This is not a happy article.
This is an article filled with anger. This is one of the times I am totally and completely furious – but not the way you’d think. No.
Probably I should explain.
If you remember, back in December 2012, India had been “shaken” by mass protests against a particularly gruesome rape-murder in Delhi. I’d written about it at the time. The protestors marched on the streets, beat a policeman to death, organised text message campaigns demanding the death penalty for the rapists, and polluted the air with the smoke from their candlelight vigils.
The story was repeated in August last year, when a young journalist was gang-raped on the premises of an abandoned textile mill in Bombay. Once again, the Muddle Class was exercised, and the media went to town on the rape for all it was worth.
After all, this is the nation where forensic medicine textbooks still say women shouldn’t be trusted in their accounts of being raped and fairly recently a judge acquitted some rapists on the grounds that they were middle-aged and “rape is committed by teenagers”. So it’s a good trend, you’d have thought, if the country was finally rising up in anger against rape and sexual assault.
You would be wrong.
On the 27th May, three days ago as I write this, two cousins, girls aged 14 and either 15 or 16, went missing in a village in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh state in North India. Their corpses were discovered the next day, hanging from a mango tree in an orchard near the village. They’d both been gang-raped before being killed – and the local police was hand-in-glove with the rapists.
|Actual photograph of the scene|
You’d think the country would erupt with anger, wouldn’t you? You’d think the people would be in the streets again, demanding justice?
Apart from the local people, the parents and other villagers, who knew perfectly well who was responsible and who refused to let the bodies be removed till the perpetrators were arrested, just about no one was interested – except for some politicians looking for publicity. The media reported it, but only as filler news. On the net, by my own experience, foreigners were more disturbed and appalled than Indians were.
Not a mystery.
Let me quote what I’d said back in December 2012:
(T)he Great Indian Muddle Class ... sees itself as superior to the masses from which it has emerged, and it aspires to separate itself from them as far as possible. Unlike the middle class in other parts of the world, it doesn’t see itself as preyed on by the upper class; the upper class is its ideal, the realm to which it aspires....
On the other hand, the Muddle Class hates and fears the underclasses. It feels threatened by them – by their increasingly uppity demand for a place in the sun and by their competitiveness. To the Muddle Class, the underclass isn’t PLUs (People Like Us) – they are PLTs (People Like Them). It’s the underclass who threaten the Muddle Class’ upwards march. It’s the underclass which reminds the Muddle Class of the morass from whence it sprung, and where it’s terrified of returning.
So when six members of the underclass rape a woman of the Muddle Class, it’s not a crime against an individual woman. It’s a strike against the Muddle Class. Think of it as a serf raising his hand against a nobleman, and you won’t be far from the idea.
...It’s an absolute certainty that if the victim of the rape had been of the labourer set, there would have been as little reaction from the Muddle Class as there is when (as happens routinely) rich kids driving SUVs get drunk and crush homeless people to death. The Muddle Class doesn’t care about anyone but itself.
Accordingly, whatever the “protests” appear to be, they are not actually against the rapes – they are protests against the Muddle Class being made to feel vulnerable. No more, no less.
The victims in this latest episode were of the lowest castes, “Dalits”, who were once known as “Untouchables”. The perpetrators are Yadavs, further up the caste system but still pretty far down the totem pole. Both the victims and the victimisers are a world away from the air-conditioned malls and McDonalds of the Great Indian Muddle Class. If the Muddle Class thinks of them at all, it is with an unfathomable contempt.
And that is why these two girls don’t exist as far as the Muddle Class is concerned. It’s still basking in the electoral victory of its Hindunazi heroes, it’s looking forward to its promised “achche din” (good times), and the death of two of the members of the Lower Depths is about as irrelevant as it can get so far as the Muddle Class people are concerned. It doesn’t, after all, reflect on them, and that’s all they’re concerned about.
And this is why I am furious. Not at the rapists, as you might think – they’ll get what’s coming to them, never fear. I am furious at the Muddle Class, at the swine who were screaming for justice a year and a half ago but who are so deafeningly silent now. Where is your sense of justice, your outrage? Where are all your Facebook campaigns and candlelight vigils? Does it only affect you when you feel threatened? What kind of “outrage” is that?
I spit on the lot of you.