Thursday, January 3, 2013

Delhi girl -should she have a name

SreeNair | 3:18 AM | |

Damini came from nowhere and nameless. She agonized us,stripped us ,splintered our conscience and also roosted in our hearts as a pain. She left us in a smoldering fireside.She became the excruciating pang for the whole nation beyond any algometre could define.She pulled at the heart strings of the nation.

The country in one spirit wept bitter tears of remorse for her,rallied to the streets in anguish,voiced resent before the armory of the crowned Bonaparte.They crowded around Rahsina Hills chilled to the bone, cried out loud their unwillingness to be compromised with the savagery that humbles even the cannibals,with great conviction and honesty.The whole nation was behind them who invested Delhi braving the glacial days with ferocious show of fearlessness, a rare trait, that may not find many takers.Casts,creeds or color did not barricade them.The nation stood frozen at the nerve-racking trauma of the girl being pounded by the ghastly in humaneness.The country kept her close to its bosom and stood by her side as a mother, as a sister and as a daughter.It was a unique spectacle of strength and unity, rare but relishing.

Battling In the hospital brushed with death , the woman who had bravely resisted the marauding monsters, refused to be subjugated.In the spur of the wakeful moments amidst the oscillating flights between consciousness and comatose ,she demonstrated her grit and love for life which even flabbergasted the doctors attending on her. At one such moment she wrote a note : “Mother, I want to live.”

The horrid and bestial act of driving an L shaped rod in to her intestines through her reproductive organs pounding and pulping the whole inside to a soup!how horrible that can not be explained.The most expertise doctors shuddered on the spectacle. "She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome," Kelvin Loh, chief executive officer of the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore said in a statement announcing her death from multiple organ failure. We should bow our heads with self-contempt.

Last year, 24,206 cases of rape were registered in police stations across India. Acts of violence registered against women in 2010 total around 2,13,585. Swayam, a Kolkata-based NGO, asserts that between 2005 and 2009, when the overall crime rate rose by 16%, crimes against women rose by 31%. Statistics are nothing but irrigation of data and here it is staggering and can not always be sullied with.

Prof.Meenakshi Thampan ex-MP from CPI writes:"Only 25% of the cases pertaining to atrocities on women are reported.From this only 30% of the cases reach to the courts. 50% of these cases reaching to the courts are being settled under outside-compromises during the trial .In those cases where the predators are convicted after the 'due process of law ',it takes decades to reach a final verdict undergoing the lengthy processes of appeal,revisions,appeal in the supreme court etc.This would mean that only 1% of the cases reach to their logical end.These convictions which come after 10 to 15 years definitely divulges the inherent ineptitude in justice delivery."

The handles of justice are relays that are slow to operate.This yawning deficit in justice delivery by way of the snails pace in the administration of justice compounded with the lengthy and crucifying courtroom bashes half kills the vivacity of the rape victims and the witnesses.

The Supreme Court is vexed with the practice of the trial courts to flout the the directions of the apex court that ask to continue the trials on a day today basis until all the witness in attendance are examined.The fiet is that if the courts finds adjournment beyond the following day necessary ,the reasons for which have to be recorded. The Bench said:”We make it clear that the legislature has frowned upon granting adjournments on that ground. At any rate, inconvenience of an advocate is not a ‘special reason’ for bypassing the mandate of Section 309 of the Cr.PC [power to court to adjourn proceedings].”These strictures suggests that the judiciary should undergo a systematic overhaul.

Death sentences are now being administered in the rarest of rare cases of homicides.The award of capital punishment by session courts would happen only after the scrutiny of the high courts. As the gravity of punishment pronounced in the lower courts gets grave ,the interventions from higher courts would increase which ultimately delay justice.The only possible remedy to tide over this is to effect a qualitative procedural shift in cases related to atrocities on women and to the rape cases in particular, envisaged under IPC 376. Rape cases are bail-friendly and are seen in light vein as in a traffic irregularity or in a petty larceny.There must be a paradime shift to be brought into the landscape of bail conditions.The rules need to be teethed with stringent stipulations in rape cases in particular equating it with sections in IPC relating to major crimes like sedition and terrorism. Smt Meenakshi Thampan says:"As in continental jurisprudence, if the jury should prema-facia find the accused as culpable ,should be entitled to deny bail. While invoking punishment the accused should deposit with the court a substantial amount which in turn can be provided to the victim as interim compensation ".

