Email to Ms. Jaya Bachchan, MP about Samajwadi Party and rape

I sent the following email today from proactiveindian@rediffmail.com to jbachchan@sansad.nic.in (Ms. Jaya Bachchan’s email id provided at http://www.archive.india.gov.in/govt/rajyasabhampbiodata.php?mpcode=1964). As stated in the email, I will publish the response from Ms. Jaya Bachchan if and when I receive it.

Subject: Your passionate speech in the Rajya Sabha about the 2012 Delhi gang rape

Dear Ms. Jaya Bachchan,

I was extremely impressed by your passionate words in the Rajya Sabha during the discussion on the 2012 Delhi gang rape and the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ on March 04, 2015:
“Inhone jo kiya, yeh bhi vahi kar rahe hain …. Yeh crocodile tears nahi chaahiye auraton ko … us aadmi ko jail se chhoddiye, we will deal with him … crocodile tears! …”
(“The NDA Government is doing exactly what the UPA Government did …. Women don’t want these crocodile tears … release that man from jail, we will deal with him … crocodile tears! …”)

Madam, like all right-thinking persons, I agree wholeheartedly with you that women, in fact all citizens, do not want crocodile tears.

You pointed fingers at the present NDA Government and at the previous UPA Government. However, Madam, what is the track record of your own party, the Samajwadi Party, in matters pertaining to rape?

In April 2014, NDTV.COM reported that your party Chairman, Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, ‘sparked outrage with his comments questioning the death sentence to three men who were convicted of two gang-rapes in Mumbai last week. “Should rape cases be punished with hanging? They are boys, they make mistakes,” he said today while campaigning for the national election.’ What is your comment on this outrageous statement?

On January 16, 2015, another NDTV.COM report on a 13-year-old girl who was gangraped in Lucknow in May 2005 stated that ‘Gaurav Shukla, the main accused, also happens to be the nephew of former Samajwadi Party Member of Legislative Council Arun Shukla. Mr Shukla had contested, and lost, the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on an SP ticket from Unnao ….. Soon after the incident, Gaurav claimed to be a juvenile, in a separate case filed by his co-accused against him. On the basis of this, the juvenile board declared him a juvenile in the gangrape case in October 2005.
Jalaj Gupta, the lawyer for the survivor, claimed that the accused used forged documents to hide his real age.
“We got a copy of the municipal birth certificate which shows his age was 18 years and two months at the time of the incident,” says Mr Gupta. But the accused produced a transfer certificate from a local school, claiming he was born in 1989, and was 16 at the time of the rape.’
Madam, you expressed outrage about the fact that Nirbhaya and her family have not yet got justice for over 2 years. What do you have to say about the fact that the rape survivor in the May 2005 case in Lucknow has not yet got justice for almost 10 years?

I look forward to your reply. I will be publishing the text of this email on my blog later today, and will also publish your response whenever I receive it.

Yours sincerely,

Proactive Indian
http://proactiveindian.com

P.S.: I have chosen to remain an anonymous blogger since I do not want my name, age, gender, religion, caste, economic status, educational background, profession, place of residence, etc. to colour people’s reaction to my views. If you wish, I will certainly let you know my name, age, gender, and place of residence.

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Do such things happen only in India?

In 1975, a lawyer, then 27 years old, defended a 41 years old man accused of raping a 12 years old girl after luring her into a car.

In recently discovered audio recordings, which date from 1983 to 1987, the lawyer, who is now a politician, “is heard laughing as she describes how she succeeded at getting her client a lighter sentence, despite suggesting she knew he was guilty.”

After hearing the audio recordings, the victim, who is now 52, said that the lawyer/politician “took me through hell.” She said that if she saw the lawyer/politician today she would say, “I realize the truth now, the heart of what you’ve done to me. And you are supposed to be for women? You call that [being] for women, what you done to me? And I heard you on tape laughing.”

The lawyer/politician is none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was US Secretary of State from January 2009 to February 2013, and is expected to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for the 2016 US Presidential Election.

If this sounds unbelievable, please read this report for the details.

In early April 2014, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav opposed capital punishment for rape, saying, “Boys commit mistakes. Will they be hanged for rape?” (Read this Indian Express report for the full statement.) Other Indian politicians made similar statements about rape, either in response to Mulayam Singh Yadav’s statement or on their own initiative.

All right-thinking Indians, including me, were justifiably outraged by these statements. Many among us stated, explicitly or implicitly, that this kind of thing could happen only in India, with some claiming that it could only happen in a particular part of our country.

What do we have to say about the actions (in 1975) and the statement and laughter (from 1983 to 1987) regarding rape by a highly educated female politician aspiring to be “the most powerful person in the world”?

Many of us tend to believe that social ills, inefficiency, corruption, etc. exist only in countries like India and not in countries like USA. I have always believed this is not so. Social ills, inefficiency, corruption, etc. exist everywhere. It’s just that it’s more blatant, more visible and probably more widespread in India.

Please read this report on sex trafficking in USA, this report on a US university’s school of journalism misspelling its own name on diplomas and this report on a Washington couple being flown by British Airways to the wrong destination!

This post is not an attempt to gloat over these incidents in USA. It is only to remind ourselves that social ills, inefficiency, corruption, etc. can be found all over the world. While we must work on a war footing to improve the state of affairs in our own country, we should not let ourselves be weighed down by wrongly thinking that we are the only people plagued by these problems.