The Hathras Horror: Politics over Humanity

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The world’s biggest democracy shook off its feet recently when yet another horrifying incident made the headlines. Firstly, a girl was ruthlessly gangraped at Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, but the turmoil didn’t just stop there, the rapists then slit her tongue, broke her spine and left her to die. The dreaded story does not even end here. Nothing can justify the injustice done to the family of the Hathras case by the UP police who denied them to see the dead body for the last time. The police even went a notch above and hurriedly cremated the dead body of the girl while barricading the family members back at their residence. To the surprise of family members, the forensic report claims that the victim wasn’t raped even after she herself gave a statement from her death bed. Nevertheless, the truth that cannot be denied is the fact that it was inhuman torture that ultimately claimed her life. After the conscious group of citizens raised a hullabaloo over social media, the case has now been handed over to the CBI by the chief minister Yogi Adityanath. That the girl belongs to the marginalised Dalit community, the bad shadow of the caste angle also comes to the picture. None can deny that injustices born out of caste prejudices still exist in India, particularly in rural parts of the country. On the other hand, many are of the opinion that the government is trying to hush the incident. This becomes evident with the recent altercation between the UP police and opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi who were denied permission to visit the family of the victim in question. The Yogi government easily scrapped the incident by stating that they were avoiding any untoward law and order situation by stopping the opposition leaders and their mass supporters from visiting the area. However, this cannot be supported in a democracy. It is true that often the law and order situation goes for a toss when opposition leaders, who are followed by their supporters, visit such places as a result of clashes between supporters of the ruling party and the opposition parties. But that cannot mean that opposition leaders should be denied to visit a victim’s family in a democracy. However, the Yogi government later allowed the opposition leaders to visit the victim’s family. It also suspended the SP and DSP of Hathras and requested the CBI to take over the case.

On the other hand, in Balrampur too, a 22 year old girl died after being allegedly gangraped. However, the interesting point here is the fact that why one alleged gangrape case gets highlighted and the other of the same state doesn’t? Going by the recent trend it seems that votes are more important for the political leaders than humanity. Two cases against two girls who were labelled ‘Dalit’ from the same state, but while one is the talk of the nation the other is gradually getting lost in the oblivion. Is this the way the rape or gangrape cases against women, particularly the marginalised Dalit women, be dealt by looking into vote bank politics?

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