Mumbai bar sells gang rape cocktail as India blames women for being abused
INDIA is reeling with the gang rape and death of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi. So, who thought it good idea to sell a rape cocktail at the Bonobo, in Mumbai, India? Was it bar owner Nevile Timbadia? The women of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) believe he to be the brains behind the ‘Balatkari’ (Balaatcar) brew.
Says Vidya Chavan of the NCP:
“We got information that a drink called ”Balatkari” (rapist) is being served here at the Bonobo bar. It is shameful to know that some people do not consider rape as a heinous crime and use it in such a casual manner. The co-owner, Nevileseems to think that this is some kind of a joke. I think he has no respect for women.”
Six men have been charged with the murder of the woman in Delhi. The six men raped and attacked her with iron bars before throwing her from a bus.
In 2012, a teenage girl in Assam was raped outside a bar by a mob of men for 45 minutes in an attack that a passing TV journalist thought to film, but nobody thought to stop. Rape was entertainment.
So, What does India do. Well, in Gurgaon authorities reacted to a spate of rapes by imposing a curfew for women. The men in power blame the women.
When one 15-year-old was raped by seven men from a higher social caste, a local leader called Jitender Chhatar opined:
“Consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents. Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance, evoking an urge to indulge in such acts. You also know the impact of chowmein, which is a spicy food, on our body.”
One former chief minster of Haryana, a Om Prakash Chautala, of the Indian National Lok Dal, aadvised women to marry younger. Being single meant they were fair game:
“In the past, especially in Mughal era, people used to marry their daughters early to save them from such atrocities. Currently a situation of similar kind is arising in Haryana.”
Women are second-class citizens in India, from the womb to the pyre.
Last summer, remember, a TrustLaw survey of major nations ranked India as the worst in which to be a woman, just below Saudi Arabia. “Women and girls continue to be sold as chattels, married off as young as 10, burned alive as a result of dowry-related disputes, and young girls exploited and abused as domestic slave labour,” said Gulshun Rehman of Save the Children. “This is despite a groundbreakingly progressive Domestic Violence Act enacted in 2005 outlawing all forms of violence against women and girls.”
What happens if rape is reported? Not much: about 260 men accused of sex crimes have been permitted to stand in Indian elections over the past five years — including more than 30 charged with rape. India’s defence lawyers have refused to represent the men accused of the Delhi rape. That is dangerously wrong. You sign up to uphold the law. Get on with your job. Justice demands that you do.
Another victim of gang rape committed suicide in December 2012. Relatives said that the 17-year-old, from Patiala, in the Punjab, took poison. Her sister said police had pressurised the victim to marry one of her alleged attackers.
We tend to sentimentalise India in the West. We need to stop. The culture needs to change. Women are living under the cosh: