A young woman is gang raped by a group of young men who're celebrating the victory of their cricket match. If that doesn't enrage you , get what the former Sarpanch of the village says - ‘It was just a rape’!
Not surprisingly India is pissed! And so is the blogosphere.
Vincent Van Ross on topangle.instablogs says, "I am a great fan of cricket and I still consider it a gentleman’s game notwithstanding the indiscretions the game has suffered in recent years. It would be a disgrace to the game of cricket to call these alleged rapists—cricketers."
Wizard prince at wizardprince.sulekha.com says,
"her real trauma and character assassination started afterwards as thousands of villagers and local political groups started supporting the rape and blamed the girl for provoking the boys by wearing modern clothes and by getting involved in physical intimacy in the car with her male friend. What is even more ghastly and disgusting is the fact that the village women especially the family members of the ten accused justified the rape and said the girl should be killed for doing things that provoked innocent young boys."
Editorials have been, justifiably, scathing. Hindustan Times says, the issue cannot be "wished away"
"It is true that sarpanch’s comment is shocking, but it does not come as a surprise. Remember the Bhanwari Devi case and the judicial officer’s comment that the rape could not have possibly taken place because no upper caste man would ever rape a lower-caste woman? Prejudices run deep in feudal India. Let us not fool ourselves into thinking that it is a rural affliction. The urban pockets of the country are also known to brush such heinous crimes under the carpet. However, the issue of rape cannot be seen as just a law and order problem. The culprits get away because of a mindset that does not see crimes against women as unacceptable. In fact, those five words from the Garhi Chawkhandi village sarpanch prove once again that unless and until our attitude towards women changes, there will be more incidents like the one that happened in Noida."
The Hindustan Times editorial reiterates what we keep talking about most of the time - CHANGE OF MINDSETS. Sensitization programmes, spreading awareness, debating issues and more!
The landscape's changing, laws are getting tougher, fast-track courts are in action but mindsets are stuck far behind in the past.
Despite Noida's shiny malls, fancy cars and IT parks... it took just five words from one of the locals to shake us off our illusion that women are liberated in today's India - "It was just a rape"