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Opinion: Dear Women Politicians, Why so Silent on the Kathua Rape?

You have always been among the frontrunners in getting women what they deserve and fighting for their rights, does the little girl, who was just beginning to dream, not deserve your support?

An eight-year-old girl from Kathua, in the Jammu region, was confined for four days in a temple, where she was drugged and raped, repeatedly. Her rapists first tried to strangle her, and then smashed her head with a rock, and her body was dumped nearby.

There is nothing that is ‘The Better India’ about this, and yet I feel the need to write this article asking our otherwise vociferous women politicians why they are all so silent.

Now is the time
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Actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan was rather vocal when she spoke of Salman Khan’s Jodhpur court verdict. Speaking to the media persons outside Parliament she said, “I feel bad. He should be given relief. He has done a lot of humanitarian work.”

How is it that your sensibilities and sympathies are not with the victim and her family in this case?

As a mother and grandmother, does this not leave you feeling terribly raw and vulnerable?

Jaya Bachchan

How is it that a brutally raped and murdered eight-year-old does not get someone like you to come out and speak out in anger against the heinous act?

Five-time Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury was quick to issue multiple statements after Prime Minister Modi compared her laugh to that of Surpanakha. Coming out in support of her, hashtags like #LaughlikeSurpankha, #Lolisapasse and #LaughLikeRenukaChowdhury were all trending on social media channels.

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Ma’am, is everything only about gaining political or popular mileage?

Renuka Chowdhury

In your many years of being in the public space, I am sure you have seen crimes of this nature. Does this not move you enough to speak up about it? Are we so consumed by finding ways to advance our careers that we have forgotten basic humanity?

You have always been among the frontrunners in getting women what they deserve and fighting for their rights, does the little girl, who was just beginning to dream, not deserve your support?

The social media savvy Sushma Swaraj has won several accolades from both domestic and international media for her great PR skills and ability to get things done. She has time and again proven why she was chosen for the job. One international media also gave her the title of ‘Supermom of the State.’

Madam Minister, your inaction and silence has left me deeply disturbed.

Sushma Swaraj

On several occasions, I have written about how proactive you are when it comes to helping people. You are always up-to-speed on Twitter. And yet there has been not one mention by you about the tragic killing of the young girl from Kathua.

Why has social media only become a tool that our politicians use to earn popularity? Do you not find it in you to put out one tweet condemning the incident?

Keep aside your political affiliations for a moment and think as a woman, as a mother – does it not anger and pain you?

Stop this, NOW!
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All these women are accomplished in their own right and command a lot of respect within their circle and in the country and yet not one of them has come out and spoken about the brutal and tragic rape and killing of an eight-year-old child.

It is not just about these three women politicians who remain silent. But the reason I mention them is that they have been vocal about issues that seemed to bother them in the recent past.

This is an appeal to each one of our politicians – speak up and take action, NOW!.

(Edited By Vinayak Hegde)

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