Oops She Did It Again

Only the other dayIHM was discussing the kinds of statements/ actions on the part of the police or politicians which potential rapists would find encouraging, and  we find THIS in the morning papers yesterday. The West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has all but written off the alleged gang-rape incident in Katwa, West Bengal, as fabricated by her political opponents– on the ludicrous pretext that medical examination did not reveal any tell-tale sign of rape. Apparently this is the second time in as many weeks that she has thought it fit to voice her doubts about the veracity of an allegation of rape.

I am sure the only thing worse than having a chief minister giving the lie to a rape victim must be to have a woman chief minister doing this.

For all we know, this might well become a trend– blaming political parties opposed to the one in government for ‘fabricating’ incidents of sexual violence. Not that there is any dearth of victim-blaming devices at the disposal of the police already.

The 29 year old victim has clearly stated in her FIR that she made no attempts to protect herself since the rapists threatened to kill her daughter, so it is hardly surprising that ‘tell-tale’ signs of rape were not found on her body.

RN Mondal, the doctor who examined the victim at Katwa subdivisional hospital, clarified to TOI he had never said the woman was not raped. Another senior doctor of the hospital said: “A medical report can never say if anyone has been raped. For instance, if a woman is raped at gunpoint, it is very hard to find any physical evidence.” (Link)

The accused have not even been booked for rape, only for dacoity. Banerjee alleged that the victim was a CPM sympathiser out to discredit her government. This, when the incident had a number of witnesses including the victim’s minor daughter.

This statement  betrays not just extreme callousness and incomprehension of the seriousness of the crime but also a dangerous disregard of the law, for which ignorance is no excuse. Mamata has been known to be paranoid about her political opponents in the past but in this instance her paranoia amounts to a shocking travesty of the law which says that the victim’s account is to be treated as true unless the accused is able to prove otherwise.

The implications boggle the mind. A rapist in Mamata’s West Bengal only needs to choose his victims with care– to make sure that the victim is in some way affiliated with the opposition parties and then go right ahead and please himself. The victim can cry rape all she wants and no one, not least the chief minister, will believe her. Potential rapists in other parts of the country will no doubt watch this with interest, and it will only be a matter of time before this strategy catches on across the nation.

Meanwhile we can rave and rant about it all we want on our blogs.

Just makes me wonder, are our laws  too ahead of our people when it comes to gender-based crimes? Is that why these crimes keep happening, the police keep looking the other way and the politicians don’t turn a hair?

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6 Responses to Oops She Did It Again

  1. zephyr says:

    So what’s new? women chief ministers are also politicians aren’t they? So they will make such and worse statements and mean it too. We have a woman chief minister too who had advised women not to be adventurous. But her statement didn’t draw too much flak probably because of the political affiliations. http://cybernag.in/2011/11/are-the-%E2%80%98power%E2%80%99ful-women-listening/

    • You’re so right Zephyr 😦
      Women politicians are too busy trying to be seen as being ‘just as the men’ and to hold on to their positions of power. No point expecting them to be any different .

  2. What would we do without the laws Scribblehappy? Yes they are ahead of some people, but I am sure any victim is glad we have them. It’s easy for a woman who probably has plenty of security (paid for by the tax payer’s hard earned money) to make callous statements that put the same tax payer at risk. How does she hope to get away with it?

    • Err…I wasn’t suggesting that the laws should be done away with, IHM. Having these laws, even when they are not really followed, is anyday way better than not having any at all.These are small mercies we should definitely be thankful for. I was only trying to give a reason why compliance with laws against gender-based violence is so abysmally low, why they get flouted so openly and with impunity.

  3. R's Mom says:

    Too depressed to even comment when I read the news article 😦

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