Monday, March 27, 2006

The tale of two rapes

The high-profile rape case involving the Kaslival scion has evoked the debate of the ever increasing threat to women in Indian cities. Right after this incident, there was another case of a minor girl raped by four teenagers in Mira Road.
In the first case, Mr. Abhishek Kaslival (26), offered a lift to the victim (not naming due to various reasons)(52) around 2:00 AM from Colaba to Mumbai central but instead took her to Worli Shriram Mills (owned my his father) and allegedly raped her. The second incident took place in Mira Road, a distant suburb of Mumbai, where four teenagers gang-raped a class IX student in one of the accused’ house and raped one after another. The girl was invited to attend the boy’s sister’s birthday party.
Some interesting facets of this case follows;
In both the cases, the victims were intoxicated before the rape took place. Kaslival offered the drink while on car and the Mira road girl took some juice at her assailant’s home. Both drinks were mixed with alcohol/drug to make them unconscious.
Initially Ambuj Kaslival, the father of Abhishek vehemently opposed the charges and accused the victim of immoral traffic, but as one after another facts came out, he clamped up. In Mira road case, the mother denied her son’s involvement in the case and said “he doesn’t have any sister and the girl knows it. Then how could she come for the b’day party?”
Kaslival Rape case;
1. What was she doing in a known trouble spot at around 2:00 AM? She said she was waiting for a friend but is it a good time for a rendezvous?
2. Why did she accept a lift from a total stranger when she could have easily got a cab to go to Mumbai Central which was safer?
3. Why did she accept the drink? Didn’t she know the dangers?
4. Why she didn’t raise an alarm when it was apparent the car wasn’t going in the right direction?
Mira Road Rape case;
1. When she entered the house, couldn’t she notice the absence of other guests / his parents?
2. Did they watch a pornographic movie together before the rape as alleged?
3. Why did she (all of 15 years) chose to go to the police even before consulting her mother?
This is in no way to justify their actions or discredit the victims. But a few questions that my conscience raised. As my fellow blogger Druv wrote in Ashley’s blog, the judicial mindset is biased and sympathized towards the victim and see things in that light. There were enough incidents, which is sub-judice hence I can’t comment on them. The prominent one is Preety Jain accusing Madhur Bhandarkar (a well-know bollywood director) of rape. It is pretty obvious that she is taking revenge for not keeping his promises.
What if some girl had sex with her consent and later accusing of rape? If there a definite way to prove rape? May justice prevail in the end, but the media highlights the accusations only. If one is acquitted, it will be a back page item. The pride of an individual is completely destroyed in this mindless sensationalizing of news. His life, family, career and name could be irreparably damaged before the final verdict.
I was watching one of the news channel and they were showing the kaslival Rape “replay” by showing a blurred video of a lady and a man in a Mercedes. It is obvious that they shot it with professional actors, but it is highly un-ethical to do. If the court acquits the accused, would they re-shoot it and show? I think the verdict is of no importance. They have deemed he is guilty.
There has to be a limit for everything. The over-eager media has to exercise some restraint before they do something like this. Last few years we saw the judicial activism as every person who got some grievance ran to court. Is it now Media-over activism age? Just keep in mind that, the media has the power to make or break. But don’t break someone before he/she is proved guilty. Let the judiciary do the trial.

1 comment:

dhruv said...

Hey shinu, a very good post i must say. Mumbai which was once supposed to be very safe for women nolonger is. But no city is safe for anyone - women or men - at ungodly hours of the night. One guy known to me got almost killed at 10.30PM in the night. 10.30 is quite safe you know.

Women can be stupid at times. Why did the girl have to go to accused guy's house alone? I mean c'mon I know a lot of girls and they never go ALONE to someone's place at any hour. We can't rule out some kind of personal vendetta either while at the same time we can't refute that the women were entirely at fault because we weren't there and we don't know the facts first hand. We only know what the papers want us to know.

BTW its Dhruv and not Druv :)