The unfortunate incident at Hathras has the nation’s emotions running high. 19-year-old Dalit girl was reportedly strangulated by four men on 14th September, 2020 in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. Over a week later, she gave a statement to police that she was also gang-raped by the four men. Days later, she succumbed to her injuries. A crime as heinous as rape invokes extreme anger and rightly so.
While the girl said she was raped, the initial medical report has stated that the rape cannot be confirmed. Hathras SP has said that the medical report from Aligarh hospital mentions the injuries inflicted upon her but does not confirm forced sexual intercourse. The doctors are not confirming rape yet. FSL reports are still awaited.
Close on the heels of Hathras horror, a 22-year-old Dalit girl was gang-raped in Balrampur also in Uttar Pradesh. But did it invoke same angry reactions? No.
Rohini Singh and selective outrage on rapes
The Wire employee Rohini Singh seems to have taken charge on being the brand ambassador of ‘liberal’ hypocrisy when it comes to crimes.
This is what she had to say when she was questioned why is she bringing in the caste angle in the Hathras rape and murder case.
She claimed that rape is not only about sex but about power and ‘showing a woman her place’. She claimed that when Dalit women are raped by upper caste men, it is usually a ‘lesson’ rapists want to give to her community. Since the person who questioned her had ‘Mishra’, an upper caste, surname, she won’t understand, claimed Singh, an upper caste person herself. How do you think she reacted when she heard about the Balrampur rape and murder case? A 22-year-old Dalit woman was raped by two men, Shahid and Salil.
The girl is on a ventilator fighting for her life. Rape is not about sex as much as it is about power and showing a woman her place. Rapes of Dalit women, by upper caste men, are usually a lesson the rapist wants to give to her community. A Mishra won’t understand that. But try. https://t.co/AYfEGwP81C— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) September 28, 2020
The usual suspects are thrilled the suspects in the #Balrampur gang rape are Muslims. But shouldn’t they be angry that the state is so lawless that unspeakable brutality against women & children are happening so frequently?The culprits have to be punished severely. But will they?— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) September 30, 2020
Suddenly, when the perpetrators of heinous crime on a Dalit woman are not ‘upper caste Hindus’ but two Muslim youth, the same crime becomes a matter of ‘lawlessness’. So you see, the reaction and severity of the same changes for similar crimes only because perpetrators are not ‘upper caste Hindus’.
Further, while accusing the UP Police of not being prompt in taking action, she tweeted something like this:
Singh is visibly angry at Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
हाथरस में एक दलित बेटी का गैंगरेप हुआ, उसकी जीभ काटी गयी, शरीर पर अनगिनत ज़ख्म दिए गए और मरने के लिए छोड़ दिया गया। पहले पुलिस ने उसे ‘छेड़खानी’ समझा, दबाव बना तो रेप का मुक़दमा दर्ज हुआ, फिर उसे फेक न्यूज भी बताया गया।— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) September 29, 2020
आज वो बेटी नहीं रही, यही UP का आज है, बाक़ी सब रामराज है।
Now, here is what has happened. In Congress-ruled Rajasthan, two minor girls, aged 13 and 15, in Baran said on camera that they were gang-raped by two men. The girls accused that the men took them to Kota, Jaipur and Ajmer and raped for three days. The boys were also reportedly minor.
Rajasthan Chief Minister tweets how it is unfair to compare the two incidents because the same two minor girls said in front of magistrate that they had gone with the two boys on their own will. Singh retweets it.
Gehlot is essentially saying that since two minor girls said in front of a magistrate that they went on their own, what they said in front of a camera previously would be false, right? And whatever happened to the fact that sex with minor, even if consensual, is rape. Rohini Singh retweeted these tweets only to undo the retweets later. She perhaps realised how Gehlot’s little tweet theory is flawed.
May called out Singh’s hypocrisy over her selective outrage on rapes. While the ‘accused’ hypocrites here might say that they are seeking justice in both the cases, such criticism has a point. In the first case, Singh and many other ‘liberals’ like her saw the identity of the victim and perpetrator as relevant detail and in fact, they vehemently disagreed when someone said ‘don’t bring caste’.
Journalist Pallavi Ghosh was mercilessly abused when she said that the rape case should not be reduced to caste identities.
She was also accused of ‘preaching’ Dalit on how to tell their story as she comes from a place of privilege.
Refusing to see context and origin of caste based violence is erasure of it, Pallavi.— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) September 29, 2020
A bit rich coming from those who are doing exactly that: preaching Dalits on how to tell their stories. So what makes them not make identity a focus in the second incident of rape? Where two Muslim men raped a Dalit woman?
I am not preaching . I am not talking to Dalits .. for me the rape is heinous .. a woman outraged and I wish u would stop commenting on everything and anything— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) September 29, 2020
Do they think religion is never a factor like caste in a crime? The idea itself is absurd because religion plays a part in society, in shaping a group’s or a person’s thinking as much as caste. Then why they leave out religion? They started with ‘terrorism has no religion and went to Hindu terror’ in matter of few years. But now within a matter of literally few hours, they have gone from ‘rape has a caste’ to ‘rape has no religion’.
One can only marvel at such hypocrisy.