Three men were sentenced to death for gang-raping and murdering two women on a moving bus in New Delhi. Gang rape has been a consistent problem in India. In December 2012, a 23-year-old woman was raped and beaten by several men on a bus, and the victim later died in the hospital. The government has also been tightening its regulation and law enforcement on such crime. But just when people are outraged and trying to unite together to fight this grave crime, an Indian political leader publicly described these three criminals as “pool fellows” who made “mistakes.”
Mulayam Singh Yadav, the leader of Samajwadi Party said he would try to change the law on rapist’s punishment as part of his election speeches. Yadav seemed to sympathize tremendously with the criminals and said “they are boys, they make mistakes.” Yadav’s comments enraged the mother of the 23-years-old victim. The mother said “Every day women get raped and they are all mistakes? He talks about doing away with the death sentence for rapists but parents like us feel even death is not enough for rapists. They deserve worse.”
SP’s state president Abu Azmi made a similar comments a few days ago. He told a city tabloid on Friday: “If a woman is caught (in a rape case), then both she and the boy should be punished. In India, there is death penalty for rape, but when there’s consensual sex outside marriage, there’s no death penalty against women.”
These instances have created outrage on social media. People tweeted with “#backingrapists” to express their anger towards these two political leaders.
Using Condoms in India is very very important. If you don’t u get idiots like Abu Azmi,Azam Khan Mulayam Nitesh Rane #BackingRapists
— MadhuBhabhi (@Md1509) April 13, 2014
— IC Gupta (@BangaloreAK49) April 13, 2014
Mulayam: guys who rape should not be hanged Abu Azmi: girls raped shud be hanged Let’s hang the two of them to begin with #BackingRapists
— Bhaiyyaji (@bhaiyyajispeaks) April 11, 2014
Tweets like these kept multiplying as I search the hashtag on Twitter. Personally, I am not sure if they said these horrible things as political speech to attract male voters or do they really believe this. Although it’s hard to imagine they would be dumb enough to think someone would still align with them after what they said, I sincerely hope they don’t believe in what they said from the bottom of their heart.
It disgusts me to see these kind of atrocity would happened to young women who just happened to be on a bus. It also saddens me to see that women fear walking home alone because of how regular these crimes occurred. Atrocious crimes like this should have never happened, yet it has multiplied in India to the point that women feel insecure walking at night. Just when the government is stepping up its game to punish crime of such kind, the leaders of party running for elections expressed willingness to condone the criminals. I am not Indian but I can imagine how Indian women would feel if these party leaders become the head of the government, they might get punished for crime committed to them.
I am not a psychologist or expert on anything, but I think it all boils down to patriarchy and disrespect for women. This is India’s own fight, I cannot image us doing much as an outsiders. It’s horrifying to think that there might be some people in India who would agree with Yadav and Azmi. There definitely need to be more education and the government need to stand firm on its ground to uphold the current law and legislation, continue its effort to crack down on such crime. I hope one day there would be an end to all evil in the world.