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Kathua, Unnao rape cases: Why PM Modi's silence is deafening

By Maitreyee Boruah
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    New Delhi, April 13: When the most eloquent man in the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known for his oratory skills, goes silent on two of the most horrendous rape cases the nation has witnessed in the recent times, it speaks volumes about the total collapse of administration in the country.

    While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers in Jammu and Kashmir openly supported the accused in the Kathua rape case, in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao incident, the alleged perpetrator of the crime is none other than BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is yet to be arrested.

    modi

    In spite of the direct involvement of BJP and right-wing men in both the cases where human bestiality will put even animals to shame, Modi on Thursday was seen in the high-profile defence expo in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Modi spoke on various issues in the southern city, but he remained mum on the rape cases when protesters on roads and social media soldiers demanded answers from him.

    The unfortunate unfolding of both the rape cases--one, where an 8-year-old girl in Jammu's Kathua was kidnapped, drugged, gang-raped and killed to instill fear in people belonging to the nomadic Bakerwal Muslim community by eight men in January, and the second, in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, where a 16-year-old girl was raped last year by the BJP MLA but the authorities failed to give her justice till date--can't be brushed under the carpet.

    The agony of the teenager in Uttar Pradesh has been further aggravated, after the girl's father died in the police custody because of the brutal physical assault on him by the accused MLA's brother.

    Both the crimes showcase how rape is used as a tool to silence people belonging to the minority community (in the Kathua incident) and how powerful people like Sengar (in Unnao case) can move scot-free even after an FIR was registered against him.

    The two shameful cases will surely be remembered in the future where power and politics joined hands to kill the justice system which is otherwise accountable to women/girls.

    It is a well-known fact that the PM remains silent on all unpleasant episodes that have hit the country in the last four years of the BJP government. Modi spoke only to woo young voters before their board exams, but he remained stoically silent when CBSE question papers were leaked threatening to damage the career of lakhs of children.

    Similarly, Modi spoke on the birth anniversaries of Dalit icons but remained quiet when Dalits were killed during the nationwide protests to oppose the alleged dilution of the SC/ST act recently. Again, Modi always 'stands tall' to talk about his pet project, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (Save the girl child, educate the girl child) during public events.

    Now, when the nation is asking him to at least condemn the heinous crimes against the minors, the PM seems to be too detached from the ground reality. The PM's silence is not his lack of awareness about the happenings in the nation. Like all, Modi knows the direct involvement of his own party colleagues and their continuous attempts to subvert the justice system in both the cases. By turning his back on crimes against women/girls, Modi in a way gives an impression about his government's tactical support to the accused.

    Like Modi, till yesterday, most of his cabinet ministers and opposition leaders were silent over the rape cases. Till now, not a single BJP woman minister in the Modi cabinet has spoken about the horrific crimes against the humanity. Perhaps, for them saving their ministerial berths by avoiding any sort of confrontation with their party is more important than speaking on behalf of the country's women. It is only Union minister VK Singh who condemned the rape and killing of Kathua girl on Thursday.

    Congress president Rahul Gandhi was also silent before he was nudged on social media to break his maun vrat (vow of silence) too. On Thursday, Rahul tweeted and lead a midnight candlelight march to protest crimes against women in the national capital.

    Next time when Modi will speak during a well-organised PR event on women, India's betis won't be able to bear his words, as the chowkidar has not only failed to ensure their safety but betrayed them when they needed him the most.

    On Friday too, a shell-shocked nation is talking about Kathua and Unnao rape cases. They expressed their anguish on social media over the cruelty and injustice meted to the girls.

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