By Nasreen Jehan (real name withheld on the request of writer)
New Delhi, India: 90 to 120 girls are raped in India every day but official denial of government is further complicating the situation, said an official report
It is pertinent to mention that the Thomson Reuters Foundation ranked India as the “most dangerous country for women” in June 2018 but Indian government rejected this report.
Decades of Indian image built around being a secular, progressive democratic and tolerant society is being continuously questioned since last decade when India started to emerge as leading contender for a country suffering with an epidemic of rape.
Data reveals that more than 32,500 cases of rape were registered with the police in 2017, about 90 a day, while Indian courts disposed of only 18,300 cases related to rape that year, leaving more than 127,800 cases pending.
Instances of brutal rape and violence have given India the dismal reputation of being one of the worst places in the world to be a female.
The rape which itself is a serious enough crime has an Indian blend to it in shape of brutality.
Many rape cases which have a brutal violence aspect attached have surfaced in past few years and have gained media attention all over the globe.
Recently, India remained in world news for Indian police shooting four dead men suspected of raping and killing a vet in the southern city of Hyderabad that had caused nationwide outrage.
The policemen accused of shooting the rapists were garlanded and showered with rose petals. The incident clearly reflects lack of trust of masses in Indian judicial and policing system.
The rape epidemic that plagues India is triggered by ingress of porn sites in Indian society, loose religious and ethical morals, poor entertainment opportunities, poverty and a barrage of fantasy filled Bollywood movies. Social Media surfing tells us that India is often labelled as RAPE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD and GAY HIND. These titles are a clear indicator of how world views Indian society attitudes towards women and sexual harassment related crimes.
According to a report by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) released in May 2019, nearly half of the newly elected Lok Sabha members have criminal charges against them, a 26% increase as compared to 2014 and a 44% increase when compared to 2009. Out of the 539 winners analysed in Lok Sabha 2019, 233 MPs or 43% have declared criminal cases against themselves.
After analyzing data of state Assemblies and Lok Sabha, ADR found that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has the most number of MPs/MLAs with cases of crimes against women. About 30% of them face very serious charges, like those related to rape and other crimes against women, murder, kidnapping.
As per Guardian report published on 6 Dec 2019, Yet while the horrific crime has prompted hundreds to take to the streets, and calls for lynching and hanging in parliament, it was far from an isolated incident. According to statistics, a woman is raped in India every 20 minutes.
In the courts there are 133,000 pending rape cases. In May, a panel of judges dismissed allegations of sexual harassment against the chief justice of India, made by a former court employee, as being of “no substance”, in a ruling that triggered anger and protests. He denied the claims.
In the backdrop of above, recently USA and UK have issued travel advisories to their tourists (specially females) visiting India. The news has caught the eye of world and once pitched with stories of rapes and horror in IOK prove the concerns of world HR bodies.