It's the victim against a skewed patriarchal system

Published: May 31, 2019, 06:15 IST | mid-day correspondent

As MeToo rages everywhere, this is a grisly reminder of why the embers of this movement must burn on, for this is a powerful tool in stamping out sexual crimes

It's the victim against a skewed patriarchal system

Local issues dominate our edit write-ups and it is extremely rare that the subject is a story that took place out of the country. Yet, a grim tale, which unfortunately resonates here too is the focus of this edit, and a call for renewed and robust movement on sexual harassment.

At least 16 people have been charged in Bangladesh over the murder of a teenager who was burned to death after reporting sexual harassment. The girl was doused with kerosene and set on fire on the roof of her Islamic school days after filing a complaint. She complained against the headmaster, who police now say ordered her murder from prison when she refused to withdraw her accusations against him.

The horrific account goes on to detail how the girl was lured to the roof of the school building and the way she dictated her statement before she died. That though is secondary to the fact that victims or in current lingo survivors of sexual harassment continue to put themselves in the line of direct danger through their complaints.

While every case may not be as extreme, it is imperative that we see this through the prism of the powerful against the less powerful, the victim against an entire system which is skewed and the target against a discriminatory and patriarchal society.

Complainants in India too put themselves in the direct line of fire especially when pitted against another higher up in the hierarchy and the pecking order. Security and  protection is a must. So is tackling ostracism and continued harassment when it comes to sexual harassment cases.

As MeToo rages everywhere, this is a grisly reminder of why the embers of this movement must burn on, for this is a powerful tool in stamping out sexual crimes.

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