A 38-year-old woman and her teenage daughter were raped for three hours in the wee hours of July 30 in Bulandshahr. It was a horrible incident -- one that brought out the true picture of crime in Uttar Pradesh; one that shamed all other Indians too.
The shock and the brutality of the incident made it a national talking point. And we all know what happens, when things become a national talking point in India. The politicians of the area got into their cars and made a beeline to Bulandshahr. The media -- with their OB vans -- did the same.
Then, things got worse. The politicians and the media made the rape victims repeat their story over and over again. They also set up camp outside the house. In a way, it almost felt like the family were in a jail of sorts.
The colony where they stay is now teeming with reporters and locals who are happily referring to the 14-year-old as 'the girl who was raped' and discussing how the incident “ruined” the girl’s life, says this report from Hindustan Times.
The report further says that how one of the reporters asked the father of the girl to hide his face with a handkerchief and give a byte as their reporters cannot wait to send visuals back to the newsroom.
Not only that, the reporters are refusing to leave and have set up a camp of sorts in the girl’s house, with their fancy gadgets trying to get a 'exclusive' coverage to get their TRPs soaring.
The politicians, sadly, are no better
Leaders of the Samajwadi Party, BJP and Congress, local Bahujan Samaj Party lawmaker Amar Pal Sharma visited the family on Wednesday, and assured financial help for the daughter’s education.
UP BJP Pres Keshav Maurya led party delegation arrives in Noida to meet Bulandshahr rape victims&their family membrs pic.twitter.com/KKYmNJMUeG— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 2, 2016
Samajwadi party leader Azam Khan, though, went one step ahead and said that the rape was a political conspiracy.
The helpless father pleaded to HT, "How many times should I repeat what happened with my daughter and my wife? They have been raped. What else do you want to know? With all the people visiting, she is now being asked to recall everything again. She has fallen sick again. She cannot stop crying. Please leave us alone. I wish we had never returned."
Surprisingly, all this continues to happen despite the fact that a rape victim’s name and identity is legally never supposed to be disclosed, but now with the continuous barrage of media and politicians frequenting their house, the purpose stands defeated.
The apathy of society is truly disturbing
Media reports suggest that instead of supporting the family, the neighbours predictably turned away, shunning them instead.
"Now everyone is going to look at her differently. After all, what happened is very shameful. They should have quietly gone to their village . Why return here?," said a neighbour, which largely sums up our regressive society and the stigma attached to rape.
What the rape victim had to say
Well, the persistent media finally got a byte out of both the rape victims. Speaking to Times Of India, the woman said she was tired of it all and wanted an end to the glare of publicity.
“All I want is justice. I want to punish the attackers with my own hands. I don’t trust politicians. They are promising many things, but they don’t have any accountability. I want them to safeguard the future of my child,” she told reporters.
And amidst all this hue and cry, the 14-year-old who hardly understands the consequences of what she is going through talks of her innocent desire to be an “IAS officer.’
Surely, India can do better.