How many rape cases are reported in India every year? According to TOI in 2014, a rape occurs every half an hour in India. We can be pretty sure there are many more cases get which gets hushed up. Back in 2012, Nirbhaya rape case became a national issue which brought into focus how safe India is for women. But then a lot of people came in defence saying that many of the rape cases are fabricated. Not many of brutal rape cases got the importance which the Nirbhaya case did. But here is another rape and murder rape case, from Kerala, one of the most educated and developed states of India. And like many of the rape cases, rape and murder of Jisha have not received any importance from media, legal machinery or political parties.
THE TERRIBLE ORDEAL THAT JISHA FACED
Jisha, a law student from Law College, Ernakulam was raped and murdered at her house between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. She lived in a single room house near the main road Perumbavoor with her mother. It has been 8 days since Jisha was murdered. She was found dead when her mother came back from work by 8 p.m.
Jisha had a severe head injury and wounds were found on her chest and face. Jisha’s vagina was slashed over 20 times and her intestines and abdominal organs were pulled out. To ensure her death, her rapist/rapists smothered her. It is assumed that the house was broken into and a fight ensued between Jisha and her rapists.
WHY THE DELAY?
The incident occurred on 26th April and the news did not appear in any newspapers. Right now the regional channels of Kerala are busy covering the upcoming elections. The focus of the entire society is solely on the elections coming on 16th May.
Another reason for the lack of interest is because there is no juicy controversy here. Unlike the Solar scam involving Saritha Nair, which was in the headlines for ages, there is no celebrity or politician involved as of now. The only family for Jisha was her mother and it seems the family has no political influence whatsoever. So it is just another forgotten statistic.
Another reason is because this happened in Kerala, in an area where the media attention is comparatively less. There are rapes worse than this happening all across the country. How many are/were given the spotlight it deserves?
The media’s action towards this case was deplorable. Every headline (which appeared 3 days later) began with the line ‘Dalit raped and murdered’ immediately polarising the issue into a casteist and religious violence rather than a human rights issue. Some blamed it all on the ruling party targeting the election, while some blogs and papers made claims that there were members of a political party involved, though the police have officially made no such claim. But none of these parties or newspapers even cared to visit the spot or the family.
Many colleges like KaladySreeSankara University, Government Law College, Ernakulam, Kerala University, feminist groups, and civilian groups have organised peaceful protests and candle lit marches across Kerala. #JusticeforJisha is trending everywhere online now. Though it is fairly late, the media and politicians are waking up.
THE PROBABLE QUESTIONS THAT WOULD SPRING UP
As a sexist society we would have a bunch of questions lurking in the corner of our minds. What time was it? Was she out of her house? Why was she alone at her house? What clothes was she wearing? What food did she have? Was she too friendly with boys? Did she have boyfriends? Was her family or her slutty in any way? Was she a prostitute? Did she provoke the rape?
And on and on.
Many parents would be advising their daughters not to travel alone or stay alone at home now. Curfew times at hostels would be decreased now. There might be travel plans to Kerala cancelled. But that is not the answer.
That will only propagate the rape culture. We, as a society, have to eradicate this culture from amongst us. We have to make sure our friends and family get proper sex education and behave like a human being. Or else, the list of rape victims would just go on rising with a nation living under the shadow of fear.
#JusticeforJisha- Please do not let her be another statistic.
Note: Image used in this post is only for representational purpose.