In India, the past week was all about Hathras gangrape case, the police apathy towards the victim’s family, and caste-based violence that continues even 70 years after the country became a democratic republic.
Journalist Tanushree Pande and author Yashica Dutt, along with Supreme Court lawyer Kiruba Munusamy, shared social media posts which highlighted the caste element in the gangrape case and how the victim was treated inhumanly even by those who are in power:
ABSOLUTELY UNBELIEVABLE - Right behind me is the body of #HathrasCase victim burning. Police barricaded the family inside their home and burnt the body without letting anybody know. When we questioned the police, this is what they did. pic.twitter.com/0VgfQGjjfb
— Tanushree Pandey (@TanushreePande) September 29, 2020
That despite the Jigishas, Deltas, & countless others whose names you never hear.
People still tell you ‘it’s not about caste’.
Until you set your grief aside & scrape your trauma to prove them wrong.
And do it all over, when another Dalit rape sets a new limit of brutality.
— Yashica Dutt (@YashicaDutt) September 29, 2020
“The police and the magistracy are the kith and kin of the caste Hindus. They share the sentiments and the prejudices of the caste Hindus against the Untouchables“ – Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
What Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said that day, @dm_hathras and @hathraspolice are proving to this day.
— Kiruba Munusamy (@kirubamunusamy) October 2, 2020
Activist and author Meena Kandasamy used her pen to portray the terrifying reality of Dalit women in India.
— meena kandasamy || இளவேனில் (@meenakandasamy) September 30, 2020
On Tuesday, September 30, Twitter was flooded with netizens lamenting the death of justice in the country, as the CBI Court acquitted all the accused in Babri Masjid demolition case (stating that the demolition was not pre-planned). Firebrand journalist Rana Ayyub made a strong statement on how India is treating its minorities:
Everyday in India is a new low by our own standards. A day like today when Muslims and dalits are shown their true place, we must live like second class citizens, we must not seek justice, we must not dare to raise our voice. Anxious, edgy, angry, restless, exhausted.
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) September 30, 2020
Following the containment of Hathras village (after the rape victim’s death) and the police action against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who was visiting the area, Rana Ayyub as well as veteran journalist Rohini Singh called out the deplorable situation under the UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath:
Hathras has been declared a corona containment zone after the opposition leaders including Rahul and Priyanka decide to meet the family of Manisha Valmiki. What a manipulative and insensitive regime is this.
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) October 1, 2020
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....
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) October 1, 2020
However, journalist Neha Dixit reminded us that not all hope is lost yet, by sharing pictures of protestors in Delhi, who raised their voice against the injustice in Hathras case:
— Neha Dixit (@nehadixit123) October 2, 2020
Earlier this week, Amnesty International India was forced to halt its operations in the country, as its accounts have been frozen by the government; their entire staff has been let go. CPI (M) member and feminist protestor Kavita Krishnan pointed to the suppressive regime at play here:
A month ago, Amnesty India @AIIndia published this report documenting torture, violence, rights violations by @DelhiPolice against Muslims in Delhi. Delhi Police is framing Muslims for the same violence. A month later, Amnesty is forced to shut down. #Chronology samjhe? pic.twitter.com/yJZJHC2Lkr
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) September 29, 2020
On October 2, when the nation celebrated the birthday of the Father of the Nation, it was the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi – Nathuram Godse – who was trending on Twitter, with countless right-wing supporters praising him. Many were shocked, filmmaker Alankrita Srivastava among them:
Today is Gandhi Jayanti. But we as a country must hang our heads in shame. We have failed women. We have failed minorities. We have failed the poor. We have failed the backward castes. We have failed the students. We have failed to live up to Bapu's dreams. We have failed.
— Alankrita Shrivastava (@alankrita601) October 2, 2020
Swati Maliwal, Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women, threw light on the irony of providing Y-Plus security to civilians when the Delhi Police has been facing a shortage of personnel for a long time:
देश में पुलिसकर्मियों की भारी कमी है। अकेले दिल्ली में ही पिछले 13 सालों से 66,000 पुलिसकर्मियों की ज़रूरत है। दिल्ली के आधे पुलिसकर्मी VIP duty कर रहे हैं।
जब पहले ही स्टाफ की इतनी कमी है तो क्यों "भौकाल बनाने" के लिए फ़िज़ूल के लोगों को Y-Z सिक्योरिटी देने में लगे हो ?
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) October 1, 2020
Before wrapping up this horrible week, do take a look at actor Anushka Sharma’s poignant statement on Instagram too: