Inhuman, disgusting and chilling is how the Indian film industry described the Kathua and Unnao rapes and demanded the government to act swiftly against the perpetrators. Personalities such as Sania Mirza, Akshay Kumar, Farhan Akhtar and Abhishek Bachchan took to social media to condemn the two brutal incidents that have shocked the nation. Celebrities such as Sonam Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor, Ranvir Shorey and Richa Chadha criticised the politicisation of the crimes in the name of religion. In Unnao, a teen rape survivor claimed BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar had raped her and her father had died in police custody.
The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government today filed a first information report (FIR) against Sengar, following public outrage. In Kathua, an eight-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by six men who had held her in captivity in a small temple village for a week in January. She was drugged so that she could be sexually assaulted again before being bludgeoned to death.
Tennis star Sania Mirza took to Twitter to question the horrific incidents. “Is this really the kind of country we we want to be known as to the world today ?? If we can’t stand up now for this 8-year-old girl regardless of our gender, caste, colour or religion then we don’t stand for anything in this world… Not even humanity… Makes me sick to the stomach. “Justice needs to be done… For the sake of keeping our faith in the judiciary and the system alive… I really hope and pray justice is done… And soon… #UnnaoHorror #UnnaoRapeCase,” Mirza wrote on Twitter.
Arjun Kapoor also criticised the government for the mishandling of the two rape cases and letting justice being denied in a country divided over caste and religious lines. “A life is lost a childhood taken & yet everything is politically connected leading to a so called secular country getting divided on caste & religion because that digresses from the reality that our country, the silent government & its leaders still don’t respect woman or lives,” he wrote.
Sonam Kapoor shared a news article and called out “fake nationals and fake Hindus” in her tweet. “Ashamed appalled and disgusted by fake nationals and fake Hindus. I cannot believe this is happening in my country,” she wrote.
Riteish Deshmukh wrote, “A 8-year-old is drugged, raped & murdered and another one is fighting for justice for herself and the death of her father in custody. We have a choice either raise your voice or be a silent spectator. ‘Stand up for what is right even if you are standing alone.’ #Kathua #Unnao.”
Retweeting Deshmukh’s post, Boman Irani wrote, “This is dark and demonic.” Actor Rahul Bose called the incidents “gut wrenching”. “Unimaginable depravity that is disturbing on so many levels. Our response will decide what we have become as a society,” Bose added. Actors Ranvir Shorey and Richa Chadha attacked the people who defended the accused in the name of religion.
“If these people had an iota of reverence and respect for Hinduism, they’d be up in arms against the people who used a temple to torture, rape and murder a child! These are slogans to be used when the people who have committed these crimes are hanged! Utterly appalling that slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ are being used to defend perpetrators of heinous crimes. These vicious beasts will destroy India and Hinduism. Unnao and Kathua,” Shorey said. “These men fast on Navratras and pray to Devi Ma, yet they defend a man who plotted the rape, torture and murder of a child inside a temple. Look at them, Shame them. If a stray news report can make credible people. Hindu haters why are these fake Hindus not unemployed,” Chadha tweeted.