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Listening to everyone but the victim.


Those demanding death for the rapists harbour a patriarchal mindset which has no place for rape victims

AS I type these words news has come in that the 23- year- old rape and torture victim's condition in a Singapore hospital has deteriorated. Looking back over 12 days of demonstrations you can't miss the loudest, and the most extreme, voice of justice still steady in its demand of death for the accused.

As was quite expected of them, political parties including the BJP didn't waste a day in calling for amendments to legalise execution of rapists. Death it must be agrees the police as well.

Reservations on capital punishment aside, what's remarkable here is the drive for this campaign that comes from the belief that rape, per se, is worse than murder or at least equal to it in degree.

This audacity of declaring a living rape victim as good as dead comes from the germ of honour. It lives within the patriarch, secures fealty and feasts upon the impure. They pronounce her dead and claim a fair compensation.

See the inhumanity of this demand, concealed crudely as justice or as an argument for deterrence, when you read the victim's statements again. Each time she wakes up it is with a plea to the doctors to save her life.

Her desire to live should've put the shameless purveyors of her death back into their place.

But they continue to march on roads and growl on television, hurt at the puncture this incident has caused in the pride of the nation.

The crime committed against this defenceless woman cries out for punishment. Those who tortured her can't be allowed back in free society and must suffer in turn. But those calling for extermination of rapists are just trying to wipe away rape like a smear. Like sedition, they can't accept rape, or its victim.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Dec 29, 2012
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