Hautetalk: Manipur Horror, Brij Bhushan’s Bail, Ram Rahim’s Parole. Where Do Women Go For Justice?

Are women still supposed to feel safe?

Over the past few months, we’ve come across some truly horrifying crimes against women. From the wrestlers’ #MeToo movement to Shraddha Walkar murder case to the Manipur violence, women across the country have been suffering from crimes against our kind. Amid the viral video of Manipur women being paraded naked, former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was granted bail by a Delhi Court. Considering the current state of affairs, where do women go to seek justice? Will we ever truly feel safe?

On Thursday, former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh was granted bail along with the former WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar on a personal bail bond of Rs 25,000 each in the sexual harassment case filed against them by six wrestlers. It took months of struggle and protests from the wrestlers to get a simple FIR filed against the accused BJP leader Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. After all the pain the wrestlers went through to ensure a proper investigation into the case, the accused man is now out on bail. While the bail has been granted with two strict conditions, the first one being the accused are not allowed to leave the country and the second one is that they will not tamper with evidence or attempt to influence witnesses in the case. But keeping in mind the fact that the witnesses have been approached time and again, we cannot put it past people to not approach them again. We have laws in this country but when have these laws stopped people from committing crimes, especially crimes against women?

Also Read: PM Modi, CM N Brien, CJI And More React To Video Of Manipur Women Paraded Naked, Assure Strict Action

On the other hand, amid the conflict between Manipur’s Meitei and Kuki tribe women from the viral video who were paraded naked and gang-raped sent shock waves across the country. As per media reports, the Manipur women have claimed that the police were present at the scene of the crime but did not help them. In fact, they have alleged that the Police handed them to the mob who then went on to strip them, parade them naked, gang-raped one woman and killed her brother. Further, the crime is believed to be committed due to a fake video being circulated and false rumours that women of their community had been raped. So, essentially the mob of people from the Meitei tribe raped the women of the Kuki tribe for revenge.

The shocking Manipur violence against women is proof that rape is weaponised during conflicts. Over the years, we have seen it happen time and again. We saw it during the Russia-Ukraine war as well. It happened during the Gujarat riots, it happened during the 1947 India-Pakistan partition and amidst many other conflicts. This won’t be the first time that rape has been used as a tool to seek revenge against a person, community or country because violating a woman’s body is considered to strip the woman, her family and in this case her community of honour.

Also Read: Why Are Bilkis Bano Rapists Out For Good Behaviour When One Of Them Has Been Accused Of Molestation On Parole?

Nearly 2 months after the crime was committed, the action taken by the authorities and the reaction from the political leaders assuring strict action has come only after the video of the Manipur women being paraded naked went viral. What about all the other crimes against women that continue to go unnoticed because there’s no viral video? Considering the current state of affairs, how are women across the country supposed to feel safe? How are we supposed to hope for justice in case of any crimes being committed against us? Where do women go to seek justice when the judiciary is releasing rapists on parole and “good behaviour”, sexual assault accused on bail and the police are being accused of aiding rapists?

All the celebrities who are expressing shock and were enraged about the Manipur viral video did not talk about it for months. We did not hear anyone speaking about the Manipur violence and it only happened after a woman was raped. So, it’s going to take a woman getting raped and a video going viral for celebs, public figures and political leaders to speak? The chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim was released on parole for 30 days and it is his 5th parole in 2 years. Bilkis Bano’s rapists were released from jail for “good behaviour” and they were welcomed back into society with garlands. Now, we saw a lot of rage against all of this on social media. Public figures spoke about these issues but was justice served? No. All these conversations and discourses about crimes against women still do not guarantee that justice will be served. So, how are some supposed to feel safe? As a citizen of this country, why can’t I feel safe, protected and hope for justice?

Also Read: Rape Convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Out On Parole 3rd Time In 2022. Our Justice System Has Failed Women!

If I were to put it bluntly, all this talk about crimes against women is going nowhere. This country continues to be unsafe for women and has failed to serve justice to womankind and we’re witnessing this failure but there’s nothing that we can do about it. Despite all the assurances that public figures and political leaders have given us, we all know they’re all bark and no bite. Even if the women, in this case, were to get justice, what about the numerous others who still haven’t got justice? And what if these rapists are also released from jail on “good behaviour”. Is that the justice we want and have been fighting for?

Manipuri Women Paraded Naked: Kiara Advani, Richa Chadha, Akshay Kumar And More Celebs Condemn Inhuman Act

Janvi Manchanda

​​She uses her pen to slice through patriarchy. She could be Geet one day, Wednesday Addams next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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