Despite all sorts of debates and discussions raising awareness on the issue of equality, there is no dearth of people for whom a woman's virginity ensures her sexual purity. They are the ones who never hesitate in telling a woman that it's her fault if she's sexually abused.
But one man, Jitender Chhatar, is the silver lining in a world that squarely holds a woman responsible for her plight. And it's all the more pleasant when you hear that he hails from Haryana, the Indian state notoriously famous for honour killings and female infanticide.
Chhatar, a 29-year-old farmer from the Jind district of Haryana, married a gang rape survivor and then enrolled her in a law school.
According to Jitender's wife, she was sexually abused by a man called Neeraj, who runs a coaching centre, along with four other people, which also includes a woman. When her family approached Jitender's family to arrange a marriage, he agreed. When she came to know about it, she met Jitender, told him everything and asked him to step back because of the social stigma attached to it. But not only did Jitender marry her, he also became a pillar of support for his wife by enrolling her into a law course. While the couple does not talk much about the case outside the court, his wife's gratitude towards her husband is reflected as she said:
"Since the day we got engaged, except for discussions with the lawyer or in the court, we don't talk about my case much. I and my family owe a lot to Jitender ..."
But it hasn't been a smooth journey. As he followed up his wife's case with the police, they caught a woman, one of the accused, who had come to extort money from her in Panipat. According to Jitender, the accused had offered him a sum of 70 lakhs and asked him to break the marriage. They even tried to pin false charges on him! Even when Jitender still received threats from the accused, his determination to fight alongside his wife is a huge inspiration. In an interview, he said:
"She can join the judicial services or as a lawyer can help other rape survivors. We have already started a platform called, Youth Against Rapes."
It's people like Jitender who are the real propagators of gender equality. And India could definitely do with more gentlemen like him!