Kathua & Unnao: The Question Mark on Our Conscience

By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

The rape cases in two cities of India have brought us to same ugly spot we were couple of years ago in Nirbhayas case. The brutality with which eight year old Asifa was gang raped and murdered and the impunity with which Unnao accused roamed and tried to prove his innocence with muscle has put that uncomfortable question mark on us again as a society. Have we learned anything from past mistakes? Probably not.

The Kathua case is especially saddening because not only victim in this case was a minor but also that among the accused listed in charge sheet are retired government employees and some policemen. I am surprised at level of depravity that has creeped into men that they didn’t even flinched before committing such crime. I will also bring into question the conscience of people who tried to defend the accused simply on the basis of religious grounds. No matter the religion of the accused or the victim, child sexual abuse is not acceptable, period. Some politicians even jumped at the opportunity to polish their political credentials by joining agitation in support of the accused.  If police charge sheet after proper investigation clearly names these people as culprits then why would someone have sympathy with the accused, why would someone not feel for that eight year old girl?

In Unnao case, it turns out that the accused MLA wields considerable influence in the area to influence the investigation; this guy has history of jumping parties to remain in good books of the ruling guy. So why do police and administration gets paralysis when they get complaints about such guys. The answer, as we all know, lies in his political connections. People like Sengar, the accused, often either protect someone’s vested interest or buys protection from someone very higher up. The victim tried to suicide in front of CM’s residence and her father died after a beating from accused family members, all this happens but police would not dare touch the “netaji”. Though CBI did arrest the guy but only after everything spilled in media and high court order.

What does this all tell you? We live in a society where money and muscle can muffle any voice. We fall victim to the very system we create, the silence becomes a habit which is a very disturbing thing for a society. Because we choose to delegate the politics to people who might not share the moral compass of virtues with us, we ultimately end up paying for their mistakes and shortcomings. As a country we should never have guilt on our conscience, there is absolutely no cause to side with a rapist.



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