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Blinkered vision? BJP's communal logic in Unnao and Kathua rape cases is like pot calling the kettle black

By Adv Masood Peshimam

Our country does not run on the sense of justice, fair play and equity. The winds start blowing in the right direction under some sort of pressure. Without pressure nothing works. Pressure has political implications not only nationwide but also internationally. It is the weight of pressure which has impacted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence and speak up on most gruesome gang rape incidents in Kathua in Jammu and Unnao in UP. It is said that he was possibly provoked into making a statement by Congress President Rahul Gandhi who had urged PM to speak. Gandhi said “India is waiting for the watchman” to speak, a veiled reference to Modi’s own analogy that he would be the Chowkidar of the nation.
Relenting in the face of the national outrage and media outcry over inaction in Kathua and Unnao gang rape Modi has said both these incidents challenge the concept of social justice and that the guilty won’t be spared. He also said that events that have been occupying the national scape in the last two days are an embarrassment for civilized society.
The water is not fathomed deep enough to understand that events like Kathua and Unnao, which could have been brushed under the carpet, have been occupying national mind scape. Incidents like Kathua and Unnao are not only national questions but have had deep international repercussions. The Prime Minister’s belated condemnation is a damage control exercise to reduce the impact of the degrading environment and its fall out.
A day earlier Union Minister VK Singh came out against the Kathua rape saying we as humans had failed the eight-year-old girl from a nomadic community in Jammu who was gang raped and killed in J&K’s Kathua district but she would not be denied justice. VK Singh’s statement is all the more welcome but would he be kind enough to explain the inordinate delay in reaction -- when the barbaric incident took place somewhere in the month of January. Is the statement released to test the water? Singh’s statement has not many takers in BJP. Those in defense of alleged culprits were in defiance of Singh’s talking of justice to the Muslim victim girl. The promised justice is not expected to be delivered in the communally charged atmosphere where the situation is seen with a blinkered vision.
While the Prime Minister touched the subject assuring that the guilty would not be spared, a Delhi BJP MP targeted the opposition in trying to communalize the situation. The MP accused the Congress of communalizing the situation over the tragic incident giving it a communal angle saying whether Congress is agitated since the Kathua victim is Muslim. How can the situation turn communal if the victim happens to be Muslim and gains the sympathy? Is it a sin for the victim to be Muslim? Is the Muslim being the disqualification to earn the sympathy? The very genesis of the barbaric incident itself is communal. Is it not that two ministers in the J&K Government were inciting the communal passions over the Kathua incident?
The BJP MP further said that Kathua gang rape is an old case and BJP MLAs, who openly supported the accused by participating in a rally, were misled as they should have “ideally not commented until investigations are completed”. The BJP itself is misled and is trying to mislead the nation in the name of religious politics at the cost of the nation’s development. Were these MLAs not aware of the magnitude of the tragic murder consequent upon multiple gang rape? Would the investigation generate some other outcome?
Is the fatal mob lynching in the name of cow protection a secular stance? Is it secular to create violence in the name of religion and target the weak and the feeble? Is it secular not to apply restraint over the communal killing? Is it secular to spread poison in the name of caste and creed? Is it secular to take the shelter of Lord Ram and organize the Tiranga Yatra to protect the alleged culprits? It’s quite unfortunate to take the shelter of Ram to protect the accused which is bringing stain over the great name of Lord Ram. Lord Ram is respected and revered even by Muslims. Dr Iqbal, the architect of the lyric “Sare Jahan Se Achchan Hindustan Hamara” called Lord Ram as the Imamul Hind or the great leader of India. Those defending the alleged rape culprits and the alleged rape culprits are worse than Rawan in Hindu mythology as Rawan has not even touch Seeta, even though he abducted her.
Is it not an insult to the national flag when it is misused to protect the alleged culprits and do all wrong things? By the communal twist of logic Muslims are dubbed communal if they talk of their rights and talk of having a share in the cake of national development. The MP, Meenakshi Lekhi, is having her own logic to define what is communalism. It’s like Ulta Chor Kotwal Ko Dante or pot calling the kettle black.
In the teeth of this disturbing development it is good to note that the Supreme Court issued notices to the Bar Association of Kathua and Jammu asking them to desist from denying access to justice to the family of Kathua’s rape victim child or cause any obstruction in the court proceedings. The Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud took suo motu notice of the matter on being told that lawyers of two associations had prevented lady lawyer from appearing for victim’s family.'The decision of the Supreme Court has enhanced the prestige of the judges. Otherwise there is the feeling that various components of the government are crumbling down the line.
The lawyers of Jammu and Kathua failed to deter lawyer Deepika Singh Rajawat, who is fighting the case of Asifa, the eight-year-old girl who was gang raped and murdered. Rajawat is a dedicated and courageous advocate to take up the case of the eight-year-old girl of Bakarwal tribe who was raped and murdered in January. She has not cowed down by the threats to stay away from the case. Not one to be cowed into silence, she went on Facebook a day after an incident on April 5 and wrote “The President of the Jammu High Court Bar Association mistreated me. He used unparliamentarily language and threatened me not to appear in case during a strike by lawyers”.
While there are sinister efforts to protect the alleged culprits of Kathua in J&K the story is not different at Unnao in UP. The wine is the same but the bottles are different. The Unnao rape took place somewhere around June, 2017. There were several complaints that one woman lured the girl to the criminal spot where the BJP MLA Kuldip Singh Sangar allegedly raped her. There was no cognizance taken of the complaint. Hence, the victim tried to immolate herself.
The situation turned gloomier when there was brawl between the victim’s father and the BJP MLA’s brother. The BJP MLA’s brother allegedly severely assaulted the victim’s father and there were allegations of the further assault in the jail also. In the jail he was not given proper attention for the medical treatment which led to his tragic death.
The cross complaint is equally a cause of concern, as cross complaint is made to save the accused in the first complaint. People are reluctant to lodge complaint with the fear of cross complaint. It was after a lot of outcry and furore that the brutal death of the father of the rape the victim drew attention.
In the case of the BJP MLA, a lot of time got elapsed before an FIR was registered against him resulting from voluminous outcry against the gross injustice. The FIR against the MLA, who represents Sadar Assembly Constituency, was registered under IPC sections 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abduction or inducing woman to compel her marriage), 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and sections 3 & 4 (penetrative sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 at the Makhi Police Station. The matter would have been brushed under the carpet had there been no groundswell of support for the victim in the media and right thinking quarters.

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