News Analysis |
The horrific rape of an eight-year-old girl in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur has sent shockwaves throughout of India. The horrifying atrocity has stirred massive protests. This latest outrage comes at the heels of the confirmation of India as the most dangerous place for women in the world through a survey.
Analysts assert that the Brahmanical caste system perceives Hindu women as chattel and at best nothing more than a servant of the male members of family.
According to reports the incident had taken place on Tuesday evening. The minor victim was waiting outside her school for her family to pick her up. The police said in a statement, that the accused identified as Irfan alias Bhaiyu (20) abducted her and took her to the bus stand area, where he raped her in the bushes near Laxman Darwaja.
According to the police, the accused tried to hide his crime by trying to kill the minor by slitting her throat. The accused had been arrested on Wednesday night. Amid shock and outrage over the ghastly incident, Muslim community leaders on Thursday disowned the accused and demanded the death sentence for him.
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan while talking to media persons condemned the incident saying that “Yeh darinde dharti par bojh hai. Yeh dharti par jeevit rahne ke layak nahi hai,” (These beasts are a burden on the earth. They do not deserve to live),”
On the Mandsaur episode, Chouhan said, “It was a painful incident. We are with the (victim’s) family and keeping an eye on the girl’s condition. Her condition is improving and I am in constant touch with the doctors.” “The accused has already been arrested and there is evidence against him. We will ensure fast track courts that he will get capital punishment at the earliest,” the chief minister said.
Crimes of sexual violence have been gradually intensifying in India, after the nationwide fury that followed the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012 known as the Nirbhaya incident. These atrocities have occurred despite the approval of the death penalty for the rape of girls younger than 12, and increase in the prison term for the rape of older girls and women.
The approval of the death penalty for child rapists came after a particularly gruesome rape and murder of a Muslim girl in Jammu and Kashmir state, who was kidnaped, sedated and gang-raped in a Hindu temple. Reported rape cases in India have climbed steadily in recent years to about 40,000 in 2016. Many more cases are believed to go unreported. Child rape accounts for about 40 percent of the reported cases.
The police said in a statement, that the accused identified as Irfan alias Bhaiyu (20) abducted her and took her to the bus stand area, where he raped her in the bushes near Laxman Darwaja.
In the past two decades, India has seen a horrific increase in crimes against women. Sexual harassment in an ordinary women’s life has become a norm. Therefore, empowering women has become the main political agenda for all parties. However, these promises have fell flat as time has progressed.
Many assert that the plight of women in India is largely due to a prevalent misogynist culture with origins in history. Analysts assert that the Brahmanical caste system perceives Hindu women as chattel and at best nothing more than a servant of the male members of family. Perhaps the most indicative of this were the practices of Satti or Jauhar which required female widows to be burnt alive with their husband’s ashes.
Read more: Second India teen raped, set on fire: police
The problem of powerful criminals is also ever present in modern India. There have been countless cases of criminals involved in heinous crimes getting away scot-free due to the connivance of local politicians. The recent case of the murder of a rape victim’s father in Uttar Pradesh within police custody is seen by many as an indicator of rampant institutional corruption.
In the end it is a nexus of political corruption and social practices that have made India into the most dangerous place for women and turned the abominable act of rape into a common occurrence in India.