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Justice, at last!


Nothing is less likely to inform the ignorance of their basking than telling them it is abysmal. - George Bernard Shaw

A few days ago, I read something about Cultural Appropriation and I honestly can't to my utter embarrassment remember anything more about the article. Today, on 28th August 2017, Judiciary in India delivered a powerful prison sentence to a fake godman who dominated the news for his notoriety for years. 20 years in prison for two sexual assault cases pending since the last fifteen years. It is indeed a big victory apart from the cynicism of few who moan the delay in justice but they forget that in India, justice delayed is often justice denied! I read the original letter written by one of the sexual abuse victims to the then PM, Vajpayee. That letter is chilling in details, giving a detailed account of Ram Rahim's many crimes that includes raping 35-40 sadhvis (nuns), murdering people and abusing women in his so-called dera- a place of worship. Unfortunately for India, people revere such godmen and their antics with the utmost blind faith that they wouldn't even otherwise trust in their own children who speak of such abuse at these places of worship. This is indeed, a very rare and high profile case of judicial justice in a country which treats such fake godmen with an absolute reverence above all mortal beings. Finally, women are coming out and speaking against their sexual harassment and naming these perpetrators. It takes a great amount of courage to speak in a nation frivoled with a bias against women, where they still fight for their rights over their bodies, their marriages, divorce rights, annulments, reproductive rights and right to safety!

But this should not be the only victory against injustice. There are thousands of women who have been silenced, killed and just forgotten because their voices were not heard by the law and judiciary in our nation. Should we stop at this one instance and ignore the others that still find no mention in legal jurisprudence today. Let's not forget or stop fighting for justice for Priyanka Bhotmange of the Khairlanji Massacre or the daily violence against tribal women and Dalits who have no recognition in our mirror crack society. How have we forgotten the Badaun girls who were raped and murdered and left hanging from a tree? Because they were poor, low caste and girls, it is easy to forget and dismiss their case. Character certificates are sold for cheap rates in this brutal world and the inequality of sexes and gender issues harm those living, more than bringing the possible joys of this mortal life. A country which cannot ensure the safety of its women despite trying to create a worldwide image of the next superpower is in tatters, by all means. 

HOW longer will we have to write and report these crimes, again and again? Are we tired of hearing and reading about these sexual assault cases and that’s why we are turning a blind eye to Badaun and Bareilly? Nobody is spared- not the brave Meghalaya mother of three, nor the William Nagar teenage girl when 16 men fell on her like beasts and mutilated her. This is the appalling reality of our poker-faced civil society.

How are we supposed to continue living? In fear; constantly worrying about vacant dark streets on our return from work towards railway stations, eyes looking for potential rapists lurking around alleys, walking quickly with a pepper spray that never provides any safety assurance, praying to whatever gods there are about our safety? HOW? 
Women, all over the world face the same fate, irrespective of their economic liberty or sexual liberty (as is claimed), the fact lies out and cold that we live in a man's world. No amount of law and punishment will erase the criminal bend of men towards women seen as objects of lust and fulfilling their bodily urges only. It is shocking to speak and hear of it but the current reports about teen girls getting impregnated by older men, the rise in paedophilic cases, the ISIS and Boko Haram kidnappings and abuse of girls and women are out in the open. As a civil society, we are increasingly experiencing these tragic circumstances for women all over the world. There is a rosy world of safety nets for an economically secure percentage and then there's this dark, blackened world of misery, drudgery, abuse, mutilation, violence for the larger percentage throughout all economies. We are back to a position where we are powerless in front of the brute forces that place NO honour or dignity towards the other sex. It is indeed the second sex, a minority, that still lies repressed. We are not even close to equality lest we think of equity. A culture where assaulting women is the norm to take vengeance against men, where it's a norm to demand rights to women's bodies and sexuality, a norm to abuse, murder and get away with the crime in the name of honour killing is not a culture, but a sham! It is something that we humans created for a self-congratulatory and masochistic ego boosting centuries ago and still blindly follow and very cleverly refuse to acknowledge the falsities it presents. It is doomed when we live in a largely patriarchal world still. We argued for the day power was to be shared equally, the day men and women were to become equal shareholders responsible for this world and look where we have landed yet! Gender is the biggest division that surpasses labour, race, caste, culture, linguistics and religion, too. This sexual terrorization that marrs The inherent notion of supremacy needs to be exterminated. Could Revolution be the answer? 

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