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    This is regarding “Why is rape so politicized in India”.

    I just want to suggest reconsidering the talking point. “Rape” is not politicized in India any more than anything else is and in past cases people have come together to demand stronger laws against rape.

    This particular incident has become so charged because
    1. the fact that the victim belongs to a minority community.
    2. evidence points to rape being committed inside a Hindu temple.

    Given some recent incidents where allegations against Hindus have later turned out to be false (the case of semen filled Holi balloons for instance, or major newspapers using misleading illustrations when reporting on crimes by non-Hindu godmen), certain sections of the Hindu community feel that this too is a concocted case. Add to this the pervasive mistrust of local police and you have the demands for investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation which is often considered more competent and trust-worthy by people.

    It is also worth noting that India has appalling law enforcement in general, with only 138 policemen to a 100,000 people ( and it is not uncommon for criminal cases to drag on for decades. This leads to a culture of impunity around all manner of criminal behavior. But rape is most shocking and therefore gets highlighted the most.

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    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Thank you Akshat. I will edit the call-out according to this. Do you think then it would do a disservice to talk about sexual assault in India as politicised? What are the other elements or issues surrounding sexual assault in India?

      1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

        Thanks Lydia. I forgot to check the notify checkbox and din’t see your reply earlier, but I will check it this time.

        I think the idea of sexual assault in general being politicised in India is not entirely accurate (and a cynic might say that’s because most political parties have a few rape accused among their ranks). “This” particular rape case has become politicised, and that’s because of the communal angle. In the past, sometimes a rape case has been noticed by the political classes if it could be seen as caste based violence. The majority of rape cases are simply never a part of the political discourse (which largely revolves around identity politics).

        I will defer to your judgement as a journalist, but in my opinion the poor law enforcement situation is the real problem. This affects women disproportionately, and sexual violence is one aspect of this among others such as human trafficking and domestic violence.

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