, Manuvadi, where gender inequality is justified under religion and caste system. The RSS parivar and other religious fundamentalists are openly justifying women’s inferiority to men. Under their onslaught, even whatever renaissance, secular, caste annihilation, democratic, egalitarian and scientific values were existing, are fast eroded. The male chauvinistic state machinery, including judiciary up to topmost levels, as recently happened in the case of sexual harassment complaint against the chief justice of India, refuse to give justice to women. As the ruling system is corrupt from top to bottom, rapists can easily influence the police. For protecting vote banks, the political class also help the rapists and molesters. In short, basically it is a men’s world. The neo-liberal onslaughts impoverishing the toilers, depriving many a family life, and the impact of consumerist culture which reduces women to a mere commodity through films, TV serials, advertisements, social media etc also aggravate the menace.
But, while using Alwar gang rape like incidents for attacking political opponents to get few more votes, Modi like political leaders forget the blood in their hands, and do not bother to approach this question with the seriousness it demands; they forget they are also responsible for the increasing assaults on women, children. This barbarous male chauvinistic aggression can be resisted and defeated only by firmly standing for gender equality in all respects and fighting for it ideologically, politically and organizationally, creating people’s upsurges for it. n