Blog Archives

Rape and the Propagandist Media

Another high-profile rape case in Delhi has shook the country’s conscience. Two years ago on December 16, India was shamed and numbed by a horrific incident in Saket. History repeated itself two years later.

While most of Twitter was occupied with a debate on banning a private cab service, my mind was thinking something different. The rape narrative in the Indian media is extremely sensationalist, insensitive, reporting is skewed and often propagandist. I want to give three examples:

i. The much publicised ‘Gede sexual assualt case was chargesheeted within 17 days and within 10 months of the incident; the culprits were given the judgement of being hanged by the court.

ii. In the case of ‘Madhyamgram rape incident’, within 10 months the process of conviction was completed and 20 years of jail term was pronounced by the court.

iii. In the ‘Labhpur gangrape, chargesheet was filed with efficiency and within 10 months, the process of conviction is complete and culprits have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

In other cases reported from Malda, South 24 Parganas & Birbhum, speedy justice has been delivered within 7-14 months of the occurrence of such horrific incidents.

Yet, few months back, the headline of Bengal’s biggest (as of now) vernacular daily screamed ‘Maharashtra beats Bengal in sentencing rapists’. Is rape a competitive sport for them now? Just because Shakti Mills incident was dealt with alacrity by the Maharashtra Government, that speaks for all cases in courts in that State?

The newspaper specifically referred to the two infamous cases – Park Street and Kamduni – while citing the State’s slow justice process. Agreed that the two cases have been delayed for long. But then, unlike other cases where justice is served speedily, these cases were highly politicised by opportunist politicians of the Bengal Opposition. Specially in Kamduni, the family of the victim even accused the “protibadi mancha” of unnecessarily meddling.

Rape Bengal Kolkata

I will not let my blog be a propaganda tool for useless political rhetoric. Here are some hardcore statistics on this issue:

  • As per 2013 NCRB data, Kolkata has recorded the minimum rate of rapes per lakh woman.
  • The rate of rapes per lakh women in Kolkata is 1.10, which is much lower than other metros the rates per lakh women are – Delhi (19.02), Mumbai (4.59) and even much below the national average of (6.39).
  • Very recently, Kolkata has been awarded the ‘Best City in Crime and Safety’ by India Today group.
  • West Bengal has already opened 65 all women Police Stations and many more are in the process of rolling out.

Despite the Centre’s decision to withdraw financial support for fast track courts, West Bengal has continued with many fast track courts to ensure that speedy justice is delivered. In order to extend the facility of speedy trials, 88 fast track courts, 45 courts for woman have either been set up of notified.

Although the NCRB data for 2013 is now in public domain, media loves to quote 2012 data as that shows a spurt in reported crimes against women in the State (although the increase can be explained with better awareness among women. Those who were earlier afraid to report a crime are doing so freely under the new Bengal Government).

This will probably not find mention in the media, as the supari journalists with vested interests only like to discredit and malign the State. But reality and truth shall always prevail.

30 Days Blogging Challenge – Day 4: My Dream Job

30 Days Blogging Challenge

What is a dream job? The one you dream about or the one in which you sit at office and day-dream? I certainly feel there can never be a dream job that remains constant from childhood till death. At every stage of life, a person undergoes a reform of thoughts, passion and interests, thus developing new dreams for the long run.

When I was a small kid in the primary school, I always wanted to be the Principal of my school when I grew up. That was the reach of my ambition back then. As I grew up and eventually migrated out of my native town, my horizons widened. Newer avenues opened up. The ‘tashan’ in the medical profession interested me! Soon I realised the hard work was not my cup of tea.

As I entered the hallowed portals of Presidency College and interacted with teachers/seniors on future career, the prospect of doctoral studies in the United States was my ‘El Dorado’. I would not lie. I really love Biology and Neurobiology still excites me (I am still subscribed to many medical journals).

But after I stepped into post-graduation, I realised what a colossal mistake my decision was. I was not ready to make a commitment to the profession of research, because I simply lacked the motivation and the patience for it. Devoting 5 (at least) years of life in pursuance of the mythical golden deer was not a prospect I was looking forward too.

And by now, my other passion – writing and interest in politics – had taken a centre-stage in my life. Thanks to my blog. On 13 May 2011, West Bengal got rid of the 34-year-old ramshackle government run by self-serving individuals who called themselves the Left. On 15 May 2011, I got rid of my bondage of PhD. I was ready for my dream job in online journalism.

After 2 years, I finally found myself a place in Tehelka in the web team. But that was not to last for long either. As a blessing in disguise, I returned to Kolkata with a new job – as the Editor of a web portal to promote Bengal – and that slowly delivered me my ‘dream job’.

For the last 10 months, I have been part of the web team of a major political party in India, even running the electoral campaign online for General Elections 2014. For someone who wanted to be a part of online journalism, is a fan of the current Chief Minister of West Bengal, and love to research on policy, what could have been a better platform?

Let’s see what the future has in store…..

%d bloggers like this: