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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Crimes Against Women: India Back In Medieval Times!


In the Middle Ages India was utterly divided along dynastic states and those of the invaders apart from the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, caste and religious divisions already inherent. There was tremendous infighting too and therefore security in a particular locality or fief was a great concern. So the feudal lords decided what was best for them, set the harshest rules for the society and enforced those with vigor.
The feudal lords were predominantly the land owners and they commanded most of other wealth like livestock and natural resources of the fief. Women too were considered as part of their property and that defined the larger relationship issues for the society.
The feudal lords of the 21st century India continue to remain as reactionary and as powerful as in those times. They still decide what is best for them and accordingly for the society. The 21st century India remains utterly divided too despite the formation of a republic after Independence in 1947. India of the medieval ages and India of the 21st century stand united though only on one front—dominating, suppressing, oppressing, torturing and exploiting women.
They consider women as commodities of the use and throw kind and user friendliness is always a must condition. At best, they consider women as reproductive machines and here too if they find the machines starting to wear off they go for new and newer ones. They just cannot tolerate any spark of individuality in women. They want them for all the services from cooking onwards…and of course with the utmost loyalty at all times. They commit all the crimes and ridicule the idea of punishment for themselves. But if a woman dares committing even an innocuous mistake, forget crimes, her fate gets sealed as per the set rules of their society.
This sickening male domination infects all spheres of life of medieval India or modern India—the administration from the village onwards, the police, the military, the judiciary and the government. If a wronged woman approaches any of these authorities the first suspicion will be on her character—what exactly she did to invite the atrocity, what exactly she wore and what exactly she ate or drank. The victim of malevolent male atrocity becomes the accused very fast as per set patterns.
Forget about what the sick and malignant male component does with the female fetus and the girl child, because you need to concentrate more on the larger issue of crimes against women that continue to hit you with ruthless regularity and from all parts of the country.
Yes, it has to be Uttar Pradesh, as always. The council of elders known as the Khap Panchyat in a particular village there passed the following diktats only recently.
Women up to the age of forty cannot:
  • Go to the market or go out of home after evening if not escorted by a male.
  • Own a mobile phone.
  • Fall in love or have a love marriage.
  • Go out without covering even her head fully.
They know nobody would dare oppose their diktats. For the simple reasons that malevolent males like them only form the higher authorities and the government too would be heavily dependent on their votes. As per latest reports the central Khap has said that female feoticide is a crime. Maybe be they are afraid of the very adverse male-female ratio in their region, because if females cease to exist who will service them!
But as we have indicated earlier it is not just Uttar Pradesh, it is the entire country that is fast making a regressive journey into the middle ages. Heart wrenchingly, my home state of Assam and my home city Guwahati too.  A state known for the simple folks, warmest hospitality, endearing sincerity, a time tested thread of social and religious tolerance thanks to our great saints and liberated intellectuals, festivals devoid of caste or religious barriers and happy-go-lucky attitude. The lush green and serenely peaceful land we grew up in. A tranquil balance of man and nature to be felt and relished all the time. But the malignant male disease has threatened to devour up that piece of land too.
Of course, the danger signals were there for all to feel and realize. First the terror strife and rising levels of unemployment and frustrations among the youth. Then, a palpable and continuous decay of cultural values with people craving for consumerism and superficial tastes. The bad and the ugly were looming large as two back-to-back incidents happened that showed human depravity at the lowest and exploded the myth of a contented society. 
The first incident is not about a common and a vulnerable woman, but about a sitting lady member of the legislative assembly of Assam.  We do not exactly know if the lady was happy with her ‘male’ husband—an elected member too. But we know for sure that she fell in love with a boy much younger to her and belonging to a different religion. Eventually the lady representative decided to take the plunge and eloped with the boy. She converted to the other religion and married the boy without divorcing her first husband. The first husband feigned total ignorance and lodged a missing complaint with the police.
Meantime the loyal media followed the couple everywhere and continued to air spicy stories so that the people know all the details. Now, by the standards of medieval India the woman committed crimes of the most grievous nature. The feudal lords geared up for ‘corrective’ action or punishment for such unpardonable crimes.
So, when the couple happened to visit the constituency from which the lady got elected and was staying in a hotel for the night a huge crowd of over 200‘reformers’ gathered in front of the hotel in the dead of the night. They ransacked the hotel and forcibly entered her room starting to beat up the couple mercilessly. They pulled, stripped and kicked the lady gleefully video-graphed by some media person who perhaps wanted the whole world to know about it. The hooligans would have gone on to kill her if the police did not arrive finally.   The video was instantly around in all media channels and the net. Outrage, demands for strict action…but hardly any action so far. 
The second incident happened right in the middle of the city of Guwahati late evening. One 17 year old girl attended a birthday party in a bar and came out alone maybe due to some technicality or a brawl with her friends as reported by some news agencies. The feudal lords were waiting for her. How could she dare enter a bar and possibly drink liquor, the lords justified. That was crime enough for the ‘protectors’ of society.
A group of them cornered the girl just outside the bar and in full public view. They started touching her, stripping her and molesting her. More ‘male’ components joined the fun instantly attracted to the ‘reformist’ action and it grew into a 40 something strong mob. Passersby too stopped in their tracks and nobody had any thought of trying to rescue the helpless girl. The spot was very near to a prominent news channel and its reporter was present maybe from the beginning or even earlier.
The inhuman and indefinably cruel torture continued for 30 long minutes and the channel cameraman continued to record the incident with great details and a creative finish. ‘He’ was reportedly even directed by the rampaging perverts to take particular pictures from particular angles. Perhaps ‘he’ too wanted the whole world to know about it. Finally the police managed to arrive there and rescued the girl. But as the ‘male’ components were very dominant in the police too questions were asked more about the girl’s character and habits. After a national outrage broke out the police had to show some progress by arresting four lords. The other lords including a government employee could perhaps be planning for the next ‘reformist’ action. Some say the reporter was part of the mob instigating the whole incident.
The news channel defended its reporter saying it wanted action for that shameful act and therefore recorded the video as solid proof for identifying the culprits. But vital questions need to be answered. Why the video recording continued for half an hour? Why did not they record for two minutes for identification purpose and then try to rescue the girl? Why the video was loaded into the YouTube? Was it for creating a public opinion or for just giving vicarious pleasure to the eternal net voyeurs? After the video was supplied to everyone possible the news channel vowed not to show it as it would make the girl’s trauma endless! Kill all the birds with a single bullet? Give out a social message while earning massive revenues?
We recently cried for redefining SHAME in India! But it is hardly necessary. It is written large and in bold all over everywhere and anywhere. If AL Basham wrote ‘The Wonder That Was India’, now it should be rewritten as ‘The SHAME That Is India’! 



 The invasion of cultural Taliban-ism in India is in full swing. Unless the ‘male’ mindset is changed there seems to be no way out of it.  

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