22 December 2012

Violence and injustice

The subject of this post is more sombre than usual and is prompted by recent acts of violence against women which have outraged many in India and caused a media frenzy.

First, I was shocked and upset by an incident that happened in Bangalore a few weeks ago. A woman was in her car, waiting at a stoplight, when she was rear-ended by a motorcycle. When she got out of her car to inspect the damage, she was verbally abused by the motorist who caused the accident. He was then joined by a crowd of men who joined in in taunting her, verbally and physically. When she tried to get help from a police officer, he made no effort to help her and even physically assaulted her. Despite filing an official complaint against the officer, he was back at work the next day. To add insult to injury, the police later declared that the incident was all her fault!

Then there was the horrific incident this week which happened in Delhi where a woman was gang raped and beaten in a moving bus. The male friend she was with was also beaten up, before both were thrown out of the bus onto the road. The whole country is up in arms, with demonstrations happening across India and people expressing their outrage at the horrendous violence which is perpetrated against women on a daily basis.

This incident got a lot of media attention but there are stories of rape every day in the paper, and often the victims are children.

This week I also read about a schoolgirl’s ordeal to seek justice which took her 6 YEARS. She had been sexually assaulted by her teacher and what was the sentence he was given? 2 years of imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 rupees. That’s the conviction a teacher gets for sexually abusing a minor?

No wonder women don’t try to go the police for help when they’re being hassled by men. No wonder they don’t bother reporting rape to the police. No wonder they don’t try to seek justice.

Something is seriously wrong.


Yogesh said...

Seems the society, Mankind and the Justice Delivery System which is again a part of the society have lost their Human Sensitivity. Justice is not Justice which is rendered by a judge devoid of any Feelings towards the Pain of the victim, and is only interested in picking out the flaws in the Case of the prosecution. And a official who is already prejudiced against a class of the society would only promote injustice with his prejudiced thinking. We all need to change our mindset within and without.

Elizabeth Petrosian said...

I have followed the Delhi story while at the same time reeling from the Sandy Hook shooting in the U.S. Both are instances of inexcusable violence, and both require strong, effective, comprehensive measures of reform. In India there is the problem of women's lower status that is at the root of violence such as this, the lack of proper justice, and rates of aborting female fetuses/killing female infants. There needs to be a large cultural shift to address entrenched attitudes about women--but in the meantime, the justice system must absolutely be held accountable. I certainly hope that this terrible tragedy--like the one in the U.S.--proves to be the catalyst for real change.

Sachin said...

The women is an artist by profession.

A motorcycle hit her car, she got out and started arguing on the middle of the road itself obstructing traffic. A crowd gathered at the sport yelling at her to move. She got out her phone and started taking pictures of the crowd. The crowd got angry and some people in their lungi's took out their lungi and started doing lungi dance in their underwear.

Soon a traffic police arrived at the spot. The people informed the guy what had happened. The police argued with the women and later pushed her to the side of the road.

The women went all across the social, print and visual media claiming sexual harassment, uncivilized behaviour of the mob, psychical assault by the police etc etc.

stupid rich people

Isabel said...

For your information Sachin, lewd comments amount to sexual harassment and physically pushing someone is physical assault.

The fact that she's an artist and whether she's rich or poor is irrelevant.

Sachin said...

I agree with you isabel but what I'm trying to say is if I obstructed the traffic with my vehicle on a busy road in mumbai, I'd have a crowd which would more than dent my car. Why would I piss them further by taking out my camera phone?

I don't sing the "skin provokes men to rape" mumbo jumbo but this bangalore incident was certainly a case of the women irritating the public. She could have noted the motorcycle number.

Anyways, I want to clear that I don't have any agenda to defend men for their crimes against women.

Isabel said...

I think you're asking the wrong questions Sachin.

Why, when she got out of her car to check the damage caused by the motorcycle rider who rear-ended her, did the rider abuse her with vulgar langauge?

Why did passersby join in?

Why did the policeman push her aside?

Why did he say to her: "You don’t know Kannada. You don’t belong to this place."

Why did the policeman tell the man who caused the accident to leave the scene?

Why did the crowd pull at her clothes are jeer at her?

Why did a man expose himself?

Though you "don't sing the 'skin provokes men to rape' mumbo jumbo" you do seem to play the 'blame the victim' tune.

jennifer anderson said...

doesnt sound like a nice place