It was December 30th 2015 when I had started writing this piece. Then Pathankot incident involving an armed attack on an Indian Air Force base happened. I am not a brave man. I thought, should I write this, now, when tri-colour steroids are the hottest media-item of the week? But it’s also true that barely a week ago, on December 27th 2015, two Indian Border Secutity Force (BSF) jawans allegedly gang-raped a child after a third Indian Army jawan forced her to drink alcohol on the Howrah-Amritsar Express inside their ‘specially reserved’ army compartment. In the same week, in brown people’s social media, some American celeberity’s sexual crimes evoked greater outrage. There was no whimper of protest in Delhi – the city where the BSF and the Indian Army are head-quartered. I guess the victim was just Bengal’s daughter and not India’s and she had the added misfortune of having Khaki-clad brave men allegedly committing the crime. Allegedly. It’s a word that many drop when talking about other rapists but never about these guys, not now. What is it about the ideologies and holy cows that are fed to us that the we think that the ejaculate of the rapists have a tri-colour hue and hence worthy of respect and a conspiracy of silence? Hence, it is precisely now that we must speak up. If not now, when?
The group of 3 valiant Khaki jawans who were allegedly involved in gang-raping the child were Shri Pankaj Kumar, Shri Balak Yadav and Mr Triptahy. Investigation was seriously hampered by the fact that the Railways did not even have the list of Tripathis and Kumars inside that “specially reserved” compartment. That is the norm for special people.
Deployed far away from native areas, where people can’t understand their gangraping conspiracies beforehand, largely hatched in the lingua-franca of the army, the sick perverts who gang-rape children are the scum of the earth. It is important to note that this sort of criminality sits comfortably with their service to Bharatmata and that opens up interesting questions, but that is a wholly different story. When the citizens of the Indian Union subsidize liquors for Mr Tripathi, are they not complicit in the alleged crime? The prohibition debates have never sounded so morally hollow with alcohol subsidy to army being a holy cow.
Why am I absolutely sure that no one will be jailed or hanged for raping and murdering Thangjam Manorama Debi or the gang-rapists of many women of Kunan Poshpora village? Why is it nearly impossible to prosecute monsters, cold-blooded killers and gang-rapists if they happen to wear khaki dresses supplied by the government and their salary is paid by the people, including the victims and their parents and their near and dear ones? Why do they get “different” treatment and trial even in cases of rape and murder? Why? What kind of an organizations’ morale goes down if rape allegations are pursued in normal courts or if alleged rapists in Khaki are treated as alleged rapists without Khaki? What is this morale made up of? If shielding gang-rapists is integral keeping up certain morales, that morale needs to be smashed – for our collective security and sanity. What kind of woman-hating, impunity-promoting culture have we built that all that I have said can be dismissed by the simple, empty tag called “anti-national”. And why does “anti-national” immediately bring in silence. Isn’t that silence anti-women, anti-humanity? Are women who are allegedly raped and killed not part of the nation? And attacks on them are not anti-national? How would you characterize a trci-colour force whose members allegedly molest or rape every year, year after year? A case of few bad apples? Would you characterize any other armed group – Islamist, separatist or whatever – with such a track record in the same bad apple way? Is there no poison-tree in this tri-colour garden? There are no nirbhayas. There are “nirbhays”. When they wear Khaki clothes, they are even more “nirbhay”.
For Khaki crimes, there will be no calls for emasculation, or hanging. There are rapes and there are rapes. There is truth and there are tri-colour blinders. What is this disease many are afflicted with that makes them assess the criminality of a rapist based on his occupation? If it comes to notice that members of organizations that are banned in the Indian Union or any organization that government and mass-media teaches us to hate had been allegedly committing at least one rape or molestation per year, some of them allegedly being brutal gangrapes, some of them allegedly ending in murder of the alleged victim, how would the media portray such an organization? Would we say that it is a stray incident? Why not? How does the attitude of the government towards an organization decide whether an organization is criminally bent towards sexual violence and similarly, what do attitudes of determine that organizations harbouring hundreds of alleged rapists is clean and the incidents stray? When is it a bad apple and when is it a poisoned tree? Why is this distinction invoked? Who does it serve? Not those who are gang-raped. Not those who are murdered. Not our mothers, daughters, sisters and in many cases our fathers, brothers and sons who don’t speak up about sexual violation. Something is deeply flawed in a system where one can’t question an organization that produces alleged rapists, molesters and murderers every year. It makes you think that this impunity imparts stability to a system. What kind of a ”protection” system demands impunity at this cost? Is it a system based on truth or criminality? Why does the system defend this impunity so strongly – deflecting criticism by labels like “anti-national” and other treansonous aspersions? What is the sick game here? And why must victims, of all genders, and their near and dear ones, put up with this? Are non-Khaki humans, whose non-Khaki clothes have been allegedly ripped apart by Khakis, before rape, second-class citizens? Where is the hatred that was in display in the case of Delhi rape? In what kind of a flawed moral universe does ásking for the punishment of a bunch if gang-rapists is equal to supporting Pakistan or China or whatever? What does a bunch of sick perverts in the Howrah-Amritsar train have to do with Pakistan? Will they get their full salary and retirement benefits and subsidized liquor and reservations benefits for their next generation, thus signalling to others physically fit perverts where to sign up for impunity with benefits? How shall we protect us from our protectors – – those ‘protecting’ Indian Union citizens in Kolkata, those ‘protecting’ People’s Republic of Bangladesh citizens in Khagrachhari, those ‘protecting’ Pakistan citizens in Turbat?