It is never right to compare two rapes. But let’s compare how the Nirbhaya and the Hathras cases have been handled by two different govts. Nirbhaya was admitted in Safdarjung hospital. The head of the party in power Sonia Gandhi visited the family at the hospital....
Wide scale protests were held. Sonia Gandhi met the protestors. The Indian government flew Nirbhaya to Singapore for treatment. When her body was brought back a PM mocked for being soft spoken and the head of the ruling party were waiting at the airport to receive it.
Delhi police showed immense efficiency in cracking the case- a blind case at the time- and the rapists were all arrested. A new rape law was brought in. The same law that the current ADG, law and order in Uttar Pradesh, seems to know little about now it seems...
Nirbhaya’s family never accused anyone in the govt of putting pressure on them, threatening them. The family took their daughter home one last time & cremated her. The cremation was attended by the then CM of Delhi, MoS Home and even the state head of the opposition party, BJP.
What happened in Hathras is there for everyone to see. Has the CM visited the family? He spoke to them on a video call after all the public outcry. What action has been taken against the DM whose video has emerged threatening the father of the victim?
Why did the mother of the victim have to beg and fall at the feet of the cops to let her take her daughter home one last time to put haldi on her before cremating her? Why did the police carry out a hurried cremation without her family present?
Why are there videos of the bhabhi running after the DM’s car accusing him of threatening them? Why are there videos of the family crying and saying they are living in fear now? Why have people not been allowed to meet them to console them?
Why is UP police holding press conferences saying there is no rape because no semen has been found despite the dying declaration of the victim mentioning rape? The rape law says presence of semen isn’t necessary to determine rape. Penetration determines rape.
Why has UP govt hired a PR agency that is spamming everyone with how there was no rape in the Hathras case? Why threats of FIR? This sort of headline management was never seen during the previous case. Why isn’t a nation allowed to grieve?
As journalists it is our moral responsibility to ensure we ask questions of the govt. What has changed from the time of Nirbhaya that today when we ask questions we are warned not to? Questions then were in public interest. But questions now aren’t because it harms govt interest?
Rape is a horrific act. The trauma this family has undergone from not being handed their daughter’s body to being threatened now when they are grieving weighs on my heart. If we don’t speak up today, as journalists or as citizens, our silence will make us complicit too. Speak.