पिछले महीने भर में देश की राजधानी के पड़ोसी हरियाणा राज्य में घटी बलात्कार की घटनाओं और उसके बाद तमाम तथाकथित जिम्मेदार राजनीतिक और सरकारी मोर्चों पर डटे सत्ता के ठेकेदारों के इन घटनाओं पर भयानक रूप से अमानवीय बयान अनगिनत सवालों पर तत्काल रूप से सोचने को विवश करते हैं। बलात्कार की संख्या तो चिंता का सबब है ही पर साथ ही इन पर सत्ता और समाज के विविध कोनों से आता इस कदर प्रतिक्रियावादी रवैया 65 वर्षों के लोकतंत्र के हासिल पर ही प्रश्नचिन्ह लगाते हैं। हाल ही में अखिल भारतीय प्रगतिशील महिला एसोसिएशन की एक टीम ने इन घटनाओं के मद्देनजर हरियाणा का दौरा किया।
A team of leaders and activists of AIPWA and AISA visited Haryana on 12-13 October, to investigate the alarming spate of rape cases in the state. The team comprised of AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishnan, JNU Students’ Union Councillor Anubhuti Bara, and AISA activists from Delhi University, Prerna and Saurabh Naruka. The team was accompanied by Comrade Prem Singh Gehlawat, in-charge of the CPI(ML) for Haryana.
Haryana has witnessed a spate of rapes and gang-rapes, many of them targeting women from Dalit and backward communities. There have been 17 such instances in the past one month.
The response of the Government of Haryana, the ruling party, and the main Opposition party, has been shockingly patriarchal and insensitive. Phool Chand Mulana, Chief of Haryana’s ruling party, the Congress, declared that the rapes are a conspiracy against the Government. Haryana DGP R S Dalal said parents need to keep an eye on the activities of their children. And Congress spokesperson Dharmveer Goyat said that 90% of rape cases are consensual. Meanwhile, the khap panchayats suggested child marriage would prevent rape – a sentiment echied by former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala. In the name of preventing rape, the khaps and their political patrons are actually pushing child marriage to prevent women from exercising their own choice in marriage – something they otherwise achieve by honour crimes and killings.
The team visited Banwasa (Gohana), Sacchakheda (Narwana), and Dabra (Hisar) where dalit women had been gang-raped. They visited the affected women and their families, and enquired on the action being taken by the police and other authorities.
The systematic gender and caste oppression– and the failure of the Government to defend the rights of dalits and women, are major factors in the rise in the instances of rapes and dalit atrocities in in Haryana as well as in the rest of the country.