Patna,(BiharTimes): The media in Bihar is giving a lot of coverage to the heinous Delhi gang-rape case and the protest taking place in Bihar, though it had little to do with the state. The only thing related to Bihar is that one of the accused, Akshay Thakur, was arrested from his home district of Aurangabad.
There is nothing wrong if the media in Bihar is highlighting the heinous crime like gang rape committed in New Delhi.
But the women rights activists are questioning as to why was the same media silent when Rupam Pathak had repeatedly been complaining about her rape by none else but a ruling BJP MLA, Raj Kishore Kesari, and his aide Bipin Rai. So upset was she from the response of the powers that be that she took law into her hands and stabbed the legislator to death on January 4, 2011 morning at his Purnea residence. Never in country’s history a woman, and that too a school principal, chose to kill an MLA in full public view on the plea that he had raped her. Rupam was brutally assaulted by his supporters who were present on the spot. Pathak virtually went ahead and took law into her hand. She has done what thousands of people are now demanding in Delhi putting a gherao to Raisina Hills. (President house.)
The lone local journalist, Navlesh Pathak, who dared to publish Rupam’s FIR against Kesari, in his weekly tabloid more than six months before the killing, had to pay a heavy price. Along with Rupam Pathak he too was thrown behind bars.
While women groups from Bihar and outside took to streets in Patna and Purnea to espouse Rupam’s cause and sought a probe into what led to the killing of the MLA, the media chose to either ignore the whole development or underplayed it. No media organization or journalist body came to the rescue of Navlesh Pathak who took up her cause.
While Rupam is still in jail, and the MLA is dead, his aide, Bipin Rai, who was accused by her of the same crime, is still at large. Why is media silent in Bihar?
While the media is busy highlighting the protest in Patna over the Delhi gang rape case they chose to underplay the infamous schoolgirl gang-rape case in June last. Not only was the girl repeatedly raped even the MMS was made and circulated for weeks all over Patna. The police came to know yet it could do little as the main culprits were too close to powers that be in Bihar.
Patna and other towns, cities and villages have in recent months witnessed some heinous sexual crimes. Yet if the police has failed to do anything, the media too has let down the people. Within 48 hours of Delhi incident an eight year old girl was kidnapped from outside her house at a village in Saharsa district, allegedly gang-raped and killed. Her body was dumped in a canal. Nobody deemed it fit to raise this crime as it occurred in a far off place.
In Bihar, if the reports are to be believed, gang-rape victims have often ‘changed’ their versions––or, in the words of woman rights activists, they have been forced to do so. In Nalanda the victims denied that they were ever raped a day after accusing the youths of the same crime. In Gaya the police married off a gang-rape victim with a boy the very next day. But the rapists remained at large.
The total no. of rape cases reported to police is 823 this year till October with 40 cases reported only in Patna. This is a fact that many cases go unreported due to social reasons.
Media always feel safe in highlighting the cause of victims of Delhi rather than of Bihar.