As a citizen of India, I was concerned by the silence of the Prime Minister of India over horrific incidents of rape in India. I expected the leader to speak on an important issue. Finally, he came out and assured the nation that culprits would not be spared. Two ministers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir who had allegedly supported rapists were made to resign. These developments were reassuring. I saw the media pressure on the establishment to act as a positive sign. However, the narrative unfolding after these events scares me.
Shashi Tharoor who is known for his ‘erudition’ tweeted posters demanding the ouster of BJP canvassers outside Kerala homes. Does this mean that men affiliated with BJP alone are rapists? What is the statistic that this rhetoric is being based on? This is indeed a sick way to address the sensitive issue of disturbing crimes happening in the country. Perhaps Mr Tharoor has forgotten two members of Congress B.K. Biju and P.K. Shamsuddeen who were awarded life imprisonment for raping and murdering a woman named Radha in a Congress office. I was expecting something better from an educated man who had served in UN for many decades.
His party boss, Rahul Gandhi who led a candlelight march in Delhi to protest against Kathua and Unnao rape victims could not ensure security for women from his own party men as per the account of a journalist who was at the march. Has the Congress lost focus on the issue of women’s safety in its blatant politicking?
Compare this with Rajeev Chandrasekhar. He had been working on justice for minor victims of sexual assault since 2017. In his recent, exclusive interview with OpIndia, he said that the laws should be strengthened and prosecution at the level of state government level must be improved. He added that the registry of convicted sex offenders must be operationalised to ensure that children are protected from repeat offenders. Chandrasekhar added that the threshold level for capital punishment for crimes against children must be brought down. He added that the Kathua case must be fast-tracked and guilty must be brought to book swiftly.
Menaka Gandhi, the minister from women and child development announced that amendments to the POCSO act would be brought in to ensure that rape against children younger than 12 years can be punished with death penalty.
These are the kind of ideas that will go a long way in ensuring that justice is done to children who have been sexually assaulted.
The anti-Modi cabal has not come up with any positive or constructive solution to combat crimes against children. It has not come about with a plan to improve the prosecution system or judiciary to ensure that victims get justice in time. Instead they seem to have invested their energies in a political campaign.
Teesta Setalvad who is now out of jail in an embezzlement case wants to ‘drive out the ideology’ which she hates. I wonder whether she is concerned about justice for the victim or anticipating a political establishment which will drop cases registered against her.
Clearly, the journalist Rana Ayyub has displayed remorseless political vulturism in her commentary on Kathua rape incident. Her concern for the rape victim was forgotten and her opposition to Hindutva took centre stage in this tweet.
It is of course not surprising. Rana Ayyub is the very propagandist who had written an entire article blaming the “Hindu fascists” and the ideology she despises when a nun was raped in West Bengal. The rapists turned out to be Bangladeshis, and just like that, her concern for violence against women and her quest for justice vanished.
In addition to this, blatant use of Hindu gods and symbols to insinuate against Hindus indicates that a more sinister propaganda is at work in the matter. We must remember that these are the same people who strive hard to cover up the religious identity of accused when a crime committed by members of minorities are reported.
Can we trust the politicians like Shashi Tharoor and Rahul Gandhi to ensure that the right policies and the justice delivery system are in place to prosecute crimes against children? I don’t think so. Can we trust journalists like Shekhar Gupta, Rana Ayyub to report crimes against children impartially? I don’t think so. Can we trust activists like Teesta Setalvad to fight for victims without thinking about political party ruling the country? I don’t think so.
The reason for my apprehension is this: they will not hesitate to use such heinous crimes as a political tool to further their own agenda. They will also not hesitate to look away from a crime when it doesn’t suit their political agenda. This is dangerous for the entire country. Political vultures will destroy the country if left unchecked.