The notion that a rape has actually said to have occurred if "the mail organ has a penetration in the body of the women" is to be dispensed with as any outrage on the women modesty could not be without the intent on sexual gratification.

"Those who are convicted in atrocities on women should be denied with all governmental facilities like pension and their voters id cards /ration cards /passport /aadhar cards /driving license and such other documents should elaborately profile on their conviction.If so the public can easily identify them which could be a deterrent against continuance of outrage on women."She adds.

It appears that Indian men carry with them the burden of a swollen and highly denotative ready- to- burst- sperm-bags, on the slightest of provocations.

Rape is a heinous hate crime.The penile code needs to be rewritten as Meena Kandaswamy puts it. She says: "The endless discourses of the elite point fingers everywhere: except at the real cause, which is the cultural sanction of rape in India.Beyond the false pride vested in virginity and the glorified burden of chastity, Indian women suffer because they are seen as sexual objects instead of sexual beings. Just as the Indian male imagination cannot include the possibility of a woman wanting to have sex, he cannot imagine a woman wanting to refuse sex. "

Rethna Kapoor writes in Hindu: " Rape is not simply about law and order, or about deranged individuals. Nor is the problem going to be solved by more laws, more police on our streets, more CCTV cameras on our buses or stiffer sentences for rapists." She believes that with the opening up of the market the young women armed with the education and self-consciousness are increasingly getting inroads in to the prohibited men's area and has potentially challenged the sense of superiority and entitlements of our patriarchal male culture.She says:"This idea of a woman as a fully formed human subject remains a difficult concept to embrace for the man."

The male axiom is that no rape is possible with out the approval of the women.Read this along with the gospel of an erudite lady(an agricultural scientist at a seminar organized by the police in Madhya Pradesh ) who proclaimed that the the victim of Delhi had lost her life only because she had provoked the rapists..“Had the girl simply surrendered (and not resisted) when surrounded by six men, she would not have lost her intestine. Why was she out with her boyfriend at 10 pm?”

Yes!She was the right candidate for the killing. These self appointed arbiters of moral norms would understand the sense of 'izath' only when the seething ordeal descends on their family.

At the time when the brutal nature of the assault has galvanized the country President Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee took a swipe on the protesting women with his gallows humor “dented and painted” . He mauled the anti-rape agitation calling it a " nautanki "(drama)."Students walking the streets with candles... going to discotheques... our days students were different. These people did not look like students to me”, Mr Mukherjee told a TV channel fretting many eyebrows. His sister Sharmishtha Mukherjee soon was on her foot breaking the rank over the issue with her brother acknowledging that she was shocked by his statement. The later glide on the wings of out-of-context alibi was a crass cover-up ,even more nauseating and did not suffice to veil the avuncular expression of mysogeny.

Even a member of the CPM has volleyed insulting innuendos on the Bengal CM.To cap it all a bumptious member of the TMC has stepped further to the extend of making light of the abhorring incidence on Kolcutta Park Street as a bungling between a prostitute and a customer that went awry.

These antics of hubristic rhetoric in the evocative and emotional hours of sorrow was more than that any earnest citizen could digest.

Death is not the last word.Perhaps it can be a message,the divine message that propelled the solidified and sedimented empathy in the heart of man to gush out in the streets.

The political Sathraps of all hues who fish in the roiled waters ,rabble-rousers as they are, have laced the debate with their wacky humors stemmed from their patriarchal mindset. The mindless proscriptions on what women should wear,on venturing at night,on the virtues on modesty are the the manifestations of this frame set.

Political parties like congress,BJP are contemplating of deterrents like emasculation(Chemical castration)on the rapists,gallows and such other corporal punishments to the perpetrators.

As a contingency-response Jayalalitha announced a 13-point action plan to ensure women’s safety.“The Centre will be requested to amend the laws to ensure the maximum punishment of death penalty and chemical castration for those responsible for rapes. The offense should also be made non-bailable,” the Chief Minister said. She said steps would be taken to amend Goondas Act and set up Fast Track Mahila Courts in each district to investigate sexual assault cases in the State.This is at a time when an AIADMK member in the Parliament declared that he face charges on outrage to a woman’s modesty.

