Thursday, July 16, 2009

COMPENSATION FOR RAPE VICTIMS: NONE FOR MOTHER INDIA

The no-holds barred battle for the dalits of Uttar Pradesh between Sonia Gandhi and Chief Minister Mayawati has, not surprisingly, descended to new lows. And this time it is yet another woman, UP Congress President Rita Bahuguna Joshi who, in a fit of anger, has ignited political passions by ridiculing Mayawati for the low compensation of Rs 25,000 being given to rape victims and offering her a crore if she gets raped.

This derogatory remark, made even worse because Mayawati is a dalit, has given just the opportunity that Mayawati was looking for to tell her dalit followers that she alone can empower them and that all the efforts of the Congress to woo them are nothing but natakbazi. Joshi has been put behind bars under the SC and ST(Prevention of Atrocities) Act, her house in Lucknow has been set on fire by goons and an apology has been sought by Mayawati from Sonia Gandhi. There has been the usual uproar in Parliament today and worn out blame games have begun along party lines. Maneka Gandhi, whose son Varun was locked up under the NSA by Mayawati, has, quite naturally, demanded that President's Rule should be imposed in UP.

It seems that Mayawati has clean forgotten what she herself had said about compensation to rape victims when Mulayam Yadav was Chief Monister. Then, she had spoken of the poor compensation of Rs 200,000 paid to some Muslim rape victims and had said that Muslims would happily pay Rs 400,000 if the daughter of Mulayam Yadav or his relatives was raped instead.

Rape has become a very serious issue in the country. Activists, many of them politicians, are stridently demanding death sentence for the heinous crime, in addition to enhanced monetary compensation for rape victims. Noble thoughts indeed.

But, seeing the same sickening, mind numbing, petty games being played by politicians over and over again, to protect or poach voters, one cannot but feel that they are all collectively raping Mother India. This gang rape has been going on for decades. And the shameless rapists are, tragically, those children of India who have been democratically chosen by her other children to protect her and them. They are the ones who need to be punished most severely for defiling their mother, for giving unbearable pain to her, for remorselessly exploiting her to satisfy their limitless lust for power and pelf.

But how can they punish each other for a crime they are all guilty of? So, they will all talk of giving more compensation than the next politician only for a rape victim who presses a button on a voting machine. And since Mother India suffers their assaults in silence and will not take sides in their political fights, they think they have every right to repeatedly do to her what they are doing, and sing Vande Matram with a straight face afterwords.

For Her, there is no compensation.
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Picture source: 1 Word A Day