India’s Rape Crisis: Teenage Girl Gang-Raped and Murdered in Raniganj, West Bengal

“The whole thing becomes like this evil enchantment from a fairy tale, but you’re made to believe the spell can never be broken.” – Jess C. Scott, Heart’s Blood

It has emerged that a 15-16-year-old girl was tragically gang-raped and murdered on Friday night, 9 June 2017 near the railway ground in Raniganj, Girjapara.  After the incident, the perpetrators vanished leaving her body lying out in the open for all to see. Police were called, took the body away, conducted a post-mortem, and gave the family permission to burn the body as per the Hindu customs and rituals.It should be noted that the girl came from a poor family and lived with her mother and brother in a rented home in Raniganj.

Residents of Raniganj, as well as well-connected citizens, are asking hard questions about the local police’s seemingly unwillingness to conduct the necessary investigation and arrest the perpetrators. They want justice for the deceased girl and her family. Surely it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the perpetrators as there is an eye witness with photographic evidence?

Women’s rights, India’s rape crisis, and the Caste system

Shaan Khan of the Daily Beast in her article asking what is really behind the rape crisis in India notes that Amnesty International has reported that, although the Indian government has passed new laws on crimes against women, they have not effectively been implemented. Furthermore, the rape crisis has worsened during Narendra Modi’s reign as India’s prime minister.

2014 statistics indicate that only 37 000 rapes were reported during the entire year; however, it is reported that a woman is raped every 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. Unfortunately, a large percentage of rapes are not reported.

These horrifying statistics beg the following questions: Why are there such high levels of violence against women, what can be done to prevent the rape crisis in India, and why aren’t rapes reported?

The caste system can be seen as a simple answer to the question of why the rape and crime statistics again women are so high in India. Women are seen as lower than men. Furthermore, Hindu scriptures are conflicting in their attitude towards women. Wikipedia states that “Hindu texts present diverse and conflicting views on the position of women, ranging from feminine leadership as the highest goddess to limiting her role to an obedient daughter, housewife and mother.”

Furthermore, India has an imbalance in the male to female gender ratio. It is known as the Bare Branches phenomenon by economists and socialists. Essentially, boys are preferred over girls; ergo, these Bare Branches (males without a hope of finding a wife) threaten domestic stability and international security. It is interesting to note that while China has a similar problem to India, Chinese men are well-behaved around women, yet India has a rape crisis!

Final thoughts

There is no doubt that the Indian government needs to take the domestic rape crisis or culture of rape more seriously than it seems to be doing at the moment. The rest of the globe is looking in from outside, shocked at the lack of attention being paid to these issues. The fact of the matter is that national and local government has to start taking these matters seriously; otherwise violence against women and girl children will continue to ravage the country.

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