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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

When will the National Media look this way? #RapesInAssam

Assam is bleeding. Everyday lately, I hear news of our women being wronged, of our girls being raped, of minor girls being raped and burnt alive. Where is our land heading? What happened suddenly, that we are all sliding into this dangerous chaos? What did the Nirbhaya movement teach us? Or was that all election rhetoric? We must refuse to buy into disillusionment. Of non – hope. We must stand up and fight – injustice

While Bharat and the world look on in horror and disbelief at the Kathua rape and murder, we seem to have regressed to medieval times. Why has this happened? How did the criminals muster up the courage to act with so much impunity? How dare they?

Yes, we are from a corner of Bharat, a part of the North East, but we exist!

Why has the National Media not given this burning issue, the required national coverage? Why have our sisters and daughters been left out of your stories? Been deprived of your coverage? I urge you all to lend your time and attention to this land and to this horror story slowly unfolding. I urge you all to bring these stories to the front, so that the wronged get justice, so that we get the attention of the agencies of justice and I urge you all to do this fast. Children are being burnt alive, killed.

Let us not color Rape with other words and other subtext.

A Rape is a Rape.

It is not a minority vs majority issue

It is not a citizen vs an illegal immigrant issue

It is definitely not a BJP vs Congress issue.

It is definitely not a religious issue.

Let there be no agenda here. Be careful of people who are whispering this to a different context. A Rape is a Rape. We have to go after the perpetrators with the strongest methods. The law of the land has to be so powerful that any deviant mind doesn’t even remotely, think of this possibility and of getting away. It’s not about the death penalty here. It’s about having a strong & unwavering justice system.

The National Media has the strongest role here of bringing crimes to light, of protecting Bharat’s daughters, of protecting Assam’s daughters, of upholding their dignity, their safety.

We are one nation. I hope you all think this way too.

By Joi Barua

(This opinion piece by Joi Barua, a popular playback singer from Assam, first appeared on Time8.in) 

HinduPost Note

It is indeed credible that an artist and celebrity has chosen to voice his pain over an issue that is being ignored by national media. But Joi Barua has also chosen the path of political correctness, in the hope that this will make his message more palatable to the liberal-secular cabal who control our national English-language media that our decision-makers pay heed to.

He refers to the Kathua rape & murder to signal that he shares the outrage which our elites selectively demonstrated over the tragic death of the 8-year-old in Kathua. But Barua is either unaware, or chooses to ignore, that large parts of the narrative around the Kathua case just don’t add up, and the Crime Branch chargesheet which has gaping holes reads like a concocted story designed to paint Jammu Hindus as irredeemably evil.

Barua is also trying to avoid the ‘communal’ charge by saying that the rape crisis in Assam in ‘not a religious issue.’ Facts speak otherwise. The overwhelming number of cases in Assam (a state with 61% Hindu and 34% Muslim population as per Census 2011) involve Muslim men attacking Hindu women. A disturbingly high proportion of these cases have been reported by Muslim majority districts like Nagaon &  Dhubri (the stronghold of radical Islamist party AIUDF which is an open supporter of illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants).

As OpIndia reported on the shocking Batadrawa gang-rape & burning alive of a Class 5 student by Zakir Hussain and 2 others –

“After Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asked the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary to make public the names of the accused, Patowary obliged by making public the names of accused involved in the recent rape cases in Batadrawa, Mourajhar, Jagiroad, Tamulpur and Juria. All of the accused are said to belong to the minority community. The AIUDF took offence at the ‘singling out’ of the accused belonging to the minority community….

Hojai BJP MLA Shiladitya Dev and Khumtai Legislator Mrinal Saikia have alleged that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are involved in a majority of crimes against women. They demanded that concrete steps be taken against “illegal Bangladeshi migrants who are involved in majority rape and murder cases”. Shiladitya Dev admitted that he was wrong when he claimed that 80% of the rapes are committed by Bangladeshi Muslims before adding that the figure was closer to 95% for rape, murder, extortion, kidnapping and other crimes.”

So while Barua deserves some credit for at least raising this serious human rights issue which Lutyens’ Delhi has blacked out as the perpetrators belong to a ‘minority’ community & acknowledging this crisis would shatter the ‘Modi has oppressed minorities’ narrative they so desperately wish to build. Yet, he can take a leaf out of actress Koena Mitra‘s book – she is someone who has realized the gravity of the situation in her home state (West Bengal) and makes no bones about saying what needs to be said.

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