TODAY -

Rape in the land of Meira Paibis : Palpable double standard
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 06 2018 -



Yet another rape allegation. Yet another case of the victim turning out to be a minor and what is more horrifying is the news that the rape accused is the driver of a school van and the victim a student who takes the van to school and back.

Frightening it is, but here is an instance to demonstrate that the girl child is not safe anywhere even while going to school or while being dropped.

A line of thought which must have occurred to all parents who have young daughters. At the moment, the perpetrator is not more than an accused for he is yet to be convicted, but it sure is a disturbing sign to see that there are more and more reports of young girls being sexually molested by people who are deemed to be close to her.

It was not just some random stranger who picked up the young child from the street and then molested her, but the driver of a vehicle which ferries her to and from the school.

Surely the accused van driver must be well known to the parents of the young child and the young child herself.

This is not the first time that such a report has hit the Imphal based newspapers and this will not be the last either and this should say something very profound about the mentality of the people as a whole.

True a good number of organisations have come out to condemn the incident and demand even the death penalty for the accused, but the bigger question is why do such incidents occur at an alarming rate ?

This question is important in the face of the fact that Manipur is a small place with a small population where everybody seem to know to everybody and if such a thing can happen then it says that something, somewhere is profoundly wrong.

The Sangai Express is not jumping the gun and asserting that the van driver did rape the young girl.

That is for the law Court to decide but it is nonetheless significant to note that such an allegation has been levelled in the first place.

And this should say something about society as a whole. As repeated many times in this column, rape and molestation of women will continue as long as women are treated as second class citizens.

In the public sphere women are no doubt placed on a pedestal, but take a more insightful look and where do women exactly stand in the social scheme of things ?

As long as women are treated as lesser beings they will continue to be at the receiving end.

To think that rapes and molestations can happen in a place which gave the Meira Paibi movement to the world should say something significant about where women exactly stand in society.

And remember Manipur is home to the one and only Ima Keithel, a market place exclusively run by womenfolk, and this is where the double standards of society becomes all that more palpable.

The two Nupilans are yet another example of how women are placed on the pedestal in the public sphere but how they continue to be punching bags within the confine of one’s home.

All this taken together is the perfect recipe to boost crimes against women and the girl child.

Let justice take its course but at the same time let no one take the law into their own hands in this particular case .



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