In recent years due to widely reported cases of acid attacks by boys on girlfriends, the Government of India enacted IPC 326A, 326B laws with stringent punishment to prevent acid attacks. Indian men are fortunate enough that acid attack laws are gender neutral and define equal punishment even if a woman/girl throws acid on men/boys. However, the media and society are hell bent NOT to be sensitive towards boys/men who are attacked with acid by women/girls.
“Recently in India, a jilted girl student threw acid on a male professor with whom she was allegedly in a relationship for marrying another woman, and offering to make her his second wife.”, quotes a news article. The article goes ahead to say, ” [Professor] suffered serious wounds to his face and arms and is undergoing treatment at government general hospital, where his condition is stated to be out of danger.”
The professor Venkata Ramana and the student Soujanya met when he was teaching maths at a degree college. They fell in love, and the affair lasted for three years. Later, it is being alleged that Ramana got married to another girl and stopped answering Soujanya’s calls. Soujanya reached Ramana’s college with a mug full of acid at noon one Saturday, waited for him to come out during the lunch break, and threw it at his face, burning his face in the process.
As this being the fact of the incident, local TV channels and media portrayed the acid attack as if that the poor girl has no option but only to commit such ghastly act. Women organizations supported her and advocated that such attacks better continue so that they act as deterrent to all men who cheat women with promise of marriage. National TV channels hardly reported this incident, but local TV channels were up in race to interview the woman to know why she took such daring act which is of the first of its kind.
TV Channels were only airing woman’s side of the story and highlighting that men like this professor should be aware and should not cheat women. It’s this mind set that is a blot on the society, which treats crime differently when a man commits same act of throwing acid on woman or girl friend who breaks the promise of marriage.
As long as there is a perceived thought that crime has a gender, it is impossible to say that the country is democratic and all of its citizens are treated equally. Is India really a country of equality, as its constitution boasts?
Photo: Courtesy: Zoriah / Creative Commons