Triple talaq, cow vigilantism: Why are we so eager to brush off violence as mere aberrations?

Two events occurred this week that are mutually exclusive but underscore a primitive savagery that often worms its way into the Indian psyche and is is tolerated by long distance condemnation.

The first is this attack, by the so called self-appointed cow vigilantes, on men transporting buffaloes through the south Delhi colony of Kalkaji. The casual insouciance with which the matter is being handled and the accusations against the victims of the assault for cruelty to animals paints an ugly picture. The assailants are free and those thrashed have been arrested.

This is the new excuse for beating up anyone transporting cattle — they are handling the animals sans tender loving care, so let’s beat them up. Think of it. This vehicle was chased all the way from Haryana. Have you ever seen goats and sheep being transported in a truck, packed like sardines? Yet, there is no one making a fuss about that. Chickens in mobile coops, trussed with wire and unable to even move a centimeter. Stray dogs are stoned for fun, horses are made to pull five times their weight under the whip — flogged to death. And no one seems to care.

One cannot be afraid to legally transport cattle and face the prospect of a thrashing that anyone feels like giving. This paranoia has to end. If you go by the video's content, there wasn’t even any medical aid offered to the injured. The grievously hurt are lying on the street with none to do them any reverence — like they deserve the punishment.

What has gone wrong is that there is a the new spray of piety has many supporters and the onlookers are 'understandably' silent — Yeh toh hota hai (This happens).

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

And in Uttar Pradesh, we have a man who divorces his wife through triple talak because she gave birth to a girl. It kind of puts paid to all the strides being made in gender equality because nothing is being done to address it. Good for the girl that she has asked the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath to intercede (not that he can do much in the aftermath) but such bizarre actions become acceptable because nobody wants to do anything concrete to stop the prejudice. And these remain the realm of one-day sensational news stories. The fact that Shyumla Javed is a national level netball star is irrelevant. She could be an illiterate poverty stricken peasant and she still has the same rights.

Where are the feminists?

What about our political luminaries and the bureaucracy and the legal eagles? Do they just take such misconduct as aberrations, 'understand' the reasons, mumble, murmur and move on because it is not really their business?

When will the inequality of women end?

The Constitution of India plays a pioneer role in protecting the women from discrimination and ensuring gender justice in the present times. It can be said that the Constitution being supreme law of the land significantly addresses the questions related to women and also responds to the challenges. The whole legal system is to be framed according to the provisions of the Constitution of India. In fact, the Sexual harassment of Women Act of 2013 has a very wide umbrella and covers several aspects of discrimination. “The Act defines sexual harassment at the home and work place and creates a mechanism for redressal of complaints. It also provides safeguards against false or malicious charges. The definition of “aggrieved woman”, who will get protection under the Act is also extremely wide.”

If anything, a case can be made by the wards of the girl baby (the state) towards the father for displaying malicious intent, compromising her fundamental right to dignity, showing prejudice and punishing her for being of a specific gender. All these are integral to the laws that protect women, so why isn't there an action against the father? Because it is a 'gharelu (private) matter'.

These things happen? Do your thing, chief minister, catch the daddy.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Apr 24, 2017 12:40:33 IST

Also See