BJP’s Ms. Pathan: A Malicious Lie and A Partial Truth.

Truth of Gujarat once again caught the malicious act of a BJP member to stoke passions based on a totally concocted story: How BJP provokes and spreads communal violence. It said that yesterday, 28th November 2013 at 10:41 hours Asma Khan Pathan, District President-Minority Cell, Kheda District, Gujarat,posted the following tweet (This one taken directly from Ms. Pathan’s Twitter Feed).
Compare this image with the one carried on several sites, one sample below:
When I did a search on Images.Google.Com it threw up several websites, where this image has appeared before. Each of these websites attributes this photograph to a protest rally organized by Jamaat Ud Dawa in Karachi on Pakistan’s Independence Day, 14th August 2013, where Indian flag was burned and desecrated. Ms. Pathan claims though in her Twitter post that it shows Bangladeshi Muslims burning the Indian flag in Assam. The use of social media for the spread of such patently false canards is rampant and is a preferred mode used by many extremists organizations as well as anti-social outfits. I had covered its diabolic potential in *Social Media’s Anti-Social Potential*. Why does Social Media so easily become a malleable and particularly vicious tool in the hands of cyber-trolls?
However, why would a Muslim like Asma Khan Pathan, who belongs to a “mainstream political party” that has the ambition of ruling India post 2014 general elections, should stoop so low to use a much abused technique to further her party’s or her own hidden agenda? Especially a technique that is most certainly to be nailed as an egregious lie. Is it because in her hurry to climb the ladder of power in her chosen party, any means fair or foul would do for her? Or does her perception from within the BJP inform her that Muslims have to do much more than others to prove their “Nationalist credentials”? Whatever her compulsions, three things stand out:
·        Ms. Pathan should have withdrawn her Tweet forthwith and apologized for her devious propaganda. Or failing which,
·        BJP should have asked her to tender an apology for the gross criminal mistake she committed and to withdraw her Tweet.
·        Since neither has happened, a criminal complaint should have been registered by the Gujarat Police under relevant provisions of the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code.
To the best of my knowledge, none of the above three alternatives have materialized. Criminals and criminal-acts get away Scot-free in our country whenever they suit the ruling dispensation whatever party is in power.
There was another Tweet on Ms. Pathan’s feed that caught my attention: “Modi’s Gujarat is the safest place for women with a lowest rate per capita in whole India”.
The accompanying graphic above that was provided referred to National Crime Records Bureau’s statistics for its claim. This claim was easily verifiable and I proceeded to do that. The crimes against women’s statisticscould be perused in the following pages extracted from the data provided by NCRB.
Indeed this claim, unlike the malicious lie earlier, is borne out by the NCRB data for 2012. However, all the rates (per capita, hundred thousand) would roughly double or more, if the rates are calculated for (per capita, hundred thousand) for women’s population in each state. Though, Gujarat’s rank won’t be affected in the present case, it would push down those states where female to male ratio is abnormally low due to rampant female-feticides. In the calculations I have done, which we would see presently, the latter rate is therefore used. Before we proceed to do that, some words of caution regarding the use of NCRB statistics. Rapes have a tremendous stigma attached to it in India, and women are often made out to be “responsible” for it (by blaming them for asking for it) rather than treated as “victims” of the male-crime that these are. Families of such rape-survivors wrongly feel dishonored and shamed. The socio-cultural attitudes in a region, dynamics of domination by upper castes (where lower caste women are an easy prey), literacy rates, quality of police administration, awareness about violence against women laws and remedies available, and history of women’s movements and empowerment, etc. vastly determine how readily women come forward to register their complaints; and indeed if these would be registered by the police correctly and honestly. Studies have been made by various individuals/organizations to estimate state-wise Actual Incidence of Rapes, Actual Incidence of Complaints raised, The registration of First Information Reports (FIR) by police, and Finally correct and honest application of relevant sections of the laws (police often attempt to dilute seriousness of the crime if the accused are influential persons). However, such studies to my knowledge are not comprehensively conducted on an all India basis, nor are they periodically updated. Indeed, in the absence of such desirable framework to meaningfully compare state-wise data, it is wise not to be taken in by such superfluous comparisons. If this caution seems unwarranted, then how would one explain following counter-intuitive (general experiences of women) results that are the product of the same set of data? (see table 3 below) To give company to Gujarat (1.66) in the “top rankings” for “Rape-Safety” of women, we have Bihar (1.93) and Nagaland (1.93) in second place, with Uttar Pradesh (2.02) occupying the third slot; while the “shameful rear” is graced with double digit figures by Mizoram (20.81), Tripura (12.77), Meghalaya (12.46), Sikkim (11.64), and Assam (11.34).I leave the readers to read carefully into the data to draw their own insights (Clue: Socio-economic-cultural climate of each state).
There is another twist in the tale. The NCRB data doesn’t talk of simply Rape (S376, IPC) statistics. It provides data of other serious crimes against women, such as Kidnapping and Abduction (S363-369,371-373, IPC), Dowry Death (S304B, IPC), Assault to Outrage Modesty (S354, IPC), and Cruelty (S498A, IPC). If one were to consider state rankings (see table 1 in above document) by including all the above sections of serious crimes except the last section (S498A), then Gujarat (9.71) still is not much worse off at a distant second rank next only to Nagaland (4.33); but its rate is now more comparable to Tamilnadu (11.91), Uttarakhand (12.37), Bihar (12.74), and Maharashtra (13.23). However, if one were to include S498A too in the state rankings (see table 2 in above document), then Gujarat (33.10) fares much worse by slipping to 16th position behind other large states like Tamilnadu (17.71), Bihar (20.42), Uttar Pradesh (23.69), Punjab (24.07), Maharashtra (26.77) and Karnataka (28.87).  
Even if it is granted for the sake of argument that Gujarathis have much less proclivity to rape than other Indians or that they are too afraid of Narendra Modi to dare to rape; it still remains a moot point if women’s sense of safety and liberty is solely determined by recorded incidence of rapes. Whenever any political party lifts a particular parameter most suited to it or that which shows it in good light out of context; one must always be wary of the rhetoric and the halo built on such narrow and doubtful premise.
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One Response to “BJP’s Ms. Pathan: A Malicious Lie and A Partial Truth.”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Keep discussing how Modi is communal, how women are unsafe in Gujarat, how there is no development in Gujarat. keep wondering why more and more Muslims, especially educated and youth are becoming Modi supporters, Just remember, the average Gujarati ( Hindu, Gujarati, Christian etc) residing in the cities and villages of Gujarat, arrives at conclusions based on his own experiences because he has lost faith media.

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