Monday, January 7, 2019

Patriarchy and lawlessness - the case of IAS officer taking law in his hand

When do you think people take law and administration for granted? At least in West Bengal it's when they think a) law and administration do not exist and b)nothing will happen if they do something unlawful.

Yes, there seems to be a rise of folks supporting the incident of beating up a youth by district collector Nikhil Nirmal because the youth Vinod Kumar Sarkar has allegedly shared sexually explicit and derogatory content/comment online with his wife Nandini Kishan. When one closely observes the video it's an attack on vinod in police station which makes it even more unlawful.

What makes a few social media people become sympathetic towards the couple as they beat up vinod in police station.

There may be the following reasons

1. Vinod gave direct proposal of sleeping with Nandini in a derogatory sense. It's highly immoral and goes against the dignity of Nandini. Of course it does.
2. People could find the long lost hero in Nikhil Nirmal who can go to any extent to 'protect' the dignity of 'his woman'. Hence what Nikhil has done is not wrong.
3. People could associate with their personal experiences of such situations when they especially the women had to accept such teasing as part of their everyday life.
4. Yes, police and administration has much more 'important' things to do other than attending such cases of Eve teasing and most often women are advised to wear 'proper' cloths and the like instead of addressing the issue.

Hence, Nikhil seems to be an exceptional person to take on these issues and handling them head on.

Now let us see the situation from a different perspective.

Look at the context. It's police station where vinod is being detained. Hence, vinod is in no position to save himself, the administrative hierarchy doesn't allow vinod to defend himself.

We are yet to get the details of the nature of content Vinod shared with Nandini. We are not even sure if it was a consensual exchange of messages.

Think about the position from where Nikhil has launched the attack. IAS officers with all due respect occupy the highest achelions of about our society which is yet to go out of feudal and colonial hangovers. Really it is a case of misuse of ones position.

Think about the one sidedness of the event. No one knows the version of Vinod. Meanwhile Nandini posted something emotional about saat fere and the promises that his husband kept without caring for anything that also got 'viral' and support from every corner. It is a systematic use of popular stereotypes of marital relations to draw sympathy from various corners of the society.

The event therefore, reinforces patriarchy from both ways and at the same time leaves important questions regarding the law and order situation of the country at large. When a person from the highest achelions of administration undermines legal procedures and gets moral sanction from different corners of the society it's time to worry a lot!