Extreme mass brutality and cruelty have characterized all major riots in India since independence: Nellie in 1983, Delhi in 1984, Bhagalpur in 1989 and Bombay in 1992-1993. But the Gujarat genocide is notable for its specific targeting of women, young girls and children.
The tribunal reported that the women were subjected to the worst forms of brutal sexual violence, including rape, gang rape, insertion of objects into their bodies, stripping and molestation.
Bilkis Bano is one among such brutal violence of gang rape.
Most of the female victims of this violence were later burned alive.
Many survivors have spoken out about the attack, but many have remained silent due to fear of attack and opposition from their families and communities. Stigmatization of women who dare to break taboos and seek punishment for gender-based crimes such as rape, coupled with distrust of the justice system, have silenced natural demands for punishment and justice.
An obvious, sad and horrifying feature of the state genocide of Gujarat's Muslim minority was systematic sexual violence, especially against girls and young women.
Rape was used as a means to subjugate and humiliate society.
A terrifying technique, absent from any pogrom discovered so far, but evident in many cases this time, was the deliberate destruction of evidence. In most cases of sexual assault, with few exceptions, the female victims are stripped, exposed, raped, quartered and burned beyond recognition.
Decades before the sexual assault of women during the 2002 Gujarat and 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, Hindutva propounder Veer Savarkar justified rape as a legitimate political tool. This he did by reconfiguring the idea of “Hindu virtue” in his book Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History, which he wrote in Marathi a few years before his death in 1966.
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Source: The Print | Scroll