Why this hypocrisy?

A rape is a rape is a rape. Period. Why bring class or urban/rural divide into the discourse?

Friends, we may have become an Independent nation several decades ago but I dare say a large number of women are yet to find their independent voice in matters related to their wellbeing and that of their families. Rape is a form of violence perpetrated on women worldwide, and India ,certainly, is not immune from this evil. But justice is oftentimes a casualty as innumerable cases of crimes against women, including, but not limited to, rape, go unpunished and often unreported in India.

We have a new law to combat crimes such as rape. It was promulgated after the public outcry against the 16 December 2012 #gangrape of a girl in #Delhi. The updated legislation should be welcome but there still is an urgent need to provide speedy justice to the rape survivors. As I have said in my blogs before, swift justice also can be a deterrent against such heinous crimes against women.

Friends, another issue that I want to touch upon is the sustained media attention to the cases of rape being reported from the metropolitan cities, oftentimes at the expense of similar cases reported from smaller towns or villages. After the #DelhiGangRape, so many cases of rape were reported from various parts of the country but somehow they did not get the same media attention as the #DelhiGangRape or the #MumbaiGangRape. In 2011, much before the #DelhiGangRape took place, a 16-year-old girl was gangraped. Also, an eight-year-old girl from #Bihar was raped and murdered. I have mentioned two incidents of rape; there would be more. Are they any less a victim of rape than those living in the cities who survived such sexual violence????? Does not the sometimes disproportionate media coverage reek of hypocrisy???? Are we unwittingly classifying or categorising incidents of rape on the basis of class, status and location of the rape survivor and/or rapist and/or the crime?????

A rape is a rape is a rape. Period. The gangrape of a minor in a remote place in #Haryana should receive the same media scrutiny as, say, a rape in Delhi or Mumbai.

I believe the media should play a responsible role in reporting heinous crimes against women and girls. Attention to detail is of paramount importance; there can be no compromise with a rape survivor’s identity, privacy, etc. The insensitivity with which personal details about a survivor and her family are put out in the public domain can prove disastrous for the survivor. The least the media can, and should, do is to respect her privacy and that of her immediate family. Otherwise, rape survivors would continue to be traumatised, belittled and stigmatised at every stage, even while they await justice.

Friends, my team at the #KDSinghFoundation and I are doing everything we can to support the rape survivors in Haryana. Already, my Foundation has adopted around 85 rape survivors so far and is providing them with legal and medical support and rehabilitation. It is my endeavour to reach out to as many rape survivors as I can. I’m confident that the work of the Support Cell for Rape Victims being run by my Foundation will make a difference on the ground in the days and weeks to come. I encourage you to #ReportARape at the #KDSinghFoundation’s toll-free help line 1800-200-2056. Come, join me and my team at the #KDSinghFoundation for a #RapeFreeNation !

Jai Hind.

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