We are all fighting some battles. Battles for ourselves, for others, for things we don’t fully know about and also for things we know nothing about. But, are we truly fighting for the right cause or just making complete fool out of ourselves? Have the true causes been lost amidst the entire craze for ‘doing it right’? Someone has rightly said, half knowledge is a dangerous thing, even dangerous than knowing nothing.
At times, I feel that we are nothing more than a flock of sheep, doing and following what everyone else does. The realisation of this failure sends a chill down my spine and makes me question my own existence as an individual on this planet.
The recent updates and outrage on the social media against the Delhi High Court grabbed my attention since it was being accused of something it had not done. At no point of time did the Delhi High Court in a certain case say that menopausal women cannot be raped. If that’s the case then is the anger of the youth justified? I would rather call it the impotent anger raging amongst the youth. Doesn’t it reflect our own shortcomings and how we have failed as individuals, as a society, since all of us easily get influenced by the mob? That’s how the mob psychology works, it does not let us think and hence action seems to be a lost cause then!
What actually happened in 2010?
A 65 year old woman, identified as Sharda was found dead in her house located in Majnu ka Tila in Delhi on 31 December, 2010. The police later arrested Achey Lal, a 45 year old man who was also found in the same room in a crocked state. Where the lower court convicted Lal to a 10 year Rigorous Imprisonment (RI), the Delhi High Court acquitted him claiming, “…It has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant committed sexual intercourse with the deceased contrary to her wishes or her consent…”
Where did the whole problem/confusion start?
DNA and some other newspaper published a report as the judgement of the Delhi High Court that the woman could not have been raped since she had crossed the age of menopause. This led to a certain outrage which further took the social media by storm, where people were ready to burn the High Court down [not literally] without even giving the whole issue a second thought.
What if I tell you that this is not what the High Court said in its judgement?
The Unknown truth:
People turned a blind eye to the truth and did not even consider ‘enlightening’ themselves by reading about the whole issue from the ground level, not forgetting the burden they carry on their shoulders. After all, the youth is the future of tomorrow. No wonder what future is in store for all of us! Oh God! Please save us [requires exaggeration].
The judgement states, “As regards the offence punishable under Section 376 Indian Penal Code the deceased was aged around 65-70 years, thus beyond the age of menopause. We find force in the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant that even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased.” This nowhere states that rape of a woman past menopause is not possible.
The judgement did not consider menopause in the main frame and acknowledged the proof of a ‘forceful’ penetration. It also stated that Sharda and Lal had been drinking alcohol. A new angle to the whole story!
On looking at the facts, the judgement states, “The forceful penetration is evident from the injuries on the vaginal orifices. However, besides the injuries on the vagina there is no other injury on the body of the deceased or on the appellant to show that there was any protest by the deceased.”
The whole debate on the ‘no-resistance’ shown by the deceased and the fact that there were no injuries on the other body parts does raise certain questions and forces us to rethink about the actions that were taken and that should have been taken.
PC- Google images
I was however disappointed with the use of the term menopause in the case since it only diluted the whole issue rather than proving to be of any help during the judgement. Where some thought it to be completely irrelevant, others did consider it important. However, it was kept aside as a fact during the judgement which the Delhi High Court gave. The only problem I had was the way it was dealt with, by the others. When do we consider that a woman is raped? A woman who has been raped can never prove it, no matter she has injuries on her body parts or not. Now, no one would expect a dead woman to rise from her grave and seek justice for what happened with her! It is important to understand that such sensitive issues should not be dealt emotionally but logically since the truth remains unknown, where the two sides should be given equal agency. No matter how much one tries, the guilty is always punished since there is no escape for such people in our society.
In a fast world like today where news is served hot straight from the pan, there is always a high possibility of misinterpretation and hyperbole. Is this trust in the media a wrong thing or is it the ‘blind trust’ we are talking about? Is it the same media which once had the power to present things with an open and intellectual approach, without being biased? Today, even when we are aware that most of the print media and social media platforms are funded by political will and corporate leviathans, we do not question the truth of their reports and accept all that is served and presented in front of us. Shouldn’t we believe in our research rather than accepting what is told to us?
Well, that also happens because we have all stopped showing interest in learning and reading things we don’t know about. It’s out there and all of us (exceptions are always there) believe it without questioning it in any form. We have somehow lost interest. Lost focus!
The ‘active’ participation and the right ‘spirit’ of the youth focused in the right direction forms the basis of the proper functioning of the society. Only we can bring a change in the society.
What are you waiting for? Think. Act. Focus.