The last week has been horrific for women in India. Instances of different kinds of violence against women have all come to the fore simultaneously from different parts of India. In all of them either administrations or different wings of the state, especially the police have failed to act to protect women and girls.
News came from Haryana of a gangrape of a student who has a meritorious educational record and had performed well in the CBSC. She was waylaid by a gang of men including two serving armymen as she got off a bus and was making her way to her destination. This is not the first case of women students in Haryana facing sexual violence in the route between bus stops and homes but neither has the Govt. of the state bothered to put infrastructural correctives in place nor is adequate policing done to protect the students. The BJP Govt. of the state is yet to utter any regret about the incident
Similarly from Dehradun in Uttarakhand came the report of the gangrape of a girl student within the school premises by a group of senior students of the same school, the institution being reported as a ‘prestigious boarding school’. While it is shocking enough that girl students should be vulnerable within school premises, in this case the school forced her to keep the matter secret even from her own sister who is a student of the same school. Worse, when she missed a period, the school officers tried to abort her through home remedies rather than immediately themselves seeking skilled medical help. Anyway, the school authorities should have immediately informed the girl’s parents, called in the police and lodged appropriate cases.
The third case of dis’honour’ killing comes from Nalgonda in Telengana where a Dalit boy was hacked to death in front of his wife by her family. In this case the police were fully aware of the danger to the man and yet failed to ensure protection.
All these cases highlight once again that violence against women including sexual violence is not taken as a serious issue by Govt.s and state agencies. Only sustained and powerful movements for punishment to guilty, including to those who have responsibility for ensuring protection, can ensure justice and enforcement of all those laws which earlier struggles have ensured are written. Alongside is needed a powerful movement against patriarchal values.
Let us hold programmes, demonstrations, signature campaigns, meetings and other forms of action against these incidents. Do circulate information about programmes taken at different places, whether joint or on our own.