Sub: News dated 17.07.09 about Ms. Mayavati and Ms. Joshi Bahuguna

The facts are – 1) There is a separate law – SC/ ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for protecting the SC/ST communities against various humiliation and degradations faced by them from society. 2) Ms Mayavati, through application of this Act was paying all dalit rape victims Rs. 25000 each. Before going into the dialectics, what Ms. Joshi Bahuguna has said about the amount of compensation concerned etc, we should understand the basic flaw in this whole issue. Instead of discussing about the drama – of further atrocities that took place at Bahuguna’s house, let us first use common logic. A Rape is a Rape, a crime often equated with murder. It is not a natural calamity. It is not an accident. It is a crime committed by a human. It is punishable by law. Unless the rapist is punished, justice is not done. A rape victim has no caste. She is just a woman. Paying a woman – any woman – for being raped is like paying bribe to keep her quiet, so that she does not demand legal action. It further insults a woman. Who pays this sum of 25000 rupees -- from which fund -- from whose tax -- and why? -- To protect the rapists. Because the punishment in this case can be quite severe. We want all Human Rights Organizations, Women’s Rights organizations and other Social workers, to demand for abolition of this practice of paying money to rape victims from state funds. Unless the money comes from the culprit/accused by way of a fine in addition to the normal legitimate punishment, it is unacceptable. A meager amount paid by government to a helpless woman who has been humiliated is tantamount to legitimizing rape. It makes the woman into a commodity, where her dignity is being purchased. It cannot be equated with compensation for flood, draught or accident victims. HUMANISTS' ASSOCIATION
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