On Tuesday the 24th of August, the nation witnessed a gruesome case at Chamundi Hills, 13km east of Mysore. An MBA couple was surrounded by six men around 7:30 pm and demanded valuables, but the couple refused to do so. Two of the men then allegedly raped the girl and the rest brutally thrashed the male companion. The 22-year-old girl was discharged after three days on Friday and went back to her hometown, Mumbai whereas the boy was discharged the next day of the incident.
According to Karnataka police, the accused group were habitual offenders and were under alcohol’s influence on the day of the incident. Five of the six accused have been arrested from Tiruppur district and one is yet to be held. One of the accused is said to be a juvenile.
Mysore University issued a circular on Friday, restricting all women movements after 6 o’clock. The girls were told not to roam alone even on the campus. Kukkarahalli lake was made out of bounds after 6, and security officers were told to patrol the area from 6 pm to 9 pm. The University says they had verbal instructions from the police.
The girl students went furious over the matter stating, “As research scholars, we can’t work in a time-bound manner. Now, we have to stop research work, like referring to books in the library, by 6.30 pm as per the circular. The varsity should have taken students into confidence and sought their opinion before issuing the circular.” The students also raised questions as to why the instructions were just for female students. On which, the university claims that it is just for their safety.
Encountering more outrage all over social media, the university later withdrew its circular. The University circulars and statements indicate the sick victim-blaming psychology.
Why should these 70% girl students from different regions suffer and lose freedom because of some narrow-minded misfits? These actions depict the engraved patriarchy still residing in the roots of the society.
Karnataka’s current Home Minister, Araga Jnanendra remarked that the boy and girl should not have gone there. He also compared the opposition’s protest to an act of rape and called it “an inhumane act” and an attempt to politicize a sensitive matter. These victim-blaming comments were massively backlashed and he later withdrew his statement.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai criticized the statement, but is it enough?
If the police would have checked alcohol consumption in public or just been more vigilant, we would never have come across such heinous incidents.
The minister so comfortably comparing politics and rape and blaming the survivors is what threatens the belief in the system.
This is not the first time that we witness this sexist, misogynist, patriarchal, and socially ill mentality, it has been kind of a flagrant feature of the current government.
The female population should be given more security and respect instead of victim-blaming. Such comments and regulations will only dissuade female populations’ belief in governance and their safety. Despite accusing the survivors of their attire, movements, and freedom the system should construct stringent laws and punishments.