‘A rape is a rape’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Apr 2018 11:36:57

THESE words of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi -- “A rape is a rape” -- reveal his utter sadness over the recent happenings in the country. Though he uttered that statement in his interaction with Indian diaspora at Central Hall of London’s Westminster, he was talking to every Indian person across the world. “A rape is a rape and there should be no politics over it”, he insisted, thereby revealing the anxiety the Indian people are experiencing currently over the sad happenings. His appeal that there should be no politics over such ghastly happenings makes a great sense in the current context where politically-driven people are trying to place the whole blame of every rape at the Government’s door in general and the Prime Minister’s door in particular.

The saddened face of the Prime Minister spoke everything. A seasoned politician he is, Mr. Modi obviously does not worry about politics. Yet, when the issue is of rape -- and even murder -- he feels intensely that politics should be kept out consciously. For, when politics enters an issue, everything has to zero in on blaming this or that person, and claiming the credit for this or that thing or action. In other words, that means politics gets a precedence over prudence. The Prime Minister rued exactly over this aspect, and urged everybody to shun politics over an issue as sensitive as rape. “A rape is a rape, and there should be no politics over it”, he stressed.

His appeal does not come from a vacuum. It comes from the actual happenings in the country. Rape has always been a dirty reality of the ever-degrading Indian social system, not for the few years but for the past so many countless decades -- after Independence and also before Independence. That it is getting reported in a more pronounced manner, is the latest addition to our public comprehension of critical issues. But the fact that rape was always taking place in the most ugly manner in our society, should have become a political issue at all times holding each Prime Minister responsible for the crime. This hurts not just the Prime Minister’s sensibilities but also those of every thinking Indian. Mr. Modi’s appeal to keep politics out of the issue of rape stems from this larger concern that goes beyond his instinct of survival in politics, but from his intent of making efforts to cleanse the societal rot.

Obviously, such a cleansing cannot be achieved if we push political agendas into the issue. When a rape takes place, it hurts everybody, including whosoever is the Prime Minister or whosoever is in the Government. It hurts the entire social ethos and brings to fore the animalistic instincts that dominate the human brain when the person gets into the act of rape. Such an act cannot be blamed on the Prime Minister. The slush cannot be sorted out through legislation alone, however strong it may be. The legislation will have to be supported by an effort of social cleansing and monitoring of all uncouth elements that can be agents of filth. The Prime Minister was asking for such a social action.

On a parallel track, President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind also has slammed rape, describing it as “heinous and shameful”. He also has asked for a better societal control for the safety and security of its children. “What kind of a society are we growing into”, he has grieved. It is clear that even the President is talking of a greater role for the society to play as regards the crime as heinous as rape. Obviously, he also is pushing for a vision and action beyond politics.
This insistence by the two leaders upon keeping politics out of the issue of rape and the damage it inflicts on the society has a substance we can hardly afford to ignore. The current efforts by some vested interests to link politics to beat down the Government are totally reprehensible, which we cannot forget.