This is the culture of rape

Yasir Pirzada

The incident took place on December 16, 2012. The time is 9.30 pm and the location is New Delhi.  Jyoti Singh, 23 years old girl left the cinema with her boyfriend after watching movie. To get back to home, they board to a bus with six people already in it, including the driver. A conductor-like boy, under the age of eighteen, tells them that the bus is going where they are supposed to go. After a while, Jyoti Singh and her friend realize that instead of going on their scheduled route, the bus has gone in another direction and the doors of the bus are also closed. When Jyoti’s friend asks the driver about it, in response, all the youngsters scold them and say sarcastically why you two were walking alone at night! The matter escalates, Jyoti’s friend tells driver to stop but the five of them jump on him and stab him with an iron rod and make him unconscious. The five then dragged Jyoti to the front of the bus and beat her with an iron rod in an indescribable manner and then her gang rap, the bus driver continues to drive the bus with satisfaction.  At about eleven o’clock, the beasts threw the two off the bus and fled. A passerby on the road spotted them half-dead and reported them to the police. After which both are shifted to the hospital. Within a week, Jyoti has five surgeries, removing the remaining injured intestines. On December 27, Jyoti was airlifted to a hospital in Singapore, but she did not recover and died two days later. The whole of India is shaken by this incident. From Delhi to Chennai and from Kochi to Mumbai, people are protesting with great grief and anger. All six criminals are arrested, During the trial, one convict commits suicide, while convict under eighteen is sentenced to three years in prison. The other four convicts are hanged on March 20, 2020. As horrific as the incident was, its effects were far-reaching. Many Indian states enacted special laws to protect women. The Indian Penal Code and the Law of Evidence were amended, police reforms were made which resulted in many positive changes. Rape did not end in India, but the incident did change the culture of rape, albeit a little.

Even the biggest incident in the world is not always in the headlines. Every incident has a ‘shelf life’ after which it ends. The incident of motorway gang rape will also disappear in a few months or a few weeks, it is a matter of course, the real thing is what we do after learning from this incident. Some people think that public execution is the solution, some people suggest that such criminals should be given sharia punishments and some people think that it is all due to obscenity and nudity. Maybe so. But there must be a measure of knowledge, and that measure is set by an organization called the Organization for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS). Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Iceland are among the top five best countries for women in the organization’s 2019 index. Until the latest information is received, there is no practice of public execution in any of these countries, no Shariah punishments are given and nudity and obscenity were not blamed. In contrast, the five worst countries are Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan and South Sudan. Unfortunately, these five are Muslim-majority countries. The agency that compiled the index is in the United States, so bias can be suspected. But we kiss and lick the reports of these American institutions when they compile the statistics of their own country and tell how many incidents of rape have taken place with girls in their universities. No matter how much we criticize this indicator, but each of us knows which city we would prefer for our sister and daughter if we had to choose between Kandahar and Helsinki! Western countries that are at the top of this index, women consider themselves safe because, after a long struggle, they have created an environment in their country where women are not considered as sheep, goats or second class citizens. Instead, they are considered a complete human being like a man. It is not that women are no longer humiliated in the West, their freedom is now giving birth to new crimes that have not yet reached us.

The question is, what do we do? The answer is that we must end the culture of rape. What is this rap culture? This is the mindset that says why the woman went out at night, her clothes were not right, why she went to watch a movie with her boyfriend, why these women do not sit at home, Why talk shamelessly like men, etc. It’s not that this mindset is only in countries like Pakistan, even in countries like the United States, sometimes women are blamed. Numerous books have been written on the subject. The conviction rate in rape cases is very low, even the police do not cooperate, for the woman herself, it is no less than a torment for her to tell the details of the cruelty she face in full detail to everyone from the police chief to the judge and from the family to the medical doctor. However, the fraction completes by our society where the only cure for everything is described as ‘public execution’. The question is if the raping does not stop even by hanging, So in the next step, will the criminals be thrown into the open heated oil or will their organs be cut off? The most painful punishment for any human being is imprisonment for the rest of his life. No human being in the world can bear this torment. The same punishment has been meted out to convict of  New Zealand mosque massacre. A U.S. soldier who raped a 14-year-old girl in Iraq has committed suicide in prison, he also did not bear this torment.

Finally a question from the religious classes. A society where 21 crore people of Tawheed live, There if did the madrassa protested against this senseless oppression, a religious party have rallied, A preacher have prayed for this oppressed woman in his Friday sermony, A young man who used his head and torso for the sake of religion have participated in the demonstrations in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Than you will definitely let me know. If the answer is no, then this rap was not the last rap.

Yasir Pirzada, a career civil servant (CSS officer), is one of the leading Urdu columnists who have built a wide readership over a very short period of time. you can reach him through yasirpirzada@hotmail.com