Goddess Speak: Horror of Horrors #NotInMyName

By Antara Banerjee in Fashion & Lifestyle 28/06/2017

‘UP cop asks 37-YO gang rape victim to have sex with him before registering FIR’- this horrific piece of news on facebook elicits a comment- ‘What a shame to see such a cop in our midst? He should quench his thirst for lust by having sex with his sister or daughter!’

 

Appalling!!!

 

When a woman recently asked the man whether this punishment will be fair on the women he recommends for ‘quenching the cop’s lust’, he promptly replies that this is just to shock the dirty cop and deter him. When the woman persisted whether this will really set things right or solve the problem, he asked her what else she suggest?!

 

This, coming from a so called educated, respectable, matured citizen of India, one among us, one of the facebook acquaintance of my friendlist. He actually thinks this is a solution! It is shocking disgusting and scaring!

 

Not exaggeration, but being Sane

Some might feel that women are overreacting when it comes to talking about these issues. However, it is actually utterly misogynistic and unprovoked nature of the comment that is leaving many of us scared. Yes, there is frustration, anger, chaos and hopelessness all around us, but if everyone starts adding to it mindlessly, the situation becomes unbearably dismal and poisonous. Unfortunately, such warped, heartless, unreasonable and gender biased thoughts are becoming so widespread and all pervasive that we are left with no trust in anyone and not faith in humanity.

 

Patriarchy Command over Slangs Used

Most four-letter words in any language, across the world, are misogynistic and sexual in nature. The ‘Madarchod’ and ‘Behenchod’, culture is so casual in envisaging such terrible acts against a woman that people have started taking it literally and seriously. They actually feel that it is smart to mouth such invectives and gleefully accept it in social interactions. This is true, not only at the lower level but also at the highest strata of the society, cutting across differences between status, position and education.

 
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Living in the land of violence

Reward and Punishment have been age old practices, accepted and approved in the society to maintain law and order. But this mindless, unprovoked, undeserved brutality is simply beyond reason and comprehension. You are never sure when violence and brutality will strike you, a terrorist, a parent, a teacher, a relative, a co passenger, a police officer or simply a stranger walking on the street; everyone is capable of unspeakable violence and mindless mayhem. It is like living in a world infested with dangerous psychopaths.

 

Questions left unanswered

And then there is the question of who delivers the rewards and the punishments? Who has the law in their hands? Who is authorized to? Uneducated and caste-biased ministers? Bigoted government officials? Pot bellied, boorish, unempathetic cops? Anti Romeo Squads? Religious leaders? Or simply the mob? The rise of the mob as a mindless machinery for delivering instant justice is terrifying! This has been regularly used by political outfits to escape the violence they stir up. And they all invariably go unpunished due to anonymity, chaos or just sheer numbers.

 

A rising trend in Europe known as ‘Tarrush Jamai’ is the practice of raping women openly. It literally translates as ‘Collective Harrassment’, wherein a large group of people commit sexual assault under the anonymity of large gatherings of crowd. While this is a rising trend across the world, our own country faces a disturbingly rising trend of mob violence.

 

Violence taking new shapes

‘Co passengers killing 15 year old Junaid in an alleged row over train seats in UP’, ‘DSP Ayudh Pandit being lynched on duty for no apparent reason in Nowhatta’, ‘jail warden Manjula Shetye killed brutally after assault by women police constables over two eggs and five pavs’, ‘an 18 year old girl burnt alive by neighbour’s son because she resisted being molested by him’; ‘a 15 year old girl sacrificed as a part of tantric ritual wherein her dead body was raped and her blood offered to the Goddess’, ‘gang rape of a young woman while her rapists threw her baby out of a moving vehicle’; ‘An 8 year old dying on her wedding night due to internal haemorrhaging caused by sexual assault by her 40 year old husband, in Yemen’- The biggest horror in this chain of mindless brutality and gross breach of human dignity, whether by an individual or a mob, is that they are all unprovoked cold blooded murders. And this trend has assumed alarming proportions.

 

Nowadays, rapists do not stop at rape, they rape in gangs, sodomize and disembowel the victim, goons just do not rob people they bludgeon their victims to death, even children are raped and burned with acid. The social psyche has retarded into a horrible mangle of cruelty, gender-hatred and bizarre. No criminal is just a criminal anymore, they all behave like psychopaths.

 

Where are we heading?

Governments, the world over, seem to be apathetic to this alarming breakdown of law and order and decadence of the society. They are too busy fulfilling vested political interests and taking advantage of the chaos arising out of this apocalyptic situation. Religion, instead of quelling this fire actively fuels it with misleading and treacherous remedies. Terrorism is just one of the offshoots of such brainwashing.

 

Blood, sex and death have always been irresistible fetishes for humans, but with progress in time and civilization, one would expected these to have tempered down with and ‘civil’ and ‘human’ behaviour. But the situation seems to be going from worse to worst!

 

Technology cannot be considered true advancement, rocketing into the next galaxy also is not. Unless every human being can be assured of a life of dignity, safety and well being, these achievements mean nothing. Nothing at all!

 
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#NotInMyName is a campaign which is spreading across multiple cities spontaneously… the common man, right thinking individuals, civilians and artists getting together to register a peaceful protest against bigotry, mob lynching, escalating violence against women and children and utter breakdown of the law and order machinery. We can feel heartened again. This article is a contribution to this campaign and a show of faith and solidarity towards this cause. The whole country of good people is with this cause together. These atrocities and excesses will not go unprotested… #NotInMyName!

 

Antara Banerjee
Author of ‘The Goddess in Flesh’ and ‘To be a Woman’, Antara Banerjee is an ardent commentator on social issues. Masters from the prestigious Goldsmiths College of London and graduated from Presidency College, Kolkata, she is now the Creative Head at Fourth Dimension, Mumbai. She is also the Head, Women Empowerment Committee, Rakshak Foundation, Kolkata and the recipient of Udaan, Empowering Women Awards, 2016 for her outstanding contribution in women centric literature.

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