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Children Urinating on Nupur Sharma’s Photo. What It Tells About Patriarchy and Rape Culture?

By Shashwata Sahu Shashwata Sahu      Jun 13, 2022      0 Comments      7,817 Views
Children Urinating on Nupur Sharma Photo

For the past two weeks, former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma has been the focus of a torrent of abuse. There has been an outpouring of hostility and threats against Nupur since she appeared on a Times Now news channel debate over the disputed Gyanvapi edifice and the presence of Shivling.

She has apologised and been suspended from the BJP for her remarks regarding the Prophet Muhammad, but the abuse is not going away any time soon. Protests against her took place on Friday, June 10th, following the afternoon Namaz. To keep her awake at night, they erected effigies of her around the city. They also set fire to her effigy and demanded to see her hanged.

The current protest is a clear illustration of attacking the law and order of India. As they are threatening to injure the reputation of Nupur Sharma, this matter will also fall under the purview of Criminal Intimidation under Section 503 & 506 of the Indian Penal Code,1860.

Section 503 of the IPC states that,

"Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal intim­idation."

Section 506 of the IPC states that,

"Whoever commits, the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprison­ment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both; If threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, etc.—And if the threat be to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or to impute, unchastity to a woman, shall be punished with imprison­ment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both."

In the midst of all the demonstrations, a video of children publicly peeing on Nupur Sharma's photograph went viral on social media on Saturday. Many other children cheer as two children urinate on Nupur's portrait in the video. By this, they are outraging the modesty of a woman, which is a special crime under Section 354 of the IPC. According to Section 509 of the IPC, a word, gesture, or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman is a punishable offence.

Section 354 of IPC states that,

"Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with impris­onment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both."

Section 509 of the IPC states that,

"Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both."

Is this 'urination protest' reinforcing patriarchy?

Nupur's portrait was urinated on with the sole intent of humiliating her. They were outraged because she had said something they did not like. From an early age, these children learned that urinating on a woman's face because she has made you upset is entirely acceptable.

Naveen Kumar Jindal was suspended from the BJP on the same day as Nupur Sharma for making derogatory words against the Prophet Muhammad; both are now in danger of losing their lives, but there is one distinction. Neither Naveen Jindal's effigy hanging from the ceiling nor YouTube influencers making mock-beheading videos starring Jindal, nor did we see kids peeing on Jindal's poster were seen.

Though threats to Jindal's life are serious and he is taking every precaution to safeguard his family, the Islamists only care about killing him and not humiliating him like they want to do to Nupur.

As a woman born within a patriarchal society, Nupur has committed two crimes: the "crime of blasphemy" and the "crime of being born a woman." No matter how long the legal proceedings take, she should be punished publicly since her punishment isn't complete until she's been publicly humiliated as well.

Does the use of penis as a tool to humiliate women promote rape culture?

They don't just want to punish Nupur Sharma; they also want to humiliate her before she is punished. This is consistent with what we have previously stated. Rape culture is fueled by the concept that a woman should be chastised for what she said since a woman's position is tied to her vagina in a patriarchal society. If you want to humiliate someone, sexually assaulting them is the best way to do so, because they experience greater shame than the rapist.

These kids have been taught that urinating on a woman's face with their penis is a way to humiliate her, and now they are encouraging their peers to do the same. Anytime they feel like it, they may pull it out and use it to exact revenge on a lady who has offended them.

Some may say that these are just pictures of youngsters having fun and that we shouldn't read too much into them, yet childhood is where we lay the foundations for our future lives. A child's development throughout his or her youth is influenced by the many minor lessons he or she learns during his or her life. A recent gang rape case in Hyderabad that included minors indicates that we don't always have to wait until they're adults to suffer the repercussions of this lesson.

[Inputs and Credits - OpIndia]

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