Everytime a rape occurs and the accused is a rich, elite man I get goose bumps & really don’t wish to read the newspapers. Yes, despite the fact that I work for a newspaper.
The reason being simple, I & the rest of millions of readers are forced to read utter crap like how innocent the accused – most often safely addressed as ‘alleged’ accused.
The latest being India’s actor SHiney Ahuja is now serving a jail term, deservingly. The day the information of his heinous act occurred the first reaction of most middle class elite Indians was of shock & disbelief. Why? Because the victim was a domestic worker, cleaner at his house. He had asked her to bring a glass of water, when she did, he locked the door, grabbed her & finished his act of unleashing violence on her.
The young girl a minor couldn’t get out of the house and her friend another domestic worker brought her out of the house. She ofcorz looked dishevelled, trembling with fear. But was the average Indian’s reaction “Oh! Poor Shiney, this one is a gold digger.” “He couldn’t find anyone else? How low could he stoop to rape a domestic worker,” “She must have lured him, see now his innocence will be proved.” Worse things were said of that poor child.
Years ago a sex worker was summoned forcibly into a car of an abso doped, insolent brash drunk driving son of an industrialist. She was raped. So the general India was appalled. “How can anyone rape a sex worker?” “She must’ve only done something to attract this poor boy,” etc etc..blah blah…utter rubbish was published in innumerable reams of expensive newsprint paper.
What I don’t understand is how news reporters of my clan presume the man is always innocent? That the rich can never do any harm, that how the victim is always guilty, while the accused ain’t one till proven so?? There are NO written or otherwise rules that say who is guilty or not….however we continue to presume wrongly.
I shudder to think how reporters agree to go the immediate relatives, family members and neighbours of the accused who ALWAYS say: “We have seen playing with our children, he is so nice, warm, caring, he is very polite. He doesn’t ‘look’ like a rapist!!” who is a rapist? Who looks like a rapist? Can anyone tell what is a profile of a rapist? Is there any rule book, police act or law that says how a rapist looks like, which caste, class, income group? What are their personality defects? Is he clean shavem bearded? Is he from lower, higher caste, class? I mean what are we saying every time a young rookie or more so a wanna be investigative journalist goes & does a reaction based in-put of ‘How neighbours of the alleged accused say he is innocent!’ Absolutely insane things are allowed to be published.
I want to know does anyone know there may be a sexual assaulter sitting rt here next to us? May be within the family, in the neighbourhood. Some are brazen, others not so open, these are predators and get away always because there is a hidden sanction from the rest of the society a bloody license given to someone to be free when he should be sitting behind bars for the rest of his life. Often the people around run to the rescue of the predators who then get escape routes like in Shiney’s case. He had on his side India’s leading film diretor Mahesh Bhatt who promptly said it was ‘consensual sex.’
The another important that worked in the victim’s favour is that she was promptly taken by her friend’s employer to the police. The police in turn sharpened their claws and took her immediately for medical tests. Before the semen could get dissolved or washed in crores of rupees of bribes or hidden in dirty cupboards in form of suppressed police files. The case has all the formula of a Bollywood movie…sadly at the cost of one innocent life – whose innocence is forever lost.
However our faith in a poor, vulnerable girl/woman being innocent has been lost since long…we simply do not faith in ourselves, sadly even women suspect such victims, what makes it worse is that it includes young, up-coming girl journalists!