Kerala CM has called it a brave act while few others said that she should have spoken up much earlier.

Brave act or failure of system Reactions to Kerala woman chopping penis of rapist swami
news Justice Saturday, May 20, 2017 - 13:44

A young law student in Kerala physically castrated a godman who frequently visited her house. The man who her parents welcomed into the household had been allegedly raping her over several years, from the time that she was a 11th standard student.

While she called the police herself after the act, and was ready to surrender, there's a debate now raging in Kerala: Should she have taken the law into her own hands?

The Kerala Chief Minister for one believes that what she did was absolutely right. "That was a brave act. She has done it courageously and we can support her," Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday.

Minister for Fisheries Mercykutty also echoed the CM’s thoughts and called the woman’s act brave.

But not everyone agrees. Right wing activist and member of the Kerala Sabarimala temple Thanthri family, Rahul Easwar, said that while the woman should be protected legally, she should have informed the authorities about the abuse much earlier. 

"We always hear news reports saying the victim had been abused for many years and finally, the incident comes to light. This should not happen. Our girls should learn to react quickly and inform authorities at the earliest. From their young age, they should be taught to do so. If this girl had done that, this pervert would have been behind the bars long before," he told TNM. 

Rahul was also quick to defend the Ashram. "The ashram that the swami belonged to was quite famous. Other Swamis there had no idea about it. Even Jesus had a Judas with him. Same way, every community will have someone like this. Ashram will not protect the accused," he said.

Other activists though have called this a 'lesson to society that promotes man gods'. Shailaja J, a social activist and an actor, said, "It's a strong warning to those who believe that whatever happens, the damage is for the women only. The sexual harassment by fake saints is not something new in the society. Now, it has been caught with proof." 

"There was Santhosh Madhavan in Kerala, also a 'man god', who was arrested for sexually harassing women and children. A woman wouldn't cut off the penis of a man unless a dire situation arises. The incident will give moral backing for a lot of women, who have been silently going through such harassment for years," she added. 

The Kerala police have said that the woman was pushed to the act because 'no one would have believed her' if she had accused a 'man of god' of raping her.

"If a woman of her age opted to take such a step, it implies that such a social and political situation exists in the state. Even a young woman her age knows that in India, rapists are not punished effectively. We should discuss the political and social situation that led to such an act. She is just 23 years old, yet to live her life. She must have never wanted to do that, but was forced to when she realised that neither the system nor will individuals save her from her suffering," said activist P Geetha.

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