The immolation of the youngster obliges us to interrogate ourselves and it is the time for self introspection for all the political parties.

The political leadership in India is unscrupulous in that they have given away Lok Sabha election ticket to six persons and State election ticket to 27 persons, who declared that they were charged with rape — and six MLAs with rape cases now actually representing people in the Assemblies .While Parliament is debating the issue, two of its members — one of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam from Tamil Nadu and the other of the All India Trinamool Congress from West Bengal — have also declared that they face charges, such as cruelty and intent to outrage a woman’s modesty.

The group consisting the NEW( National Election Watch ) and ADR(the Association for Democratic Reforms said “by giving ticket to candidates who have been charged with crimes against women especially rape, political parties have been in a way abetting circumstances that lead to such events that they so easily but vehemently condemn in Parliament.” Are these honorable men ready to climb down to get purged and face their charges.Otherwise for whom this rib-tickling 'Kolaveries'.

The appalling cruelty inflicted on the mind and body of the girl cannot be contracted or simplified to a gang rape borne out of the sinister designs of the aberrations of some fallen riff-raffs. Rapes happen everywhere,engineered in the board room of the corporates,in the bedroom ,in the kitchen,in the urban efflorescence as in the filthy ghettos. It is an universal phenomena having its roots in the history. It comes masqueraded in a variety of ways stalking on the women and it is recurring. Rape in India is a complex issue as is everywhere with its roots not far to seek but in its colonial culture. It is an incontrovertibly complex can of worms that fails any quick-fix solutions, that does not call for knee-jerk reactions. It is a matter of effecting marked shift in the mindset as it is of a deterrent legislation. The edifice of the macho culture in India is is built on reading women through adversarial lenses. Women are conceived as personal chattels or as gadgets or gizmos for self-gratifications. Steps for empowerment of women by way of education ,dissemination of awareness in men with media support and incessant campaign to teach men to safely coexist with their counterparts must be the tenets of the debate. The Indian psyche should undergo a paradigm shift which should be the central theme for any discourse.

Should we hang them or castrate them as the Arubs do?We all want justice and we want it desperately.The instant justice,otherwise called as the 'mob justice- the lynch party of the mob' can be like seeing the tree for the woods. Terrorists like Kasab were served with due justice. Verbiages like emasculation,castration,gallows as anti-toxin to rape come close to the heals of jungle-justices. A cultured and civilized society could not be too vocal for such abrupt delivery of justice.

"The need of the hour is a dispassionate debate and inquiry into the critical changes that are required in societal attitudes," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rightly said in a statement.

All stood by her side.The three wings of the forces had issued advisories to all formations that they should not organize new year bashes as a show of sympathy to the berieved.Congress had decided to fall back from the new year festivities. Indira Ghandhi national open University decided to step back.Protest rallys continues in the capital.BJP conducted a meeting at Jandhar Mandhar to condole the death.Indian diaspora in the US, Australia and the UK held candle light vigils demanding stern punishment for the culprits and fast track courts to deal with sexual assault cases. In Melbourne, a large group of Indian men and women gathered in front of the Indian Consulate and lit candles to express their outrage over the incident. A memorial service was held in Sydney.

We are a genre castrated by amnesia.We are immune even to the worst kind of warnings.These obdurate resistance at JandarMandar shall whither away as the dust of the bluster settles down.The niggling pain and the eery reminiscences would elbow out from our bubble-brief collective memory.The victims narratives are ephemeral and we will have new subjects to debate.The authorities also plunge in to fresh controversies and new complexities.Old habits die hard.It will be the same rut of life.But we could not revel in that luxury of cliches nor can we resign to fate.It is no time to revel in ire or satire.The prosecution ,trial and the conviction should start fast-track and in phased manner to complete in a time frame.The lords in the capital should show alacrity and should be pledge bound.If needed the penal and penile codes are to be restructured and revamped.

A single muted minute can spawn in new breads of similar incidents.


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