It was a déjà vu for many who encountered an early morning shock by seeing themselves being auctioned on an application named as Bulli Bai. Why was it a déjà vu? The same incident happened last year under a different name called Sulli deals, which was just a parent application of this one. A UN (United Nations) official recently quoted it as a hate speech, and in fact we as a society have unconsciously been spreading these.
Many news-papers and articles frequently mentioned the auctioning of Muslim women which no doubt is gruesome and against modesty of a woman (section 354 of IPC) and we must appreciate the courageous act done by these women to share their screenshots. Nonetheless, what we definitely have over sighted is the issue of terming them as Muslim women. We are assigning them a communal tag by treating women not just as women but asserting them as a particular section, where the accused all three belonging to young age 21, 21 and 18 were drowned in hatred besides that the print media and other forms too have been terming the community time and again. Will such an act not provoke particular segments? Aren’t we the ones being quenched in ignorance?
Let them just be women. An Indian woman and nothing else in this humiliating act. Let us not bring communal angle into the issue only to make it a vicious cycle. This could happen to any community, sect, or ethnicity. Those who are found guilty must be punished, but it is not their fault. We as society have failed to incorporate a just thinking in our youth. Let the humiliation and compassion be highlighted rather than the community of a harassed woman.
What is the need one may ask of such things because ultimately, it is Muslim women who are targeted. Just imagine how this case may have been if someone intends to use it for political gains or by any country, for instance, Pakistan may have used it to show the state of Muslim women in the country. This will only break down the image of our country and intensify the roots of hatred and helps to spread the violence. For religion, this will also evade the ideals of secularism and in fact justice at large. This saga will turn into a communal strife rather being a gender-based violence, and our courts may have to delay justice, leading to denial of the same.
Finally, change is the call of hour and change in us (society) is the ultimate solution. We need to move from the darkness of discrimination to the dawn of equality as explicitly mentioned in Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also in our Constitution, Article 14 (Right to Equality) which is the pivot for our modern nation-state. Our society, at-large, should accept the oneness in the otherness and most importantly must stop seeing women as objects and auction them as materials. Let them be “Just a woman”.
- VISHAL AKSHINTALA
(Opinion expressed by the author is his personal. The Generalist Insights take no responsibility of the opinion expressed.)