By Anna George
A 30 year old woman gets raped brutally and murdered in her house when she was alone in the evening 8 days ago- shame on us!
Are you surprised how come this was not reported in the news? Are you scanning the newspapers to see if it was mentioned anywhere. Please don’t.
Because none of the newspapers or the media (both local and national) have found this news ‘worthy’ of reporting!
HOW BAD IS IT ACCORDING TO THE POST MORTEM REPORT AND FIR?
It has been 8 days since Jisha was murdered. A girl living in her single room house near the main road, Perumbaavoor, Kochi was found stabbed to death when her mother came back from work by 8 p.m. Post mortem report says that she was murdered around 4 p.m.
Her vagina was slashed over 20 times and she was penetrated with knives and other objects. Her intestines and abdominal organs were pulled out. She had a severe head injury that immobilised her. Her chest was punctured on both sides with a knife and her chin and neck had deep cuts. To make sure she died, her rapist/rapists smothered her. It is assumed that the house was broken into.
WHY THE DELAY? EVERYBODY IS BUSY WITH ELECTIONS
The police did not even a arrest a single suspect till May 2nd . The incident occurred on 26th April and the news did not appear even as a single column headline in any of the regional or national newspapers.
Right now the regional channels of Kerala are busy covering the upcoming elections, predicting exit polls and covering every other activity of the politicians. The political parties and other social organisations are busy with the same.
There are feminist groups discussing on women’s rights to enter temples to equal pay and they forgot this as well.
And what is so spicy about it?
There is no celebrity involved. No politician is there in the list of accused. No video clippings spreading all over Whatsapp or Youtube.
Thankfully, up till now no one has found that Jisha has/had a boyfriend.
All Jisha had was her mother and it seems the family has no political influence whatsoever. So it is just another forgotten statistic.
Another reason, unlike the Nirbhaya case in December 2012, this happened in an area where the media attention is comparatively less.
There are rapes worse than this happening all across the country. How many are/were given the spotlight it deserves?
HOW HAS THE MEDIA REACTED?
After the posts of a lot of socially committed social media users across Kerala and students movements, gradually the society has finally gotten up from the election hangover. But again, what is news without some spice?
Every newspaper, blog and website made it a specific point that she was a Dalit. The headings ran ‘Dalit Woman Raped’. Some papers ‘assumed’ the murderers would be political party members (so far the police have not made such a statement).
There were other newspapers that blamed it all on the political party currently ruling and used this as a weapon for the election. But so far, none of these news reporters or political parties, who are making a meal of it, even visited the spot.
THE PROBABLE QUESTIONS THAT WOULD SPRING UP
As a state/nation who is still debating how inches short a skirt should be or whether a woman should wear leggings or jeans (and many politicians and godmen saying, it is a sin to wear such ‘asanskaari clothes) the obvious first question would be WHAT CLOTHES DID SHE WEAR? DID IT PROVOKE A RAPE?
Her father left the family years ago. So people would be curious whether the family is so straightforward?
There will be people wondering if she invited the attack because she was a prostitute? (In a country where the infamous Suryanelli rape case victim (a 15 year old girl who as raped by over 40 men) was called a ‘child prostitute by a Supreme Court Judge, this statement will not be unexpected)
Was she a wayward slutty woman? (Of course, sluts deserved to be raped as per the uptight moralists)
Why did the mother leave the girl alone at that time? Is she dumb not to expect a rape in a closed house at 4 o’ clock?
And on and on.
Many colleges like Kalady Sree Sankara University, Government Law College, Ernakulam, Kerala Univrsity, feminist groups, and civilian groups have organised peaceful protests and candle lit marches across Kerala.
#JusticeforJisha is trending everywhere online now.
It is the duty of the legal machinery to find and punish the rapists. But as a society we have a few responsibilities as well.
We have to make sure that we will not keep quiet. Many parents would be advising their daughters not to travel alone or stay alone at home now. Curfew times at hostels would be decreased now. But that is not the answer. That will only propagate the rape culture.
When I post something related to rape on social media I have often received messages and comments saying ‘’you deserved to be raped, and pierced by an iron rod’’.
This clearly means that Nirbhaya case has become a sexual fantasy now.
We, as a society, have to eradicate this culture from amongst us. We have to make sure our friends and family get proper sex education and behave like a human being.
Or else, the list of rape victims would just go on rising with a nation living under the shadow of fear.
While in some other parts of the world:
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.