The Rape Politics in India is The New Vote Bank and Political Agenda
Rapes are not something that miss the headlines in our daily newspaper, however, rape politics in India is now taking a route to ‘new India.’ Last week, Congress nominated Asha Singh, the mother of the Unnao rape survivor, as a contestant in the UP Assembly polls ahead of the 2022 UP elections. Releasing the first list of 125 candidates, Congress names 50 women contestants. The list contains some known faces, including Sadaf Jafar, who was assaulted during the anti-CAA protests, journalist Nida Ahmad, Tamil actress Archana Gautam, Asha worker Poonam Pandey, and Ritu Singh, who was assaulted in the recently concluded panchayat elections. After releasing the contestants list, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in a video conference said, “Our list sends a new message that if you are a victim of harassment and torture, the Congress will support you.” There is no harm in giving ticket to the mother of a rape victim – but the question is – How its going to help and bring a change?
Be it congress or any other political party, will giving ticket to Asha Singh will bring a change? Will it prevent rapes in India? The answer might be No! Instead of such moves during elections, we need stricter laws and practical solutions that can make Indian daughters feel safe.
संघर्ष की व नई राजनीति बनाने वाली आवाजें जब एक साथ आएंगी तो बदलाव तय है।
यूपी की जीत का दृढ़ संकल्प लेकर जब हम साथ चलेंगे तो बदलाव तय है।
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) January 13, 2022
Taking to Twitter, the Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “In Unnao, whose daughter was wronged by the BJP, now she will become the face of justice – will fight, win!
उन्नाव में जिनकी बेटी के साथ भाजपा ने अन्याय किया, अब वे न्याय का चेहरा बनेंगी- लड़ेंगी, जीतेंगी!#Election2022
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 13, 2022
The Rape Politics
While the Congress calls it a “historic initiative” and a campaign for “women empowerment” and “gender” equality,” the opposition calls it vote bank politics. Twitter users asked Congress why they have been ignoring rapes in Rajasthan and not visiting the rape victims there? Congress have been in a bad light recently for politicizing rapes and making their visit to several rape victims in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. During the Hathras case, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra made a visit to Hathras’s victim family. The brother-sister duo, however, was stopped by the UP police owing to section 144 being imposed, which were later allowed to visit the family. Last year, Congress president Rahul Gandhi faced heat for sharing picture of family members of Delhi Cantt’s rape victim, citing violation provisions of the POCSO Act. Vineet Jindal, a Delhi-based lawyer filed a case against Rahul Gandhi for sharing the pictures of alleged rape victim’s family members on Twitter. Following the case, Twitter temporarily “locked” Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) issued a notice to Twitter against Rahul Gandhi.
Why Naming Asha Singh Could be a Political Move?
After the Congress released the list of its candidates for 2022 UP elections, it received a mixed reaction. While many called it a progressive move, many others considered it a political move. Congress, which has been out of power in Uttar Pradesh for the last over three decades, is looking to make a presence in the state in the upcoming elections. Since 1991, Congress has not been able to manage to cross their 50-seat mark in Uttar Pradesh. In 2017, Congress allied with SP and won only 7 seats out of 114 seats it had contested.
Adding 40 percent women in their 2022 UP assembly elections candidate list, the Congress is trying to shift their political paradigm from ‘communalism,’ ‘casteism’ and Hinduism vs Hindutva war to ‘women’s empowerment.’ The reason why people are connecting the Congress’s move to a political agenda is naming a rape victim’s mother as their contestant. However, Asha Singh calls it an “opportunity to get justice.” Talking to the media she said, “I am fighting this election for justice and I shall win it. If I win this election, I will try to get justice for all the victims. I will keep fighting against Kuldeep Singh till I am alive. I want justice.”
Read more: The Drishyam of Indian Television – Anupamaa
Asha Singh will be fighting contest from Unnao’s Bangarmau, the same seat where Former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, alleged Unnao rape convict, won as a BJP candidate in 2017. The move is sending a sign that the Congress is using rapes as their weapon against the Yogi government.
People are concerned about the Congress using sensitive cases, such as rapes as their political agenda and vote bank. Taking to twitter, many users called it a wrong and inhumane move, and expressed their disagreement with the party. Rapes are some serious social issues and must not be politicize. However, congress had received a mixed reaction on their decision. While some people are accusing the Congress for using rapes as their political agenda, many think it is a progressive move by Congress. What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments section below.