We have yet another horrific rape case in India. In this case, a 13-year-old girl who is part of low Dalit caste was abducted and gang raped by men from the higher Jats caste. They took pictures of the rape and threatened to release them if she told anyone. Eventually her mother discovered the truth and told her father, a gardener. The father’s shame under the cultural and religious norms of the area was so great that he drank pesticide and killed himself. In response to the outrage, local leader, Jitender Chhatar blamed fast foods for the rape while the state’s former chief minister, Om Prakash Chautala, called for the lowering of the age of consent to marriage to 15 to combat rapes in the country.
Chautala appears to believe that the solution to rape is to allow even younger girls to marry, which often occurs without their true consent.
The family of the victim cannot even buy milk during Hindu holidays because the higher caste members consider them to be impure to touch or eat around. They are often victims with little recourse in the legal system. It is part of India’s appalling caste system, which we have discussed before. It appears however that the Dalit are not untouchable when it comes to rape.
Of course the response of politicians to the crime magnified the outrage. Jitender Chhatar insisted that it was not the caste system, the abuse of women, or the lack of real police protection for “untouchable.” It is the Western food: “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.”
That was perhaps less disturbing then the comments of Om Prakash Chautala: “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.” The solution, marry off girls at 15 and rapes will decline.
In this case, police arrested and charged seven men, all members of a higher caste. However, that did not occur under after protests to the failure to bring charges. Many of the police are Jat and refused to file the charges. The family refused to collect the body of the father in protest and the media picked up the story.
The family is now under guard because the higher caste members are threatening to kill them for reporting the crime against higher caste men. In another village, a Dalit girl set herself on fire after falling victim to one of the many gang rapes of lower caste girls.
18 thoughts on “Indian Leaders Blame Fast Food and Inability To Marry 15-Year-Old Girls As Cause For Gang Rapes Of “Lower Caste” Girls”
Dredd…. You may have avalid point….
Has anyone seen the indian film which opens with the immersing of a newborn girl in a deep bowl of water to suffocate her? A beautiful but tragic story of a young widow used as a prostitute in the widow’s establishment where those who did not do puttee were forced to live the
rest of their lives. The shortage of women is notorious in islmamic cultures, like Pakistan
Routinely, unwanted girls are killed at birth. No one can afford to pay the money expected by a groom.
Wow, the debil and the gods skated on this one.
Seems every where the male fears that he is losing-control over females. As-if females would have nothing to do with males if they acted human toward them. Fear! Fragile savage male ego.
What-with these castes, I guess the male is even afraid of other males.
I knew the world is a dangerous place, but it is getting even scarier..
Sad and outrageous especially with regard to the response by local officials.
The Indian Constitution addresses much of the issues presented by this case but it seems the problem lies with the acceptance of this.
Article 17 of Part III section on Fundamental Rights declares enforcing untouchability as a punishable act under the law. Articles 14 to 16 deal with essentially equal access to the law and protection thereof. In fact there are somewhat of an affirimative action mandate in their legislature that mandates a certain percentage of scheduled castes be represented in proportion to their population in the area.
Historically, Mahatma Gandhi embraced and worked very hard to foster the abandonment of untouchability in the population. One would think he could be an important symbol in this effort for the people to accept.
I don’t have a lot of insight into the culture of India from a personal perspective but I wonder if it could be beneficial to have a Brown v. Board of Education type of mandate desegregating rural Indian society that is enforced by the federal government. I believe integrating children as equals in school and such can over a generation or two (sad that it has to take that long) can help break the division that is socialized into people. Eventually it lessens in significance because people of former castes would be included in the “We” rather than the “Us” vs “Them”
I hope this little girl finds justice at the very least.
“India hasn’t changed much since the British except poor and female Indians are being oppressed by their own, progress?”
Under the British, poor and female Indians were also being oppressed by their own. The British had no problem with that!
Just yesterday, someone tried to claim on another topic that religion was a positive thing, tried to claim it prevents these sorts of things.
Also yesterday, I said that religious nuts would use religion to try and excuse their behaviours – in this case, those who were from “higher castes” saw themselves as untouchable from legal consequences.
The caste system is not really about fundamentalist Hinduism any more than slavery was really about Christianity or Judaism. It is a social construct that is all about tradition and culture. It is illegal in India, but unfortunately we cant legislate hearts and consciences. That will take time-just as things here took time and are still in progress regarding racial stratification. Some legal things happen before hearts and minds are transformed. It will happen,
Caste system continues to thrive in a country where we are told paradise exists for entrepreneurs. Well there you have it violence against women is ok as long as it happens to them and “we” are able to fly to Paris for our clothes. India hasn’t changed much since the British except poor and female Indians are being oppressed by their own, progress?
Rape is about power. When lower caste or class gets more power, those threatened by that power will rape, one way or another, those of the rising caste/class.
rape does not just happen to young girls….young boys are also at risk. By the headlines, it seems that Indians like baby girls, and American Football players, refer baby boys….that said, rape is a sequelae of power imbalance…and sick perverted thinking….
…the die of caste …the Karma Fairy has packed a bag for you!!!!!!
Um, by the way, is chowmein fast food? I love chowmein but I have never raped anybody. What’s that about?
“Marry off girls at 15 and rapes will decline.” No it won’t.
Rape of other people’s daughters who have not been deeded over to you in fee simple by their prior owners WILL.
Praktash: cut the dicks off of the males of that caste when they reach the age of 13. Equal rights.
The difference between “caste” and “race” is only a few letters.
There is no biological basis for the idea of “race” anymore than there is for caste. So look into your own heart before you you pronounce these people as backward thinking.
Our myths are just as pervasive.
Fundamentalist religion always seems to hurt women and the people who need the hope that religion can be the most.
Wow! I know little about the caste system but it just reinforces my belief that class is something that is last on the list of issues we all will ever deal with. We will deal w/ sex, religion and race before we deal w/ class because I believe we will never deal w/ class.
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