Our Hardworking Government
Despite massive public outrage during Nirbhaya Gangrape case in 2012, nothing has changed in the political landscape in regards to the women’s safety in India, as well. A leading daily reports that in 2016 alone, out of 3.38 lakh crime cases against women, 11.5 percent were rape cases. To top it all – according to ADR India, nearly 30 percent of all legislators have a criminal background, 1581 of sitting legislators have a criminal record, and 51 have been involved in crime against women.
Our ‘venerable’ political leaders have time and again resorted to the act of victim blaming, supported misogyny and endorsed child marriage, further augmenting crimes against women in India. Here we have a few snippets about what our prominent leaders think about rape in India. See, what they have to say about rape in public:
‘Boys Are Boys, They Make Mistakes’ – 2014
Should rape cases lead to hanging? Boys are boys, they make mistakes
Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party Leader
‘Child Marriage is A Solution to Rape’ – 2012
Child marriage is a solution to rape and other atrocities against women.
Om Prakash Chautala, Former Haryana Chief Minister
‘Rapes Happen Because Men and Women Interact’ – 2012
Rapes happen because men and women interact freely.
Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister
Is Rape a Political Propaganda?
Unfortunately, rape has now become a mere political tool to instill fear among the minority communities across India. No more, can we say rape is a gender violence crime, especially after the brutal rape and murder of an eight-year old Muslim girl from the Kathua district of Kashmir. The official investigation declared the victim was mainly attacked because she belonged to Bakarwal nomadic minority, crudely highlighting the ongoing Hindu-Muslim friction that has provoked various attacks on the minorities in recent years in India.
The Most Recent Case study:
Following the recent rape case of Kathua, a scathing letter from 49 civil servants directed towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him to reach out to the family of the victim and seek their forgiveness. Mr. Modi’s silence on this grievously disheartening Asifa rape case has been shocking, unacceptable and excruciating. The government, whom we have elected in good faith, has failed us again and again. Mind it; this is the same government that was once the flag-bearer of the social campaign, Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao. We were hopeful that acche din ayenge, but is this the price we have to pay? Are our daughters really safe and protected under the present rule?
As many as 2.5 million crimes against women have been reported in India over the last decade. Reported cases of crime against women increased 83 percent from 185,312 in 2007 to 338,954 in 2016.
The letter reflected how we are living in the darkest of times, and slammed PM for maintaining his silence on the horrendous crime, when the entire nation wants to know his reaction. People across the globe are demanding justice for the minor victim from Kashmir, while Narendra Modi government is found patronizing the perpetrators.
However, the 8 accused have now been identified and arrested, and they include retired revenue official Sanji Ram, 60-year-old (the alleged mastermind), his son Vishal Jangotra and nephew (both) juvenile, Special Police Officers (SPOs) Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar, a Rasana resident Parvesh Kumar, Assistant Sub Inspector Anand Dutta and Head Constable Tilak Raj. Nevertheless, all the accused are somehow connected to the present ruling party, and that pains us to say, our protectors are our very perpetrators.
According to ADR (Association for Democratic Reforms) study 2016, BJP has the highest number of MPs, MLAs, approximately, 51 of them have declared cases of crime against women, including assault and rape. Out of 51, 48 are MLAs and 3 are MPs.
Your Silence helps the Bad Guys.
It’s become a massive blame game. But the truth is fingers are pointed at you as well. The public is the largest stakeholder in the issue, but unfortunately is the farthest away from the conversation.
Because If it’s not your daughter, your sister or anyone you know getting trafficked……. why would it matter?
We’ll tell you why: In our passiveness and inaction, we are also perpetrators of the crime. The public, you and me, are the consumers who drive demand for this. And we are the direct catalysts for the rising numbers if we still choose to remain unaware and silent.
As one of our first initiatives, Missing launched a 16 day pan-India campaign using Art as Activism to raise awareness about ‘Violence Against Women and Children’. The campaign used Stencil Art Work, Awareness Talks and more to educate people on the issue. We collaborated with 10 NGOs across 8 states. The campaign made 9,532,553+ impressions across national, regional and online news portal.