How can the law of the land be so weak that it creates no fear in the minds of twenty men who groped, kicked, dragged and punched a minor girl just because she had come out of a pub at night and was dressed in a t-shirt and skirt?
Why do some men think they have the right to be beasts, to be monsters who can assault a girl, a mere teenager?
It doesn’t matter if it a thriving metropolis like Mumbai, or a city like Mangalore (link opens a video) or Guwahati or a town like Baghpat. It’s not one part ofIndia which is afflicted with the disease of – ‘I am a man and I am all powerful’. It runs across state, cultural and religious barriers.
As a woman I am supposed to feel angry, even outraged.
But when the ‘news’ breaks, I look on with detachment, lacking emotion. I know how the news cycle works. A top news on prime time, the 10 second footage repeated in a loop, a hyperventilating news anchor, a phone interview with someone in authoritative power either denying the incident, or accepting that the culprits will be brought to book. The next day, the story continues to be top news peppered with opinions of activists, sound byte experts and vox pop of the ‘janta’. There is a prime time discussion. And the third day, all is forgotten.
Except that the traumatized victim will never get justice, the legal case will continue for decades, adding to her ordeal and eventually her character is likely to be questioned. And what about those men? They will roam around the streets. Free. Empowered. Ready to pounce again on another woman, ready to rape them, ready to treat them like dirt.
And so we, the women, will be cowed down again. And again.