Rohit Mishra

Thoughts which don’t fit in 140 characters.

Rape and the Victim’s Trial by the Media

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Gurgaon gang rape: Let me tell you all about this girl…

Firstpost has a good piece on how the Indian police and media go after the victim of a rape and expose her identity ignoring all established human right laws and judgments on privacy by the Supreme Court.

It is imperative that the governments both at the center and in the states work together to establish how the police deals with the media to control flow of information in cases such as these. Also, the government, which is ever too eager to play up the value of censorship, should sit together with the representatives of electronic and print media, and establish guidelines which prevent the identity of victims to be disclosed.

Also, we as citizens of a democratic country need to respect others’ rights. When people see that a girl working in a pub beyond midnight got raped, they somehow manage to rationalize it.

What was the girl doing so late? She brought it upon herself. What was she wearing? Was she drunk? Was she roaming out with friends?

Such chatter will take place at most places. Lets understand that none of this is our business and none of this justifies rape. What is morally right varies a lot in this country of a billion people. But when something happens which is illegal by law, our morals shouldn’t cloud how we respond to it.

Update: The Times of India is reporting that the Gurgaon police has invoked an archaic law which prohibits women from working in a shopping mall, pub or commercial establishment after 8pm without prior permission from the labor department. The Police has put the entire onus on safety of women on the shoulders of mall and pub owners. Instead of ensuring safety of women and maintaining a rule of law, they want to prohibit women from having equal opportunity to work. The fact that such laws exist and are used by our police is a shame to our democracy.