The brutal rape of an eight-year-old at Rasana village in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir and that of a 17-year-old in Unnao of Uttar Pradesh have triggered popular rage across the country and vociferous protests have erupted in Odisha too. The people are demanding justice for the victims by posting messages and taking part in candlelight marches. Popular resentment is swelling due to the involvement of politicians in rape cases and also the cunning ability of politicians to shield the perpetrators. Union minister Maneka Gandhi has said death is the only sentence that should be awarded by a court to a rapist who has violated a minor and she has the support of millions of Indians. For the first time since the Nirbhaya episode the country is witnessing huge protests and civil society is fiercely critical of the government’s inability to ensure the security of women in the country. This is a collective shame. Orissa POSTrecords the opinions of a cross-section of society on how the recent rape cases in Kashmir and UP have ignited widespread outrage.
ARINDAM GANGULY, OP
Saroj Behera social activist Unsurprisingly, by playing the Pak card to save their criminal members, the
BJP has exposed itself in front of the whole country. Staging protests to shield criminals is abominable. The situation is indeed grim. We have failed as a society to protect women. How can one even
imagine an 8-year-old girl being repeatedly raped for many days? The so-called protectors of our lives and liberties are raping our own girls.
Subham Mophapatra, lawyer Dragging religion into rape is very objectionable. The BJP should understand this. Although India is not a safe place for girls we have to make it a safe place. As a lawyer I have come forward with my friends to stand strong against this crime and soon we are going to make an appeal in the SC for ensuring strict action against perpetrators of this heinous crime.
Naimisha, writer Girls nowadays are not safe anywhere. On the roads eve teasers are a menace and at office they are often sexually exploited or face constant harassments. The fault lies in the fact that we teach girls to be more conscious rather than teaching boys how to treat girls. Rape is disturbingly common these days and the crime has its roots in male chauvinism. Had Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Jyotiba Phule, Anne Besant and others not protested sati, child marriage, caste discrimination and other evil practices would never have stopped. Change is a perception. Change is a pressure that cannot be avoided.
Barsha Priyambada, professional Girls are not safe and if the government had taken positive steps to ensure safety and security of women the recent rape cases would not have happened. Protest marches and candlelight rallies won’t make an impact unless society’s mindset changes. A woman deserves to live her life as she wants and has the rightto fullfil her passions and dreams. Men should respect the individual rights and dignity of women. Rapists deserve death.
Ankita Banerjee, professional Not only women I think nobody is safe in India. This is because if someone powerful commits a crime he often gets away with it. People like Salman Khan get bail in a matter of minutes. Police inaction is common. After Nirbhaya’s protests had erupted throughout the country. It took around 4 years for the rapists to be punished but I don’t think marches and protests had anything to do with it. The law is out of the common people’s reach.
Kasturi Mohapatra, Former OSCPCR chairperson Women with disabilities were more vulnerable to exploitation and in most cases they are assaulted by men they trust. This includes family members. They need more care, support and security but the additional vulnerability of women with disabilities is not recognised anywhere. Though we have enough laws, implementation is shoddy. We need to change our mindset first. Soubhagya Soumyashree Samal, student Society must understand women empowerment is essential to development. The issue of girls’ safety is of utmost importance. A minor’s rape is a heinous crime.
Incidents of rape involving victims under the age of 18 are increasing at an alarming rate in the capital city. A rise of almost 70 per cent in child rape cases has been recorded in the last one year. The annual crime statistics of Commissionerate Police indicated that 82 cases of rape of children were registered in the city last year compared to 49 in 2016. What has left all worried is that the rape of minors here have been constantly increasing over the last five years. While 59 cases were reported in 2015, it was 43 in 2014 followed by 27 cases in 2013. Odisha Police have registered 1505 rape cases including 83 gang-rape incidents and the killing of 461 women in dowry related incidents till November last year. Of the 1505 rape cases, the police filed charge-sheets in 209 cases. As many as 2286 and 2144 rape cases had taken place in 2015 and 2016 respectively.