Is any more proof required about what a horrible and backwards place India is if you’re a woman? In yet another case of unimaginable violence against a woman, a 20-year-old was raped by as many as 13 men who have now been arrested by authorities. In this latest case, the woman’s attack was ordered by a tribal court made up of elders, after she was charged with “falling in love” with a non-tribal man from another village. She being a tribal woman, made the offense egregious according to local traditions.
Birbhum police chief C Sudhakar who spoke to the BBC said, “The relationship was going on for almost five years. When the man visited the woman’s home on Monday with the proposal of marriage, villagers spotted him and organized a kangaroo court. During the ‘proceedings’, the couple were made to sit with hands tied.” Following the trial, the couple was ordered to pay the equivalent of $400 USD. The man’s family paid the fine, the woman’s family could not. According to the complaint filed by the family, the head of the kangaroo court and a distant relative of the woman then said, “Her family could not pay, so go enjoy the girl and have fun.” The woman was admitted to the hospital two days after the attack because her family was either too scared or too ashamed to report the rape immediately following the attack.
This is just another case in the long series of rapes that have occurred in India over the past year. And while the Indian government has tightened the laws against rape, the violence against women in this patriarchical society continues. I will reiterate what I have written time and again, the first and best way to stop this violence is to hand out severe penalties for violence and sexual crimes against women. Therefore, the death penalty is the only justifiable penalty if convicted. It’s the only sentence that might make a man think twice before participating in such horrific violence. Castration of any man taking part would also be acceptable as a serious deterrent. This is not the western world where we have deemed cruel and unusual punishment to be unacceptable. This is a country where woman are considered worthless property and a place where sexual predators thrive. No one has the statistics as to how many women are raped in India annually because unreported cased undoubtedly outnumber reported cases due to fear and stigma but the numbers would probably be high enough for rape to be considered an epidemic. And the only way to rid the country of this epidemic, is to rid the country of any and all those who would consider the rape of a woman based on falling in love, a legitimate punishment.