22 June, 2021

The Male Prerogative

In a macho, callous society, crimes against women spiral, recording a 30 per cent rise

The Male Prerogative

1992: Bhateri village, Jaipur district: Sathin Bhanwari Devi, a Women Development Project worker, was allegedly gangraped by five upper-caste men for attempting to stop a child marriage in her village. Acquitting the alleged rapists, a 1995 sessions court judgement ruled: "Rape is usually committed by teenagers. The alleged rapists here are middle-aged and therefore, respectable citizens. Since the offenders were upper-caste men, the rape could not have taken place because Bhanwari was from a lower caste." 

1996: Utharna village, Tonk district: Dhapu Bai, a 40-year-old adivasi, is gangraped by eight henchmen of a powerful liquor contractor as her husband and son mutely look on. The ostensible reason for the assault—Dhapu’s husband sells liquor locally. One of the alleged rapists injures her grievously as he tries to pull out her uterus in an attempt to destroy evidence of rape. Dhapu’s injury requires 27 stitches. And her wounds, her medical report says, have reached her muscles. But the report does not mention rape.

FOUR years,...

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