Only a couple of days ago, Samajwadi party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav made a comment on the crimes against women in SP ruled state of Uttar Pradesh. He said ,
“If you consider the population of UP, which is 21 crore, the incidents of rape are very few in number,”.
All across the media, Mulayam Singh’s statement is declared sexist, insensitive etc. The comment is also portrayed as a white lie.
Yesterday, Aziz Qureshi, the septuagenarian Uttarakhand governor, who was given additional charge of UP about a month ago when Governor BL Joshi quit, made another remark. When reporters’ question about the rising incidence of crime against women in UP, Qureshi said :
“Agar Bhagwan bhi yahaan utar aayein toh rape nahin rok saktey, Duniya bhar ki police bhi aap yahaan laga dein, to bhi rape nahin rok paayenge.”
(Even if God were to descend here, he would not be able to stop rapes. You can’t stop rape even if you bring in the police of the entire world here.)
“Rape cannot be stopped,” he asserted in English.
All through yesterday, the TV news channels kept calling Qureshi’s comment as distasteful, disrespectful, insensitive and callous.
No doubt, the comments of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Aziz Qureshi are insensitive, distasteful , callous etc. As no Government can justify low crime as no crime; and any crime as resulting from human psychology. If crime is a bad thing, then there must be zero crime. If zero crime is an utopia then every Government must aspire for it.
But, a society or a nation which sees itself as an aware and enlightened society and culture, must be able to separate rhetoric, biased views from the substance. We can’t take everything the TV channels and newspapers feed us as truth and don’t probe other perspectives. Any society which simply consumes information, is simply not aware.
Under this light , the Comments of Mulayam Singh, UP Governor also point to a Biased Media. A media which suppresses truth and most of the times offers tailor made information.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, Aziz Qureshi’s comments may be unnecessary, but are they white lies? That’s are they feeding the citizens a lie? Is there any other state in India which surpasses Uttar Pradesh on the number of rape cases; and still the biased media choose not to talk about that state?
Every year for the past two decades (20 years) Madhya Pradesh has led the country for the highest number of rapes. In 2011 (the most recent complete figures available) there were 3,406 reported cases of rape in Madhya Pradesh: nine women raped every day.
But since, Madhya PRadesh is ruled by the BJP for all this while, the media cleverly keeps silent. Leave aside the question of atrocity of women on India, the media even chose not to talk about the Vyapam irregularities , the recruitment body of Madhya Pradesh Government.
One of the pet topics or rhetorics of the Saffron brigade and its political arm BJP is the assertion that the increasing crimes on women in India is a result of the adoption of Western Culture by a section of Indians.
At the peak of Delhi Sexual Assault protests last year, Mohan Bhagwat, head of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the organisation behind BJP said,
“Crimes against women happening in urban India are shameful. It is a dangerous trend. But such crimes won’t happen in Bharat or the rural areas of the country. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang rape or sex crimes. Where Bharat becomes India with the influence of Western culture, these type of incidents happen.”
This is, for a start, entirely untrue. Rapes and sexual assaults do occur in rural India. In fact, it’s the rural India , where the majority of them take place.
Court data show 75 per cent of India’s rape convictions were for a crime committed in a rural area, a figure that broadly reflects India’s urban-rural divide. (The statistics were collated by Mrinal Satish, associate professor of law at Delhi’s National Law University; India’s National Crime Records Bureau does not break down offences by place size).
This state, Madhya Pradesh, is overwhelmingly rural, nearly three-quarters of its population lives outside a city. That’s why it tops the rape cases in India.
As already said above, no one can justify any crime on women and children , on any pretext. But we need to understand that in the ear deafening shouts of callous, insensitive, Westernisation, Modernisation, India culture, the media and certain political parties are suppressing the truth. If Madhya Pradesh or any other state tops the chart of crimes against women; then we must acknowledge that as well. As, the goodwill of women and children is important in every corner of the country.
Closing his comments, Qureshi said,
“The police need to mobilize public opinion, create an atmosphere and strike fear in the hearts of criminals. Police should do its work more diligently, investigate crime incidents and ensure punishment to the guilty,”
We can surely agree with these concluding remarks. But people of his stature must speak carefully, the next time. Logic can’t be applied everywhere.