Barely 24 hours after the video went viral, the Chief Justice of India expressed serious concern from the Court and asked the central government to act, or else the Supreme Court would take matters into their hands.
The central and the state Government in Manipur have failed to deal with the ethnic strife and carnage in Manipur, which has left the minority Christian Kuki population victims of heinous violence. This has occurred with complicity from the police. This is indeed the state of affairs wherever minority Christians have been attacked in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and other states. Local police throughout India allow Hindu extremist mobs to attack hapless Christians without consequences.
When the BJP Vice President of the neighboring State of Mizoram resigned, he stated that in his opinion the BJP has become an anti-Christian party. This has brought clearer awareness throughout India, and throughout the world, that the rapes and murders of numerous women, and the burning of homes and churches, clearly represent targeted attacks against Kuki Christians. At this point, it is obvious to state that Kuki Christians are under full-scale attack by radicalized Hindu groups and that the police are ignoring this injustice.
This is not to say that Meitei Christians haven’t suffered from ethnic violence as well. But there is no denying the destruction of hundreds of churches, the massive number of displaced Kuki Christians, and the brutal rape of their women.
In the wake of the outrage, Prime Minister Modi has broken his 80-day silence on the Manipur violence and the breakdown of law and order. He condemned the violence against these innocent Kuki women. Yet his statement veered into politics by also mentioning violence against women in Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, which is ruled by the opposition party.
The human rights issue has tragically been politicized here in India, as it often is elsewhere throughout the world. It’s not only within the BJP. Other parties have also succumbed to this.
The India we knew is fast disappearing. This violent assault and murder of women in Manipur points to the possible India of the future if we fail to awaken the Indian conscience across religious and caste lines.
Whether it’s a Muslim, Christian, Hindu, or Dalit woman that is raped and killed, all of India must speak out as one if pure, unadulterated justice is the goal. All Indians must reject any form of religious, caste or ethnic polarization that stands in the way of equal treatment under the law. India must reject any form of politics and hatred as it pertains to these issues.
Violence and sexual assault against any Indian woman is a travesty, no matter the background of the victim or the perpetrator. Yet if hate speech and bigotry continue to rule the day, as we’ve witnessed in Manipur, India will descend further into chaos for women nationwide.