Recently, we carried a report about six MLAs in the country who have rape charges against them and another 36 who have been accused of other crimes against women. Predictably, most of the accused say that they have been framed. Others say they have been cleared in court and parties stand stoically behind their tainted men saying that they have done all background checks. What exactly do they mean by ‘background checks,’ if such murky histories are glossed over?
The word ‘framed’ has been the politician’s excuse for a while now. Whenever they are trapped in a sting operation they claim that the tapes have been doctored. Strange and mysterious enemies have surfaced to defame and demean them. Baffling conspiracy theories are touted. Soon everything is pushed under the carpet and they escape unscathed, representing their parties and the leaders who stand behind them.
Scandals like porn surfing in Parliament are explained away as a figment of the media’s imagination or, if the outcry is too loud, a few token suspensions are doled out. The fact that so many foot-in-the-mouth, misogynist statements have emanated from politicians, even as the nation protests, is an indicator of just how little sensitivity there is in these ranks about crimes, including sexual assault against women.
In the last elections, a couple of organisations had worked hard to awaken the public to the fact that several parties had fielded candidates with criminal records. They demanded for their disqualification. It is time to extend that to all kinds of crimes against women. One cannot explain everything away as ‘framed, doctored, misquoted or planted.’