Your search keywords:

Glorification of rape and the face of Nepali society

Glorification of rape and the face of Nepali society

Despite knowing rape is a serious crime, it is often normalized in Nepali society. Influential figures show no sympathy for the victim while attempting to glorify the perpetrator and trivialize the crime. This trend is evident in recent incidents where society appears chaotic, tolerating such acts in the name of celebrity. It seems that efforts are being made to manipulate the law in favor of perpetrators, using various temptations to weaken the victim's outlook. Despite recognizing rape as a horrible crime, why does our society ruthlessly condone it under the costume of power and fame? This is a pressing and thought-provoking issue.

Rape involves the non-consensual penetration of the body, typically through sexual intercourse or other forms of penetration, achieved by force, coercion, or manipulation. It represents a profound violation of an individual’s autonomy, dignity, and bodily integrity and is universally condemned as a criminal offense. Nevertheless, instances of rape persist across both developed and developing nations, with women and children often bearing the brunt of such assaults. Specifically, children may struggle to comprehend the nature of the attack and often feel apprehensive about reporting it. Perpetrators may exploit fear and control tactics to silence victims, thus evading accountability in society. Despite rape's designation as a serious crime, societal shortcomings frequently impede impartial investigations and the pursuit of justice for survivors.

In Nepali society, incidents of rape and sexual assault rarely come to light or reach the police for investigation. Instead of conducting thorough investigations, the police and local government often attempt to mediate between the perpetrator and the victim. Power and money frequently play a significant role in silencing the victim. In recent high-profile rape cases in Nepal, perpetrators have used their influence and emotional manipulation to evade the law. While we must respect court decisions, it is crucial to discuss the issues and challenges surrounding these cases.

Our primary problem is unethical leadership in both the political and social spheres. Many incidents of sexual assault and rape do not come to light due to the abuse of power by political figures. Political leaders involved in sexual misconduct often escape justice and are even rewarded with greater responsibilities within their parties and the government. Political parties and their members lack clarity and ethical standards on issues like sexual assault and rape. Moral dilemmas are pervasive among them. For the advancement of democracy, political parties and their leaders must be disciplined. However, all political parties in Nepal, both new and traditional, have failed to demonstrate ethical integrity. If political leaders do not grasp the seriousness of sexual assault and rape, a disciplined society is unattainable.

Recently, Maoist leader Janardhan Sharma posted on social media about a high-profile rape case involving cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane, saying, “Congratulations to cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane for getting justice, thanks to the court. Nepali cricket will reach new heights.” Remarks like these from high-ranking politicians are deeply disappointing. The district court initially convicted Lamichhane, and although the high court overturned this decision, the victim can still appeal to the Supreme Court. When political leaders publicly side with perpetrators, it undermines public trust in their leadership.

It’s crucial to understand that emotion should not play a key role when dealing with criminal matters. For instance, some argue that Lamichhane, as a national figure who has made Nepal proud, deserves leniency. However, we must remember that a national figure should exemplify moral and ethical integrity. 

Moreover, Nepali society is shifting toward a crowd-based justice system. When perpetrators or convicted criminals are released from jail, people cheer and welcome them. What kind of example does this set? In a democratic society, the rule of law must be upheld, and institutions should operate independently on the basis of laws and regulations. Think about our daughters, children, or relatives, who have suffered from sexual assault. What comes to mind? Can we accept the norm that celebrities can do anything they want? The answer is no. We all have a responsibility to build a support system for rape victims and advocate for independent investigations and justice. High-profile sexual assault cases can be overlooked by society; therefore, citizens must remain vigilant in this matter.

The Harvey Weinstein rape case is a prominent example of sexual assault allegations leading to significant legal and social consequences in the United States. Weinstein, a powerful film producer, was accused by numerous women of sexual assault and rape, with allegations spanning several decades. In 2018, he was arrested, and in 2020, he was convicted and sentenced to 23 years in prison. His conviction marked a significant victory for survivors of sexual assault and set a precedent for holding powerful individuals accountable for their actions. This landmark case encouraged other victims to come forward and seek justice.

The revelations about Weinstein sparked the worldwide #MeToo movement, encouraging sexual assault victims to share their experiences. This case illustrates that even in developed societies, survivors of rape or sexual assault often struggle to come forward. One can imagine how much more difficult it is for victims in societies like Nepal, where trust in the judicial system is low, and sexual assault survivors face many challenges. The recent rape cases involving Lamichhane and Paul Shah have been highly controversial due to their nature and the information released to the public.

News reports revealed that the sexual assault survivor was demoralized by Lamichhane through phone calls and messages. He attempted to silence the survivor using temptation and fear. It is troubling that a perpetrator was able to contact the survivor while the case was still in court. If Lamichhane was innocent, why did he try to persuade the survivor in his favor? Some people have irrationally blamed the victim's character, which is outrageous. Both Shah and Lamichhane are public figures, and people want to be close to them. That does not permit celebrities to be involved in sexual misconduct. Celebrities should act responsibly as they are role models for many. Even a celebrity or a national figure has no right to commit a crime. Therefore, citizens and society must raise their voices for justice for rape and sexual assault victims. To prevent sexual violence and support those affected by it, society must promote a culture of respect and accountability, establish strong support systems for survivors, and hold perpetrators accountable.