FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Rape. No more. No less. No words
Updated:Jul 28, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Fifteen years is a long time. Especially for justice to have gone undelivered.
 
Mukhtaran Mai has survived it all. Her gang rape sent shockwaves across global capitals. It also shook the Pakistani establishment to the core. Not because of the violence meted out in the name of village justice. But because this poor and illiterate village woman had dared to speak up while the international media listened.
 
The conservative circles dismiss Mai as a figment of the latter’s creation. Gen Musharraf accused victims such as Mai of staging rape to get foreign nationalities. Mai stayed the course and we can’t help but admire her very real courage. It’s a separate matter that there has been some appropriation at work over the years. For instance she was named Glamour magazine Woman of the Year and also taken to a Karachi catwalk. In her own words, the latter was a symbolic move to inspire women everywhere one step at a time. We are a little skpectical of Pakistani fashion elite’s tokenism towards a woman whose class status would ordinarily have seen her far, far removed from the fashion pack.
 
There has also been an American opera based on her life story. Thumbprint first hit theatres back in 2014 but Mai only travelled to the United States last month to watch her life play out, this time, before an audience of a different kind. This in itself shows immense bravery. Mai’s ordeal continues. She, after all, had to contend with her rapists as neighbours. Their children attend her school. This is an extremely torturous story to live. And harder, seemingly, to tell on stage. While Mai’s story is celebrated across the globe, things haven’t changed much at home.
 
Fifteen years on, also somewhere in the Multan area, two young girls are at the centre of a revenge rape. The story goes something like this: they share an extended family. The 12-year-old was raped by a cousin. As ‘retribution’, the same was done to the attacker’s teenaged sister, who suffered the ordeal within earshot of her parents and other male relatives. Which the makes the latter, to our mind, no different from those men who shared and ‘enjoyed’ a video of a young girl being raped by a gang of four after it was uploaded online. The positive news in this latest case is that some 20 men have been arrested.
 
Pakistan’s broken justice system has another chance to redeem itself. It could not give justice to Mai and this new case may just be another opportunity that must not be squandered. Once the judges, media and the federal and provincial governments think that there is life beyond Panama case perhaps they can make an example out of the jirga that ordered yet another gang rape.
 
That the state apparatus has a very definite penchant for banning all accounts of Pakistanis by Pakistanis for Pakistanis that it believes are unflattering to the country — we everyday breathe a sigh of relief. For the powers-that-be have yet to prevent Pakistan’s media from reporting such crimes against the country’s women.  And there we shall leave it. We don’t want to give them any ideas.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Morocco go back a millennium with the first recorded links dating to the 14th century, when the famous traveller and writer from Tangier, Ibn Batuta, travelled to India.
 
read-more
US President Donald Trump has said he sees a “critical” role for India in his country's South Asia strategy for fighting terrorism and building up a safe Afghanistan.
 
read-more
On 14 August 1947 Pakistan, consisting of East and West Pakistan, celebrated its independence. The 14th was chosen for the ceremony because Lord Mountbatten who came to Karachi as the Chief Guest had to later leave for Delhi where ot the midnight stroke India was to declare its independence.
 
read-more
The Doklam stand-off and a variety recent opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers draws attention to the poor state of defence policy preparedness and the lack of meaningful higher defence control in India. 
 
read-more
The two ideologically divergent ruling partners - the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - in Jammu and Kashmir are headed for a showdown as the debate over the abrogation of Article 35A of the Constitution of India heats up.
 
read-more
At the root of the present Doklam crisis is China’s intrusion into Bhutanese territory for its road building projects. These connectivity projects are integral to President Xi Jinping’s dream project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India and Bhutan were the only two countries that did not participate in the first forum
 
read-more
There are six encouraging and bold pillars in the new US strategy on Afghanistan as outlined by President Donald Trump.
 
read-more
Is the United States threatened by Nazism? The short answer is no, notwithstanding the frightening events in Charlottesville, Virginia, recently.
 
read-more
It is a privilege to be invited to this most prestigious of law schools in the country, more so for someone not formally lettered in the discipline of law. I thank the Director and the faculty for this honour.
 
read-more
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Column-image

Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive