Why this deafening silence?

In the first week of October 2013, there were reports about a girl, working as a domestic help in a posh locality in Delhi, having been subjected to extreme torture by her employers, a woman working as a senior executive in a multinational company.

According to this report in The Financial Express, the victim has alleged that:
She was made to work for long duration.
She was not given proper food by her employer.
She was not allowed to use the washroom.
Her employer used to continuously beat her and she was not paid any money for her services.
Burn marks were caused on her body by her employer.
She was once forced to drink urine and was confined in the house in a semi-naked condition.
She was forced to clean the area outside the house in a semi-naked condition.

According to this report on ndtv.com, when the (rescue) team entered the house, they found the teen domestic help lying naked on the floor. Her body had gashes in different parts; she alleged that her employers had ordered their dogs to bite her.

According to this Firstpost report, the employer was arrested and sent to 14-day judicial custody. 4 days later, her bail plea was dismissed. As the judge said, “The investigation done so far only supports the version of the victim.”

I could not find any report on this case after October 07, 2013, so I do not know what the present status is.

The gangrape of a physiotherapy student in Delhi in December 2012 resulted in immense expression of outrage by people like us, rightly so.

The gangrape of a photojournalist in Mumbai in August 2013 also resulted in substantial expression of outrage by people like us, rightly so.

What amazes me is the deafening silence of people like us on this case, on the streets, on television, on Facebook, on blogs, everywhere.

Why this deafening silence?

Is it because we don’t know about this case?

Or is it because crimes against women/girls by men are unacceptable, but crimes against women/girls by women are acceptable?

Or is it because crimes against women/girls by husbands/in-laws are unacceptable, but crimes against women/girls by employers are acceptable?

Or is it because crimes against educated people (physiotherapy students, photojournalists, etc.) are unacceptable, but crimes against uneducated people are acceptable?

Or is it because crimes against middle class (and above) people are unacceptable, but crimes against poor people are acceptable?

Or is it because crimes committed by poor and/or uneducated and/or rural people are unacceptable, but crimes committed by middle class (and above), educated, urban people like us are acceptable?

Or is it because we are all guilty of the same crime, maybe to a much smaller extent?

Or is there any other reason?

Why this deafening silence?

Related posts:

If a girl is being sexually harassed …

Thwarting sexual harassers, Reducing sexual harassment

If a woman tells you she has been raped …

What happens after rape? What should happen?

Tackling workplace / sexual harassment

Do we care about the Human Rights of the people in our lives?

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10 thoughts on “Why this deafening silence?

  1. In my opinion, the media (almost all forms of it in India today) are just on the lookout for the next big breaking story. And the incidents that you mentioned were running on all TV channels for the full day on the day they broke out, and then the next day the channels run the next big breaking news (which probably could be something as useless as what Sushma and Nitish are saying on twitter).

    There is a severe dearth of investigative journalism, and responsible practices by media nowadays. The same media which hounds politicians and N Srinivasan to death conveniently forgets crimes like the ones that you have talked about before. Wonder why…

    • You are absolutely correct about the media.

      However, my post is not so much about the media. It is about us. While the 2 gangrapes created so much anguish among us, why has this inhuman torture of a poor, uneducated, village girl by an affluent, educated, city woman not had the slightest ripple? Look at the blogosphere. There were so many blog posts written about the Delhi gangrape. I have yet to see even one blog post about the reported torture of the domestic help in the same city.

  2. Honestly, I somehow missed this incident, probably because of my daughter’s ailment during those dates. This indeed is a saddening story and I have seen many people subjecting their maids, mostly in their teens or even younger girls and boys with an indifferent treatment and some violent episodes. Yes, the educated lot. Here’s a piece I had written sometime back which included the subject. http://wp.me/p1Tlwp-14J

    I would also want to know what happened to this case in case you are able to find any news on it.

    • I had read your post, and had commented on it as well. Knowing your views on the subject, I was quite sure that you had not written about it because you had somehow missed the incident. But, I’m honestly surprised that not one blogger has written about this incident, including those who regularly write powerful posts about harassment of women. Did all of them miss this incident?

      I hope your daughter has recovered fully.

      I’ll certainly share information that I may find about recent developments.

  3. I somehow think they hush it up after a point. After that Delhi 2012 gangrape case, almost everyday there are similar reports in the papers in the inside pages, in addition to domestic violence and a string of crazy incidents. Sometimes it is surprising that incidents similar to the one in your post continue for months before someone finds out. There is a report of another 13-year old from Sarojini nagar being rescued after she hopped over to the neighbor’s place and sought help.

    There are three programs I watch on TV – Savdhan India and Crime Patrol (Hindi) and Lakshya (Marathi). They reconstruct real crimes – the goal being to educate people to be cautious and also convey the message that crime doesn’t pay. One day my son who happened to be watching an episode with me asked – what if people also take away this message: how to commit crime?

    You know, for every crime reported there are so many heinous ones that go unreported. Very disturbing.

  4. Have you noticed how our reactions come after media pick up a story and flash it in front of us? And that is the answer. Believe me, if media would have picked this up like they did the Nirbhaya case, you would have heard a lot of noise. Even if you consider the rape cases, there are hundreds of them lying in the dustbin but only a handful of them get the attention all of them deserve.

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