When will the National Media look this way? #RapesInAssam

By Joi Barua

Assam is bleeding. Everyday lately, I hear news of our women being wronged, of our girls being raped, of minor girls being raped and burnt alive. Where is our land heading? What happened suddenly, that we are all sliding into this dangerous chaos? What did the Nirbhaya movement teach us? Or was that all election rhetoric? We must refuse to buy into disillusionment. Of non – hope. We must stand up and fight – injustice

While India and the world look on in horror and disbelief at the Kathua rape and murder, we seem to have regressed to medieval times. Why has this happened? How did the criminals muster up the courage to act with so much impunity? How dare they?

Yes, we are from a corner of India, a part of the North East, but we exist!

Why has the National Media not given this burning issue, the required national coverage? Why have our sisters and daughters been left out of your stories? Been deprived of your coverage? I urge you all to lend your time and attention to this land and to this horror story slowly unfolding. I urge you all to bring these stories to the front, so that the wronged get justice, so that we get the attention of the agencies of justice and I urge you all to do this fast. Children are being burnt alive, killed.

Let us not color Rape with other words and other subtext.

A Rape is a Rape.

It is not a minority vs majority issue

It is not a citizen vs an illegal immigrant issue

It is definitely not a BJP vs Congress issue.

It is definitely not a religious issue.

Let there be no agenda here. Be careful of people who are whispering this to a different context. A Rape is a Rape. We have to go after the perpetrators with the strongest methods. The law of the land has to be so powerful that any deviant mind doesn’t even remotely, think of this possibility and of getting away. It’s not about the death penalty here. It’s about having a strong & unwavering justice system.

The National Media has the strongest role here of bringing crimes to light, of protecting India’s daughters, of protecting Assam’s daughters, of upholding their dignity, their safety.

We are one nation. I hope you all think this way too.

Joi started his career singing jingles for advertising campaigns and slowly moved up the ladder to become one of the most successful Playback singers in Bollywood to have emerged from Assam. Apart from churning out popular albums with his band Joi, Barua is also a regular at INK Talks.

(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. TIME8 neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)