Is It A Sin To Be A Woman? Manipur Parade Case Shook The Country.
Manipur- the Jewel of India is facing a moment of discrimination and going through a tough time since the video of women, parading naked and being gang-raped. Accused are arrested, yet that’s not the end of justice.
An Overview About Manipur:
Manipur also known as the Jewel of India is bounded by Nagaland on the north, Mizoram on the south, Myanmar on the east, and the Cachar district of Assam on the west. The state is divided into two tracts, the hills, and the plains.
This beautiful hidden gem is occupied by Meitei (Meetei), who are largely Hindus. The trade is conducted by the women of the tribe, and also enjoy a sustainable social status. The Indigenous hill tribes, the Nagas reside in the north, and the Kukis in the south, covering the rest of the belt. They speak Manipuri, along with English as their official language. Manipur’s population is largely rural, Imphal being the only city of any size.
What Happened On 4th May?
Two Kuki women were paraded naked by a mob and were constantly molested by their captors. The victims were on a continuous plea for mercy and help, but the perpetrators callously disregarded their dignity, leaving the whole nation appalled. One of them was raped too.
It took two months for the incident to reach the spotlight, when a video of the two women parading naked, and their captors were continuously harassing them. The video triggered anger across the country and a scream for justice was voiced out.
One of the women seen in the video is the wife of an ex-army man who served the Indian army as the Subedar of the Assam Regiment and even fought the Kargil war. The complaint was registered on June 21st at Saikul Police Station in Kangpokpi district.
Outraged Incident in Daylight:
As per the reports, the alleged crime happened in the Meitei-dominated Konung Manang area of Imphal on May 4, which was also the second day of ethnic clashes in Manipur that have killed at least 150 people and displaced another 50,000. There was a communal clash arose, where the Kuki community protested against a proposal to grant scheduled tribe status to the dominant Meitei community.
The suspected mob are members of Meitei youth organizations, Meetei Leepun, Kangleipak Kanba Lup (KKL), Arambai Tenggol, and World Meitei Council Schedule Tribe Demand Committee (STDC) numbering about 800-1000 persons holding weapons like AK Rifles started burning villages around B Phainom. The members of the last standing village were running in every direction to save their lives and these heinous miscreants found them hiding in the forest.
They were heralded and dragged to Toubul also called Sekmai Khunou – in the paddy fields. The females were asked to strip or to be killed. The girls saw their family being shot to death while they came forward to help. They were paraded naked and one of them was raped and left in the paddy field to die.
It was their spirit of resilience and inner strength, they picked themselves up and ran towards their village, which was burnt to ashes. They moved from village to village and camped in the forest. Only after the 7th of May, the villagers got in touch with the head and made a few calls, and initiated an FIR to the police station. But it was unfortunate that it took 11 more days for the FIR to be filed officially. There was no action taken until the video leaked and went viral.
After the outcry on social media and allegations of laxity and complicity against the state administration, the chief minister B Biren Singh was probed with questions with regards to late FIR filing and seek for justice for the two innocent women.Revenge rape is a tool, used against dishonor and to diminish targeted communities, during ethnic conflicts.
Where Are The Victims?
Victims are taken to an undisclosed location but safer and in the care of the community. Their pain is unfathomable. They are under extreme shock and trauma. The counseling process has begun, and we hope they heal soon.
Words of PM- Narendra Modi
After the video was released on Wednesday evening, the social media was on wildfire and everyone was virtually protesting. From actors to Politicians, they expressed their heartfelt message for the tribe. However, PM, Modi made his first comment about the conflict being fought between the tribes and stated-
“The entire country has been shamed” by the attack on the women.
“I want to assure the nation, no guilty [people] will be spared,” he said. “Action will be taken according to the law. What happened to the daughters of Manipur can never be forgiven. As I stand next to this temple of democracy, my heart is filled with pain and anger.”
Reports And Insights:
We build society. We are the society. If we decide to change our surviving place, we can. Women of all ages are attacked and molested in different places, which include workplaces and shelter homes. However, as per records, the cases of violence against women are increasing rapidly. As per reports by the National Crime Record Bureau, India,
Dowry Death- every 78 hours Sexual harassment- every 59 mins Rape- Every 34 mins Torture- Every 12 mins One in three married women has experienced domestic violence.
Violence as per the report in India:
76% of lower caste women 48% in Uttar Pradesh 38% in Tamil Nadu 19% of urban slum communities of childless women
In Western India,
15.7% pregnancy-related death 12.9% of hospital death due to domestic violence
In Uttar Pradesh,
30% Domestic violence 22% were physically assaulted 34% were physically assaulted without medical attention
Is There Any Safe Place For Women?
Well, if we talk about safety and women, there is no safe place for her to survive including her own house. Gang rapes and molestation has been a vital part of our economy. Every other day, girls and women are molested and harassed, while some cases don’t even see the light. Thanks to our societal fear and dignity to live in society.
How To Does Molestation Affect The Society?
As per reports, Rape and assaults happen every hour. Some cases are registered and some are not. However, when the news is in the limelight, there is fear inherited, and every other person around is being watched and doubted for their intentions. Other factors that are usually seen in victims and people are:
- Panic attacks
- Sleep Disorders
- Flashback Trauma
- Young age pregnancy
- Sexually Transmitted disease
- Eating disorder
What Are The Possible Solutions?
One of the most evidence-based ways women can learn to save themselves from sexual harm is to learn assertive ways of communication. In many cultures, it is noticed that women are socialized to be kind and very accommodating to men, which in turn is very difficult to set their kind of boundaries or express their discomfort about being sexually touched or harmed.
To do this, we need to create a supportive community, where women are empowered and can stand for themselves without a man’s hand on their shoulders.
Victim Blaming- Are We In Fault?
Victims are blamed for being victims in the first place. Remember, it’s not their fault. The guilt and shame can be off the window. Women cannot control other’s actions but they can always fight back when required. Teaching young kids about good touch and unsafe touch is important. Women should include self-defense and Karate in their list. Women are stronger than what they portray in the world. It is the society that decided decades ago about the weaker section. In a real sense, women are not weak. Masculinity is not about bodybuilding or being hulky, it also includes respecting women, valuing their gender, and reliving their dream along with her are some attributes of being a gentleman.
However, on a conclusive note, there is always an uneasy question that haunts everyone. What if the video never saw the limelight? The girls would have fought their trauma and demons alone all their lives. What about the unreported cases who met the most wretched end from the day the violence erupted on May 3rd?
Thankfully, the video was posted on social media, otherwise, it would have been just another case in the sleepy village long forgotten wayside just like the other adjoining villages that have been reduced to ashes.
I’m Safe app is here to share its heartfelt condolence for women of Manipur and wishes for a better and safer environment for the growing population. Rage and revenge can wait rather than victimizing women for their being.