Gang Rape is Never a "Choti Si Baat"The reshuffle in the J&K ministry was carried out for many reasons, but one of the strong reasons for the BJP was to make the ministers who attended a rally in support of the Kathua rapists resign to deflect some of the criticism against the party. But has it really helped?
By A Special Correspondent
The new deputy CM, Kavinder Gupta, who is from the BJP, started his innings by saying that the Kathua rape was a minor issue. Obviously he was not referring to the fact that it was a rape of a minor. He termed it choti si baat. Should we be thankful that Gupta did not add, in Bollywood style, that such small incidents keep happening in big places? If Gupta thinks that the premeditated rape of a minor in the outhouse of a temple, planned and executed by the keeper of the temple in order to teach a lesson to the girls community is a choti si baat then he has no business being an MLA, let alone the deputy CM of a state. Instead of closing the controversy by saying a simple thing like the law will take its own course or the culprits will be punished, Gupta chose to add fuel to the fire by his statement. It must have emboldened the accused and give a strong indication that all attempts will be made to keep it a minor issue.
Further, another MLA who was allegedly seen attending a rally in support of the accused has been made a minister. Omar Abdullah has alleged that Kathua MLA Rajeev Jasrotia had attended a rally where speeches were made in support of the rape accused. Jasrotia has denied the charge. But it does seem that Jasrotia been promoted as the rape planned to teach a lesson to the nomadic Bakherwal or Gujjar tribe happened in his area. There was strong resentment in Jammu and Kathua areas against the Bakherwals, amongst landowners and those who had an eye on forest land,after they had demanded that the Forest Rights Act be made applicable there. That would have allowed the Bakherwals right to use the forest land, and foiled the designs of the landed class of the area to usurp such land. They had made a huge number of enemies in Jammu.
The BJP is either suffering from shortage of good people or there is massive mismanagement. Otherwise, if the exercise was to undertake damage control over Kathua rape, how did it allow Gupta and Jasrotia to make the cut? There is little hope of justice for minor girl as long as people like Gupta are allowed to become deputy CM.