-By Yashraj Srivastava
There she was laying down breathlessly with her bulging out eyes. All the area around her corpse was oozing out with rubescent blood and the Indian apparel which is considered ethnically appropriate was ripped into pieces. Such haunting imagery petrifies every woman in India and this is not only a rhetoric image but a real one. Not only such gruesome act petrifies the whole state and society but also leaves the families of victims in misery and
Rape, a crime which has been a result of male dominance and results of patriarchy morals is not new to anatomy of society, since ages it has been occurring and depicting the male dominance over female. In the era of freedom where there is a balance of equality we see many instances in where women are subject to many crimes and acts of gruesomeness which eventually demoralises the very concept of equality and freedom.
Hathras rape case was not something new to world or neither Nirbhaya’s, such acts have been happening since many ages. Rape is very much common crime in the world and people might not be aware of such. Many of the acts went unrecorded or might have escaped from clutches of media but in spurn of all things, incidents like Nirbhaya and Hathras ignites the very core of human rights as well as violates the principles of equality brewed with Freedom
and Security of Women in India. Just imagine a fact that highest number rape cases are reported in India, think how many cases went unreported? The number seems very high and
such facts leads to questions of women security as well as doubts the fundamental pillars of democracy.
Hathras incident has etched the collective memory of our country, where a group of four men of upper cast (Thakur Caste) assaulted and raped a 19-year-old Dalit girl when she was collecting fodder from near farm. The major complication arose when the corpse of girl was cremated overnight by police officials, without consent and presence of any family members.
Acts like such clearly depicts the procedural failure of the police executives. Actions of police in Hathras case was more like a sordid saga where no consent was taken from family to cremate as well as police authorities locked down all the family members and secreted from them from cremation ceremony. And that too cremation ceremony was conducted during midnight which is not a norm followed in Hinduism. The concoction of all the delinquencies by police authorities was against the law. Whereupon dying declaration by the victim was valid enough to initiate with the investigation but police authorities were mostly
inclined towards expunging the evidences. In all this a major question arises that Will Hathras victim get any justice? It took 8 years to get justice in Nirbhaya’s case, is justice so late?
The paramount question of attaining justice is a major one but when paws of justice fails then the very object of justice is taunted and diminished. The chief minister of the Uttar Pradesh, gasconaded about the state as “State of daughters” which eventually refutes and contradicts with the numeric stats of rape cases in Uttar Pradesh.
To answer the question of justice we have to analyse the crime in a psychological way, Rape cases like Nirbhaya in New Delhi, Asifa in Kashmir as well as Prinyanka Reddy in
Hyderabad and many more have one factor in common, which is the horrid intention of the perpetrators and such intention is botched up with acrimony of lust and dominance over female. Now such dominance could be subject to race, caste or gender where in the Hathras case such dominance could be botched up as ascendancy of upper caste (Thakur) onto lower caste as well as dominance of Male over a female.
What does the basic nature of justice mean? The jurisprudence of justice acclaims the very principles of equality and freedom. Crimes like rape restricts the freedom of women and diffuses the very concept of Consent. Justice is not attained by giving Compensation to the victims and capital punishment to the perpetrators. Basically such punishments are not enough to set a precedent against such nature of crime and do not create an appropriate
deterrence effect in society. But nothing more can be done in the name of justice, as no legal remedy can fulfil the irreparable injury to the victims and their family. So now the question arises that how to cure such malediction, a crime which is devouring the fundamental principles of freedom and botching the morals of society, the solution maybe lies in educating people and such solution might help in some way or other curbing the problem. Lack of
education and increase in watch of pornography builds up such mala fide intention. But then criticism arises that crimes like rape still hinders safety of women in many countries which have well educated people.
The solution according to me lies within a twofold thread that still taunts and haunts the well-being of society and hinders the safety of women. Firstly, gender dominance has been there since the times of civilization. Earlier crimes like rape were done more openly and were of a more severe nature, when one kingdom trounced another then the soldiers of the conquering side used to rape openly the women of defeated territory. And when the world was subject to two world wars, there were millions of women and children who were subject to rape. And when most of the states around the world adopted a democratic style of
governance than there emerged the concept of equality and freedom, crimes against women did not decrease but it became more private and secretive. The point which I am trying to establish is that the mentality with respect to practising dominance over female is still in cribbed in male gender. Secondly, the factor of acceptance, if we look at the anatomy of Indian society then it is highly influenced with patriarchy where male is considered as bread earner and female as majorly home maker, a Male who is Tough, Sturdy and Strong whereas Female Being Soft, Delicate, Caretaker of child. Such polarization within the society has severely affected the female side and can be seen in consequence of crime. Men accepting the equality factor in accordance with female side will establish a higher moral ground and eventually lead to reduction in crime against women. Taking all the discussed factors into
consideration and implementation of same will enhance the ambit of justice and eventually its enhance its effectiveness.
The medieval cast system induced within the Indian Society is still taunting and misbalancing the pillars of equality and freedom, as more and more crime is being done against the lower cast. The dominance of Upper cast over lower cast is still building up even after many years of Independence. Every issue is subject to political circus as well as every political party tries to fulfil their personal goals by safeguarding the interest of their communities also known as the Vote banks. Same was witnessed in Hathras Rape case, where there were constant clashes between ruling party which has a heavy vote bank from Thakur class (Upper Class) and on other side Parties in support of Dalit. Politicising issues won’t help the victim’s family as well as will not bring any such reforms in society.
One point that we all learn from the Hathras rape case is that there should be more Independency of Police authorities with implementation of police reforms. State ruling party has more control over the police, and police acting in favour state. And when cases like Hathras ignites the very core of human rights then ruling state in order to protect its image tries to curb the issue with state actors like police like in Hathras Rape case. Giving more freedom and independency to police from the clutches of State Party will eventually enhance the procedural mechanism of investigation. Justice will be more efficient if its instruments are coherent.
As one of the greatest philosopher Plato was seeking for Utopia in Greece, in today’s world we as a citizens of democracy also seek for a society which is equal, free and safe. Women are idolised in India in form of Goddesses as well as various Personalities. Acts like rape demeans the very pedestal of Goddesses and Personalities- which empowers the character of female in more exemplar sense. Hathras Rape case has definitely reminded the horrors of
2012 Delhi Gang rape case, but we have to approach to solutions in more rational and equitable way. Nirbhaya is now no more and neither Hathras victim, but justice can be
simulated in right direction and ensure that in future there is no other Nirbhaya.