On the 15th of August, when India was celebrating its 76th Independence Day, PM Modi made a strong appeal to the nation—respect women. From the ramparts of the Red Fort, PM Modi talked about Nari Samman and requested the people to refrain from using derogatory language towards women.
However, only a few hours has passed when a incident shook the nation—release of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano rape case. The nation saw how these convicted rapists and murderers were felicitated with garlands and fed laddoos.
The Culprits were “Brahmins” with “good sanskar” BJP MLA from Godhra says
As if this was not enough, a BJP MLA from Godhra (Gujarat), who was a part of the committee that unanimously decided to release the rapists, has made some distasteful remarks. While speaking to a reporter from Mojo Story, he said, “I don’t know whether they committed the crime or not. But there has to be intention of committing crime.” He further added, “They were Brahmins and Brahmins are known to have good sanskar. It might be someone’s ill intention to corner and punish them.”
Who is to be Blamed?
The question arises, who is to be blamed? Who are the accomplices in this travesty of justice—the legal system, the political system, or the people of India?
It is correctly said that the Indian legal system is a lawyer’s paradise. So many technicalities, so many procedural aspects are being pointed out in this case.
Some arguments are that the remission took place according to 1992 guidelines which were in effect in 2008when the conviction happened. Also, the SC should not have transferred this matter to the CBI. So on and so forth.
We should not forget that Bhishma Pitamah had cited technical reasons why he could intervene when Draupadi was being disrobed.
How long will India keep hiding behind “legal technicalities” and witnessing such ghastly incidents happen?
Shouldn’t the legal system be modified according to the “spirit of justice” and not the other way round? Did we not change legal provisions when our conscience was shaken after the Nirbhaya rape case?
It is time for the Indian judicial system to not only revoke this remission but reform the whole system so that no other rapist escapes punishment by using legal loopholes.
All this is happening is Gujarat, so you might think that the BJP must be guilty. But, this is the half picture.
Elections are round the corner in Gujarat. Polarisation of voters is in full swing. But this is the lowest level of appeasement that Indian politics has stooped to.
Why did the BJP government in Gujarat release these monsters? These recommendations by the committee were not binding on the government. Then why did the government not reject it?
Also, where is the opposition? It is said that a strong opposition is the backbone of a democracy. Why is the opposition quiet? Outrage and protest against this decision are missing from the roads of Gujarat.
This is the lowest in Indian politics. Appeasement of rapists cannot and should not become a precedent in our country.
We, the people of India
We can blame the parties for trying to appease their vote banks. But, the question that arises is— has our collective conscience become so stoic that our sense of justice is determined by the identity of the culprit and the victim?
Why do parties find it politically feasible to release gang-rape convicts? Why is the opposition hesitant to call this out?
In a democracy, it is ultimately the people who decide the fate of the nation. Probably, the release of these criminals was not in our control. But not garlanding them was, not touching their feet was.
Let there be some arenas where ethics, morals, and conscience prevail instead of politics. We never know, tomorrow someone from our families might be at the receiving end. Rape and murder are crimes against HUMANITY.
The Finger-Pointing Should Stop
No one seems to be ready to take accountability. Politicians blame the legal loopholes; people blame politicians; etc. Change has to begin from all sides.