TODAY -

Manipur dotted on gang rape map of India

Jyaneswar Laishram *

Manipur on India Map
Manipur on India Map



'What is the need of roaming at night with men who are not relatives? This should be stopped!' This was what a mindless national political leader from Uttar Pradesh said giving his diktat on the 'December 16 Delhi Gang Rape' four years back. He was not alone, a host of other mindless leaders joined him to orchestrate similar stupid statements on the brutal gang rape of the 23-year-old paramedic student, who was sexually assaulted and beaten up brutally by a gang of seven rapists in the capital city, on the fateful night when she returned home after watching movie with her boyfriend.

The same stupid statements are heard today in Manipur too, said by yet another bunch of mindless people commenting on the gang rape of two high-school girls at Phaknung in Imphal on the night of Cheiraoba.

Of late, rallies have organised and harsh punishment demanded. But why was the scene something else and so deserted at the onset? At the first place, when the crime surfaced and no rescuers at sight, instead of taking up strident action to curb such shameful reprehensible social menace, a handful of mindless meira paibi activists from Khurai Angom Leikai, where six of the seven rapists are from, stood up to defend the culprits, saying it was the girls' fault all the way for getting themselves raped.

They blamed the victims for roaming at night with boys. And they cheered the rapists, applauding them for teaching the girls a lesson. Their mindlessness has attained a critical stage as they seem to have feeble brain, incapable to judge 'who is right' and 'who is wrong' in a rape case.

Before getting late, now is the right time for the meira paibi activists to attend counseling on understanding rape to understand the sensitivity of the case. Or they should be wrapped up before receiving stark outrage from some thoughtful people over their primitive mentality on women's issues. Their problem is the lack of basic knowledge on fundamental rights of a woman or a girl. They should be taught - 'There's nothing wrong and unlawful with those women or girls roaming at night around wherever places with whomsoever friends. Wrong and unlawful here is those who rape them,' - with chalk and board.

Rape, by a gang or an individual, is one of the most common crimes occurred more frequently than usual in mainland India. The whole world knows this fact. And north India is worst among all. In this part of the county where society is extremely patriarchal, love marriages and courtship relationships among boys and girls are a strict taboo. As a result, the term 'girlfriend' has a very negative meaning, unlike its version in Manipur. For boys in mainland India, 'girlfriend' literally means 'temporary sex' before their marriage. And marriage to these boys is something their parents have already fixed with random brides chosen mainly for big fat dowries.

In Manipur, the chance of two young lovers to get married in future is 90 percent. And in mainland India, the chance of two lovers to lose each other in future is 90 percent as they are forbidden from choosing their life partners. In the eyes of mainland Indian boys, girls around them are nothing much but some transitory sex objects. Such a culture eventually creates a world in which boys lack understanding and reciprocated relationship with girls, which in turn leads to rapes, either by gangs or individuals, in mainland India. Is this hypothesis relevant to Manipur and those young rapists from Khurai Angom Leikai?

Mainland Indian men, according to author Shobbaa De in her book Superstar India, are sex machines. They are sex machines because they think about sex all the time more than anything else. In sex crime-ridden north India, the way men are starring at women in public places is rather annoying, and alarming too. From foreign tourists to film personalities, whoever visited India for the first time always left a negative remark on the nature of Indian sex-starved men folk.

In defense of it, India has nothing to say but to divert blame on overpopulation and skewed sex ratio. That's not the real ground. Neighbouring China too has the same surplus male population problem, but they have no issue of out-of-control sex crime, which India is facing adversely now and then, seeing no respite to cure it in near future.

Is there any reason why Chinese men don't appear to be overindulging in sex crime, unlike Indian men? Yes, one specific reason is that they are broad minded. To them, women and girls could turn out to be friends, companions, colleagues, neighbours… not 'objects of desire' all the time. This means Chinese men actually tend to behave more gently around women than their Indian counterparts. In this, are Manipuri men behaviourally closer to Chinese men or Indian men? The answer is 'Chinese men' in general. But it may not sound fair now as trauma of Phaknung Gang Rape victims is not yet fully subsided.

What was disturbing, when the gang of seven boys from Khurai Angom Leikai raped the two minor high-school girls on the night of Cheiraoba at Phaknung, was the utter silence of the protest-loving general public of Manipur, followed by an unwanted noise from some meira paibi activists with mainland Indian mindset on rape issue - blaming the victims for everything and hoodwinking everything to provide unethical asylum to the rapists. And it took days to report the crime to police, even though an active non-governmental child and woman welfare organisation in Imphal unearthed the crime straight away on the very next day.

There was no one other than a lone friend of mind, a woman journalist, who spilled out solo anger against the shameful crime, which is noticeably the rarest of the rare in Manipur, on a social media platform. In the follow-up, a spiral of protests has been picking up. Even the protesters on streets demand capital punishment for the rapists. But what is ultimately sad but true here is that the hideous incident has included Manipur in the rape map of India!


* Jyaneswar Laishram wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is editor at S-Media Group, New Delhi and can be contacted at ozzyjane(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on May 03, 2017.


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