Violence & irresponsible behaviour can’t ever be justified
I usually do not write about politics or politicians and restrict my blog to covering positive aspects of what is happening in this country. However, I am in no way an ostrich. I know that the world is a dangerous place and a lot of things take place that deserve to be condemned. This is one such occurrence. If I stay quiet I would never be able to forgive myself.
A few days ago a young woman was gang-raped in Clifton. This is not the first occurrence of such a violent crime and unfortunately it won’t be the last. Working on the Take Back the Tech campaign to end Violence against Women, I have seen digital stories from around the world and read accounts that have had my hair stand on edge.
What I am finding hard to come to terms with is the way that one of our women politicians and the media have handled this entire matter. Instead of empathy and support for the young woman who is a survivor of this heinous crime, I have been absolutely flabbergasted to see nothing but unethical reporting of the case by many media organizations and irresponsible statements from Sharmila Farooqui who is the Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sind. It makes me wonder if they even understand what this young woman has been through.
Rape is a violent act. It is the worst crime imaginable and it totally violates the person it is perpetrated against. I don’t even want to imagine what gang rape does to a person and how they are ever able to remain the same ever afterwards. To take away the focus from the crime in this instance by talking about the fact that the young woman was returning from a birthday party late at night, casting aspersions on her character, or saying anything else that remotely suggests that she was responsible for what happened to her, is to my mind totally unacceptable. Revealing the name of the survivor, trying to capture her on camera – my God do they even know what they are doing? Should they be in positions of responsibility? Shouldn’t they be held accountable for making the situation worse for the rape survivor? Should we not ask them to explain themselves in the name of humanity if nothing else? If nothing else, shouldn’t the privacy of a survivor be paramount?
I am angry. I am disappointed. I am disgusted. I am confused at the total lack of sensitivity and the absolute idiocy of the parties concerned. The young woman in question has had two crimes committed against her – one was the violent act of gang rape that was perpetrated by her captors and the other was an equally reprehensible crime of unethical reporting by the media and irresponsible behaviour by the politician in question.
My friend Sana Saleem’s post says it much better than I ever could in this Open Letter to Ms. Sharmila Farooqui and to the media. All of us need to raise our voices in protest. If we don’t we will be guilty of the crime of silence.