On April 22, an 11-year-old girl was rescued from a Madrassa in Ghaziabad where she was allegedly kept after a 17-year-old juvenile abducted her from her home in Delhi’s Ghazipur and raped her.
The police said that the girl went missing from her house on April 21. She recorded her statement on April 23 and said that the boy lured her into the Madrassa by promising to make her meet his friends. The juvenile has been arrested. The girl’s parents claimed that the ‘Maulvi’ was also involved in the crime and demanded his arrest. The police assured that he is being questioned, reported ABP News.
While all this was happening, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders along with locals blocked a National Highway and staged a protest. They protested for action to be taken by the police and the arrest of the Maulvi. They also demanded that death penalty is awarded to the accused.
Communalisation of rape?
What is most surprising about BJP’s outrage is that protestors drew a parallel of this rape case with that of the Kathua rape and murder of the eight-year-old girl.
Many also commented on social media that Bollywood celebrities demanded justice for the Kathua victim, but are silent on the rape of the minor in Ghaziabad. But the accused in the latter has already been arrested. So, the question arises – what are they protesting for?
Hindu Ekta Manch, several other Hindutva groups and even the Jammu Bar Association protested against the arrest of the alleged rapists in Kathua.
The charge sheet of the Kathua rape revealed that the eight-year-old girl was raped inside a temple, but Hindutva groups refused to believe. It also revealed that she was raped to scare off the Muslim Bakarwal community from the area. – which, also, many are shunning as false.
While there was a call by BJP leaders against the arrest of the accused, who took it upon themselves to declare them innocent, outrage was required for justice. While in the Ghaziabad case, the accused has been already arrested and nobody is demanding his release, why are members of the ruling party still protesting?
Protest of convenience
What is that the protesters wish to achieve – do they want liberals/ Bollywood/ media to outrage against rape because it happened in a Madrasa or do they want rape to be discussed and debated sans religion of the victim and the accused.
“Why were you not protesting when (insert Muslim name) raped (insert Hindu name)?”
“Why is there selective outrage when the accused is Hindu?”
“Look at how this Muslim man raped and killed a Hindu girl. Paid media will never show you these pictures.”
These are some of the posts that are being shared on social media by extreme right-wing pages. This is what defines whataboutism – “the technique or practice of responding to an accusation or difficult question by making a counter-accusation or raising a different issue.”
The communal tone in their protest tells a story of hypocrisy. It is dangerous and holds no ground in a secular country like India. Rapes are inhuman and should not be communalised. Whether a person is a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Sikh, it does not matter. Everyone is equal in the eyes of law.
Rapes should not be a political issue
In the Unnao rape case, a BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was the accused. Residents of Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao carried out a rally on Monday, April 23, in support of Kuldeep Singh Sengar with placards reading ‘Humare vidhayak nirdosh hai (Our legislator is innocent)’.
Why are they not protesting for the arrest of the rapist here?
All these instances lead to the question – do they really care about rape victims? During the protests in Ghaziabad, a protester said as quoted by The Indian Express, “The first case of a person being hanged to death over the rape of a child should be this one.”
Is it a competition? Which crime is more heinous than the other or which victim deserves justice first?
It is time that the ones elected to represent our interests stop this “selective outrage”. It is time we become more human and not mere advocates of religion biases.