Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Monday, June 02, 2014

"What's It To You?"

It's no big deal to a lot of authorities in India for whom the commonplace rape of vulnerable women and girls, occasionally resulting in their violent deaths along with their violation, represents society doing its thing as usual. After the abduction and rape of two young cousins, 14 and 15 years of age, from a field nearby their home where they had gone to relieve themselves, and the horrified villagers comprised of Dalits "untouchables" found the girls hanging from a tree, India faces global condemnation.

India Arrests Third Suspect in Gang Rape of Two Low Caste Teens
Members of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union shout slogans as they participate in a protest against a gang rape of two teenage girls in Katra village, outside the Uttar Pradesh state house, in New Delhi, India, Friday, May 30, 2014. A top government official said the northern Uttar Pradesh state has sacked two police officers who failed to respond to a complaint by the father of the two teenage girls who went missing and were later found gang raped and killed. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

The incidence of rape, gang rape, torture and murders of women and girls who are mired in poverty and vulnerable to upper-caste male predation for whom it has become customary to prey on Dalit females highlights the dismal human rights situation in this country of 1.2-billion people of mixed culture, heritage, religion, language and ethnicity. But it is among Hindus that the caste system is an integrated part of both religion and culture.

When journalists had gathered asking questions about the attack and the response to it, they were mocked by Uttar Pradesh state's chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, a member of the high-caste Yadav from among whom came the rapist-murderers of the two young girls. "Aren't you safe? You're not facing any danger are you?", he challenged them. "Then why are you worried? What's it to you?"

It was a great deal to them, since it was the top-ranking story on India's 24-hour news stations. To inspire some with its sordid details, and to horrify many others who deplore the atrocities taking place against defenceless girls and women. In the very same state in the past few days the mother of a 17-year-old rape victim gang-raped by four men was herself brutally attacked.

The father, a brother and a cousin of a man accused in the rape, along with two other men followed the mother as she left her house and beat her pitilessly, with the demand that she drop the accusation. She is in critical condition in hospital. Little wonder many vicious attacks are not reported, since women are prevailed upon by family or police to remain silent.

Mayawati, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister spoke furiously against the ruling government: "There is no law and order in the state. It is the law of the jungle." In response, hours afterwards, the chief minister ordered the suspects be tried in "fast track" courts, bypassing India's notoriously laggardly justice system.

In the rape, strangulation and hanging of the two young girls from the village of Katra, officers arrested two additional police and two men from the village, and are actively searching out three other suspects. Earlier two local police officers had been suspended for ignoring the girls' relatives pleas for help. They were fired on Friday, charged with criminal conspiracy for refusing to take action..

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