'Let's see what God wants' were her last words; Where will Iranian woman, Nirbhaya settle scores?

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The Iranian woman's tale is not unknown to us, not even in this century where women have 'better' living conditions, a 'free' space to practice what she believes, etc. The true story, however, is a bitter pill that makes us cringe in pain. The situation has been the same for us. It was us who were living in a world (akin to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's men in the book '100 Years of Solitude') that was never there.

The only difference is, women can now cry their voices horase in protest (unlike their predecessors), but every bit of the rest of the story is the same.

We do not have names

'The one who was raped', 'Nirbhaya', 'the Iranian Woman', it feels strange how these phrases register people in bold letter, but not their names. Nobody is interested; thanks to the social set-up and the humongous shame that comes with a victim of rape. Indeed!

But what about the shame that should come with the society's vision of a woman? Aren't rapes an outcome of the distorted social values and decrees that it wishes to see in a woman?

Nirbhaya was not supposed to roam around with a guy friend in a notorious place like Munirka at that hour of night! She invited trouble. Strangely, a society can accept five men gangraping and ripping the body of a woman into pieces, but it cannot accept the personal choices of a woman.

The Iranian woman should have allowed herself to be raped; she should have paid the blood money and accepted her fault. That would have saved her life, but rattled her conscience. So what, people would have forgiven and forgotten. But she chose otherwise. She wanted the world to know her story. What she went through and how she endured the mental and the physical torture. She wrote her heart out bashing the judiciery, the 'victim' and the people of her country. But the patriotism in her soul spoke, she still loved her nation and the people.

Khaps, Afghan laws: Public humiliation and politics

Indeed, when the judicial system in Iran can show sympathy with a 'rapist', then why do we criticize the khaps in India? What is wrong with the women being stoned to death in Afghanistan for small affairs or for loving someone.

India's khaps may not have been constitutionalised, but they have a say in the government as they form an important part of the electoral process and have the capacity to make or break a government. So, nobody messes with them and their decrees.

Afghan politics too is complicated when it comes to women. According to news sources, 12 years after the fall of the Taliban, the Afghan government is considering to bring back the gruesome punishment of public stoning as a punishment for sex outside marriage. This is their ministry of justice.

Article 21 of their law book says,"Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances to one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning [to death]." Article 23 further adds,"stoning should be public."

Wazhma Frogh, executive director of the Research Institute for Women, Peace & Security said,"In the whole history of Afghan law we never had an official punishment of stoning ... we are very worried about the return of the Taliban-like treatment of women.It has been a punishment under sharia, so its almost impossible for many of us to take a public position [against it]. We as women's organisations have to come together, but at the same time it's very scary."

Interestingly, stoning of women for adultery is on the penal code of many Muslim countries like Iran. But it has been stopped in others like Morocco, Algeria and Indonesia.

Doesn't this remind one of the Kangaroo court verdict in Birbhum, which ordered the gangrape of a 20-year old tribal woman as she fell in love with a man outside her community and later failed to cough up Rs 50,000 as penalty.

Consider this, the man was released with a small fine.

Rape statistics of the world

According to official records, the top five countries with the Highest Rates of Rape are Lesotho, Sweden, St Vincent and the Granadines, New Zealand and Belgium. 

According to a UN report, Lesotho had a rate of of 88.6 rape cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011.

Sweden has the highest rate of rape in Europe with UN reporting 69 rape cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011. 

St Vincent and the Granadines reported 51.21 percent rapes per 100,000, as compared to 30.8 in the Bahamas and 29.6 in Jamaica.  And the numbers continue...

Setting scores beyond life

Read the sarcasm in the Iranian woman's letter to her mother: How optimistic was he who expected justice from the judges! She further said:

"The world did not love us. It did not want my fate. And now I am giving in to it and embrace the death. Because in the court of God I will charge the inspectors, I will charge inspector Shamlou, I will charge judge, and the judges of country's Supreme Court that beat me up when I was awake and did not refrain from harassing me. In the court of the creator I will charge Dr. Farvandi, I will charge Qassem Shabani and all those that out of ignorance or with their lies wronged me and trampled on my rights and didn't pay heed to the fact that sometimes what appears as reality is different from it."

But do we really have to do that?

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