Back in 2012 when the Nirbhaya rape case led to a nationwide movement and protests, we had some hope in our hearts. We really thought that now that the nation has woken up to these atrocities and speaking against them in solidarity, things would soon change for good. However, it's been almost a decade and things don't seem to get any better for the women in this country.
In fact, the situation has gotten only worse over time. As per the NCRB’s Crime In India 2019 report, an average of 87 rape cases every day were recorded in India in 2019. Additionally, a total of 4,05,861 cases of crimes against women were registered in 2019, this is a rise of over seven percent from 2018. Yes, an entire decade of the fight against women’s safety and brutality against them and this is where we stand today! And not only has the country failed its women in terms of failing to curb the crimes against them but also in the way these crimes are approached.
Literally every time a rape happens in the country, there is someone who has to say something super problematic about the case. Take into consideration the recent Jharkhand rape case and what a politician had to say about it. A 35-year-old woman was allegedly raped by 17 drunk men on December 8 in Jharkhand's Dumka. As per a report by India Today, the victim was returning from the market with her husband at 8 pm when the incident happened. And as gut-wrenching as this incident happens to be, RJD politician Shivanand Tiwari has found a way to make it worse with an absolutely tone-deaf and myopic comment.
ANI reported Shivanand commenting on the incident and saying, "No one could've ever imagined that a girl/woman would ever be raped in a tribal area. There was no rape in the tribal culture but the consumerist culture that began to bring in modernism presented women as articles for consumption."
But he didn't stop just there. Deccan Herald further quoted him saying, “Item dance in films, ads, pornographic content on phones prepare mindset of rape. Just making stringent laws won’t end it. As long as the situation that incites people for rape persists you won’t be able to stop it.”
It is indeed revolting that it's so convenient for patriarchy to lay the blame on the "situation" and not the men who rape women. From political parties to women's clothes to the popular media, they'll literally lay the blame on anything but the perpetrators. Also, when Mr. Shivanand talks about the "rape free" history of tribal culture, does he mean that no such incident happened or no such incident was ever reported? We ask because he very apparently struggles with the most basic of facts, his ideas on consumerist culture to begin with. I mean it really takes next level denial to sit in a Nike sweatshirt and then talk disdainfully about "modernism" and "consumerism".
Just like us, desi Twitter is pretty flabbergasted by the tone-deaf comments and here's what the Twitterati have to say about it:
Someone, please tell Mr. Shivanand that India is not the only country that's streaming porn online. In fact, the last time we checked, porn was "banned" in the country. But more importantly, it would be amazing if someone could jolt the patriarchy out of his head and make him realise that it's not the women, their clothes, the situations, or the porn that leads to rape, it's the rapist. To sum it: rapists are responsible for rapes!!! It's really as simple as ABC why has it taken us forever to understand this?
Featured Image: Twitter