Strange Fruit in Uttar Pradesh

Sexual assault against women in India, particularly Uttar Pradesh, seems to be taking turn for the worst as rapists become emboldened by the lack of police investigation and political sympathy in favour of the criminal.   In the last fortnight four women have been raped and hung from trees by their own dupatta (scarf) or sari.

These crimes are outrageous enough but even more so are the continuous foot-in-mouth statements from the chief minister of the state, his father and a growing chorus of male chief ministers from other states.   I watched a TV discussion on NDTV (channel 511 on Sky) where a representative of the UP government repeatedly stated ‘what about men who are wrongly accused?’ to the extent that the presenter and representatives of all other political parties were exasperated in disbelief.  As a woman, this is at least a relief but too bad if you’re a woman from UP.

I may be jumping to nasty conclusions but I think that men and political figures who keep defending rapists and rape might be guilty of past crimes against women themselves.  How can you be outraged by rape if you are yourself a rapist or have committed sexual assault?  The statements coming out of these guys are so shocking that ‘jaw dropping’ renders itself useless.

The tragic hangings of these ‘backward caste’ women and girls reminded me of tragic hangings on the other side of the world of black people in the USA before slavery was entirely abolished after the civil rights movement.  Billie Holiday captures the sadness and grief of disempowered segments of society.

The father of one of the two murdered girls recalled how the police asked him his caste before registering a case, the father stated he was an Indian and he had rights as a citizen…and he is described as backward caste!!  To me he appears to understand patriotism and his legal rights as much as ‘educated’ Indians.  PM Modi made an address to parliament yesterday saying his government had to fight for the rights of the poor as rich people already have access to health and justice.  Let’s hope he can deliver.




7 Comments to “Strange Fruit in Uttar Pradesh”

  1. I agree with you so much. Police non chalance and even involvement in Rape in Uttar Pradesh makes perpetrators emboldened.

  2. How can the police ask a father, whose two girls have been raped and murdered, his caste before attending to him?!!! This is simply terrible.

  3. Bubbly, I have to admit that I sometimes have to avoid reading about these stories as they are so upsetting. I feel so helpless and my heart really goes out to those families, how do they cope with the terror of what their beautiful daughter/sister went through?

    I agree with you, I think these men are firmly in the “It’s not rape if…” category.

    It’s not rape, if it’s your wife. It’s not rape if the girl is drunk. It’s not rape if she’s a lower caste and so on and so on…

    • Thanks for your comment, Vakeel Bibi but guess what? The Indian supreme court only this week ruled that marital rape does not exist. If you are a woman where do you turn if you are let down by the highest authority in your own country?

      • I agree with you that all of this stinks. It makes me despair sometimes at how women are treated. Let’s think of this: a man could rape his wife in a marriage until the 1990s in England and Wales. If one of the oldest democracies in the World was this rubbish then we have to be patient with south Asia. Women will not be treated equally within my lifetime.

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