The encounter of the four alleged rape accused in the gruesome rape and murder of veterinary doctor Priyanka Reddy in Hyderabad has brought a rare wave of appraisal for police's action and an assumed sense of closure. But this is the opening of a new Pandora's box as now a debate is due to ensue as the claims of encounter to be a fake will enrage the masses to pick sides of either instant justice or the long road to judicial justice. These categories are too vague to include the range of emotions our society is experiencing.
A Nirbhaya story retold? - Parallels between the the Nirbhaya case and the one of Hyderabad vet's case have been numerous. Both were working women with a promising future who's lives were brutally cut short by heinous gangrape and murder. There was a similar public outrage, the first of its king to bring change in laws regarding rape. It seemed like a watershed moment and yes it was as it jolted the conscious of people to wake up to reality of mindset of the whole cross section of society. But where Nirbhaya lagged, Hyderabad case succeeded and that is instant gratification ( not instant justice).
Either by God's own design or by a righteous justice of police, only a sense of justice is created and not the true justice. The overwhelming public outrage has been treated with a bandage where surgery was required. What would have been justice?
Justice would have been Priyanka Reddy calling police and not her sister when feeling threatened. Why was there a hitch in trusting the saviors of law and order. Justice would have been no women ever needing to carry pepper spray before stepping out. Justice would have been no questions asked about what a girl's attire, purpose of being out at night, her familiarization with the rapist and a long list of the do's and don'ts rolled out kept at bay. Justice would have been we as a society being coming to terms to women being living, thinking and feeling beings and not the punch bag of patriarchal mindset.
The list will go very long and can sound very rhetoric but the reality lies in the fact that we should question our own conditioning and be more aware of the injustices that we inflict upon gender issues in our daily life.
Justice delayed is justice denied. Fast track courts, better police response, proactive monitoring and addressing gender sensitisation issues is the need of the hour. On a personal note I have a big problem with the kind of regressive rubbish roles out in the name of entertainment, especially on television. Projecting women as whining creatures settling in household comfort from whatever aspiring start the make in the start of the serial makes me wonder at the tunnel vision of show makers. The blooming of such shows highlights the demand of such junk which shows acceptance of such hegemony of regression.
Right from the childhood the principles of equality, respect and flexible gender roles should be imbibed in the minds of young ones. We reap what we sow. So be the change you want to see. A conscious effort of unlearning the dictates of patriarchal mindset will go a long way. A rape is never an act in isolation it carries the baggage of social conditioning and held a mirror to the rot in the society. It cannot be amputated but only healed.
Written by- Phoenix