When India woke up to the horrifying news of Asifa – a minor girl from Kathua, being tormented and raped for 8 straight days and then killed, it was one of the gloomy mornings that no one wanted to wake up to. Asifa’s body was found on a cricket field with “86 injury marks including on her private parts” as per the details of the post-mortem report that was made official. The gruesome Unnao rape case also saw the daylights around the same time.
As a nation, we united to ask for justice to the victims by candle-marches, posing with placards and what not. But little did we know that along with the surge in the support for the victim and their families, there was another shocking fact which was also trending. Days after the Kathua rape case, a popular pornography website displayed ‘Asifa’ as a ‘trends’ tag for India. If this does not make one feel sick and disgusted, we don’t know what will.
The gruesome rape case’s scales towards meeting justice were less that it was towards meeting the needs of perverts. People started looking up for the victim’s video clip on the porn website, so much so that it became a trending tag.
Some might say it could be a photoshopped image but a digital media platform confirmed by opening the website themselves to check the originality of the screenshot that was doing rounds. Yes, their search was met with utter disappointment and horror. For those who do not know how trending works, it is based on the massive data collection and algorithms.
According to Al Jazeera’s report, which was further looked into by TOI, revealed that a porn clip in India can be bought for a mere sum of Rs. 20. Some “exclusive” can cost up to Rs. 200. We are bewildered on how porn can simply be sold like a bag of chips. Uttar Pradesh is one such state that is notorious for the dark trade of porn clips. In fact, the famous Agra market has shopkeepers sells such videos.
As if this was repugnant enough, one of the shopkeepers revealed to a TOI reporter, “Porn is passe. These real-life crimes are the rage.” Welcome to the world where consent is a lost concept. While pornography involves consenting adults who are mostly engaging in the acts as performances, rape is everything but that. It is repulsive how some of us have blurred the lines to keep up with the kinks.
Reading through the detailed reports on the same, checking out the statistics and the number of rape cases that are being reported, we should stop calling ourselves as a society. A society is the responsible body who introspects into the deeds and misdeeds, checks times and again with the morals and ethics and influences the masses to follow a principled life. But the dark reality of the incidents unfolding is a sign of the society defying its purpose.
These desperate times call for shunning the numerous shows of protests; candlelight marches etc. and get down to realigning our moral compass towards north through some actions, in fact.
Information, statistics and image source: homegrown