In the past few years, India has experienced several famous cases of sexual offenses against women, and also experienced agitations against the same. Some of them like Nirbhaya case, Kathua Gangrape case, Unnao rape case, Hyderabad rape case, Hathras rape case, and some more. But the question is this why only these cases achieve the limelight, and why do we not talk about other cases. These several cases may be hardly in hundreds in number, but the reality of rape cases in India is far above these numbers. According to the data released by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) in 2019, on average 87 cases were recorded in India daily which means above than thirty thousand rape cases in 2019(precisely 31,755 cases) and a total of 4,05,861 crime against women, were registered in 2019. But how many cases do we know and protested against in 2019, hardly 10-20, what about the other 31,700 cases. About which we even don’t know does victim is alive or not. Why this choosiness and selectiveness while protesting against this heinous crime. On what basis do we choose them, is it random? And what are the results of these selective outrages? And at last what needs to be done?
Whenever we see any case getting active coverage by media houses, then we realize that there is something very wrong happened and we should come in the street but this condition comes maximum of 20-30 times in a year, where media decides which case should be highlighted or which should be ignored, for their reasons. And as I already mentioned that in the year 2019 more than 30 thousand cases happened. Were the cases other than the ones that got limelight were of less importance? Why were they ignored? Why this selectiveness while deciding the cases to be highlighted? Are we doing justice with other thousands of rape victims? Are we fighting against the evil of Rape or we demanding case-oriented justice?
These are some questions which we need to introspect and should look for what are the lacunae that have been left behind to be filled in the mass movement against this evil of rape in our country. Why after being so much outrage and protest there is nothing in the name of improvement and change in the condition of women’s safety is evident in this country. Many times we even never know what is the status of the victim is her case going towards justice or not. And what is the socio-economic condition of the victim can she afford to sustain long proceedings for her justice or not?
How we developed this attitude of selectiveness? I think behind the development of this attitude there is a major role played by media. Media which we consider as a fourth pillar of democracy. And which is supposed to show us the only facts, with the word facts I don’t mean the truth, truth is something which is subject to the analysis of facts and which is also something subjected to the person’s discretion who is analyzing it, So media should show the facts without any bias of any kind whether it be for a monetary reason or other reasons as well, And nowadays we see media very much covers the selective cases in which it thinks that there are chances to get some popularity among the mass and which will give benefits to the media houses.
Sometimes, due to the popular outrage which is created by manipulation of public opinions, we forget there is something like the law also prevails in the country which provides for some procedure of getting justice. This was seen during the Hyderabad rape case where four accused were encountered by the police on the alleged reason that they were trying to flee from the spot. Who knows what really had happened there other than police and those accused. I am not saying that they were innocent neither am saying they were culprits this was something which was to be decided by the Courts but unfortunately this stage never came up. Usually, we blame the police is not doing their job, it is corrupt, etc, etc we have lost our faith in them, but during these types of incidents, our feelings become too strong, and fade away this disbelief in police and belief in the judicial process.
The main thing is that when people start floating in the emotions then there is no space left for the judicial system and which can become a strong base for anarchism. We are right when we protest for something wrong that happens in society but that wrong should not be based on our choice like this wrong is against my feeling then I will support and that one doesn’t affect me anyway so I don’t care, this attitude only weakens the whole objective of the movement and protest. As of now, our attitude is approximately the same as I told you above and we haven’t achieved anything great in this regard and the incidents are continuously rising year by year.
So I only want to say that we should get equal anger and offense as we get in some selective cases, and protest equally as we do in highlighted cases. And if the media is failed to show the wrong to the world due to any reason whether mistakenly or voluntarily then it becomes our duty to raise our voice against those wrongs. So let us pledge to abolish selectiveness in protesting against this evil in our society and start protesting against each and every case which is happening around us to make this evil end.
Authored by- Abhay Gupta
Author is a first year Law student at National Law University Odisha.