Wearing the Veil of Violence

Gujrat RiotsAtrocities and aggression, reincarnated and manifested in disparate forms – whatever may be the reason or the source—always cause harm, hurt and inflict indelible pin in the deepest recesses of the human psyche. Trauma, tyranny and heart-wrenching emotions are awakened and resurged every time one thinks of cases like the Bilkis Bano gang rape case.

More than half a decade back, in broad daylight on March 3rd, 2002, human animosity took on yet another form of petrifying disaster, when under the guise of communal hatred and inexplicable intricacies, a five month old pregnant Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, was gang raped and stripped in public. It is terrifying to even think that irrationalities and compulsive obsessions can reach to the extent of killing a three and half year old baby girl, her daughter, by smashing her to the ground.

If mindlessly setting Muslim houses on fire was not enough, ruthless tyranny was personified in looting and destroying the property of the village. What more could be a glaring example of a sepulchral and mortifying system which betrays its basic ethos than that of the case of Bilkis Bano? The wide array of facts that streamline and surface themselves in this case leave the inglorious rocks of development and success stumbling.

The most inglorious instances of the legislature’s litigation and apathy to justice and transpaprency come to the forefront when facts like the distortions of realities and data by the police arise to condone the sins of the sinners. When Bilkis Bano regained her consciousness after the traumatic infliction of the gang rape; even after her recurrent yet incessant pleas of being pregnant fell on deaf ears, she was faced with yet another blindening and stupefying realization. When escorted to the police station, the ground was swept off her feet when Gori, the police inspector, refused to register her complaint with the added threat that she would be injected poisonous chemicals if she voiced her pains. Even the dead bodies were removed form the site of the action and buried with their skulls removed – to give that perfect bend to their sinful deeds.

Friday, January 18, 2008; twelve people including a policeman were finally convicted of the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the killing of her family members using deadly weapons during the post-Godhra riots of 2002.

Though the process of legislation and beauraucracy remain completed, what infuriates the most is whether so-called justice acceptable? If seen from the perspective of the legislature of the second highest populated nation in the world, where thousands of cases get piled up under dusted stacks of stocked age-old files and take decades to be heard or even are left incomplete, this does seem as a promising incidence. However, as the age old saying comparing the “best among the worst” goes, nowhere does it belittle the insurmountable incapacities of the delayed justice and the failed judiciary; hence denied justice and the wrathful consequences of a human’s ill motives. The brutality with which the men decimated such huge figures in their acts of unmindful impulsivity is appalling and questions the very efficacy of the security and the support system of the society.

The patriarchal set-up has so very well percolated into the deepest layers of society that the entire system now is defined and erected keeping in mind the male bastion as an inevitable and inseparable construct. Every parent of a young daughter lives in the perennial fear of their child returning safe to their homes at the end of the day. Their life blood for whom they kept aside their personal life and happiness is under the constant threat of being the victim of some lecherous eyes or some lustful motives.

What is enraging and aggravating the most is the simple thought that what if the young boy who became the testimony to the macabre incidents would have backed out in the fear of his security or simply been unavailable! The evidences of eyewitnesses backtracking and turning hostile on the time of giving testimony have been already exemplary in the Jessica Lal case; where the simple denying of facts by the witness on trivial lingual grounds protracted the case and justice for years. The issues concern the masses, but to what end?

The sad cases of mob molestation in the open public streets are uncountable to the extent that the majority go unreported. What ads a pinch of salt to the embittered platter is the carelessness, recklessness and inefficiency of the judiciary. I raise a voice against the coupled menaces to the society in the articulations of female sexual harassment, assault and the sepulchral legislature of India.

Raising the voices against the present government and criticizing existing public policies serve no end until every individual youth today realize their power in the positive sense. If we are able to rationalize in the front of swaying emotions, we can bring a pause to such atrocities and crimes that are committed under the convenient emotional garb of communal hatred and differences, accentuated by the condoning police and support systems of the society.

Arpita Chakraborty