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Show some anger, My dear Society

Aruna Shanbaug was assaulted brutally for 5 minutes of pleasure, for which the inhumane predator, Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki spend 7 years in jail (yes you read it correct, just 7 years) and she is in vegetative state for past 38 years. The inhumane scoundrel is roaming free amongst us. Is this what we call justice? IT IS PURE SHAME. SHAME ON OUR JUSTICE. SHAME ON US.  It is high time the society feel angry and rewrite the punishment for such heinous crimes like this.

Recently I read  my blogger friend, Pallavi Subramaniam‘s post on this subject. It reflected my anger and the anger many of  us would feel too.  We thought more and more people should feel the anger,  show the anger , so I am republishing her post.  (with her permission, as she wants the anger to spread)  Anger can be good too.  I hope the collective anger  brings a change in the society and our legal system and the change the way justice is delivered.

Aruna 38 years ago before the assault and now

What a wonderful life – Aruna Shanbaug

Every time I read this:

‘He (Sohanlal Bhartha Walmiki) choked her with a dog chain and sodomized her. The asphyxiation cut off oxygen supply to her brain resulting in brain stem contusion injury and cervical cord injury apart from leaving her cortically blind

… I feel nauseous.

Rape is an indescribable violation of both BODY AND SPIRIT. Being so brutally attacked, and left to die, is living hell.

PLEASE, DO READ THIS VERY STRONG POST. The tears won’t stop. The poor woman was menstruating, so Brute-Rapist-Sohanlal committed anal rape, and left her bleeding to death.

PS: Our esteemed rapist’s name is hardly mentioned by media. So I am taking the liberty of calling him ‘Brute-Rapist-Sohanlal’. Earlier, I had typed ‘Rapist Sohanlal’ but that sounds quite filmy, almost entertainingly trivial even!

A lot has been said about the ‘Brute-Rapist-Sohanlal’ case.

Now why did I choose this title ‘What a wonderful life’ for this post.

This is why:-

(1) Our WONDERFUL Indian culture sweeps ‘rape’ under the carpet. You can steal, punch or even murder someone. But RAPE? Oh no! Now Rape is taboo. We can DO it all the time, but we just DO NOT TALK about it! Praise be to Indian culture!

‘Once Dr. Deshpande decided to conceal the fact of anal rape out of his twisted sense of preventing ‘social rejection’ for the victim and her fiance, there was no going back (Link: Ria’s blog)

The most bizarre part of the story is, however, the accused getting away with a seven-year sentence for robbing and attacking her. Why? Because no one was ready to be the complainant for the sexual assault. Her hymen was intact, so her rape was “unnatural”, which is severely punishable by the law.

But the hospital — already beleaguered following the attack — didn’t want to report an “unnatural offense”, which could lead to further unrest. (Link:

This is exactly why women do not often lodge a complaint about rape. If the rapist has raped her ONCE, our precious MEDIA involuntarily RAPES HER IMAGE MULTI-FOLD. She is left with ‘no face’ to show to society. She and her family are either pitied or scorned. Either way, they become a disgrace.. a black mark!

Indeed, media does help to fuel ANGER against the ‘incident’. But at what cost? The victim is left with no privacy and no respect, while the rapist remains anonymous!


Every article that the Internet throws up talks about ‘Aruna being attacked by a subordinate‘. The rapist is a nameless entity. A man, without an identity, name or description. There are no pictures of Brute-Rapist-Sohanlal. There are only those of the victim.

Why are we, as a society protecting our rapists? Why don’t we expose them??!!!

There is only one way forward – Every time media flashes ‘Breaking News’ about a rape, they should bombard us with pictures and history of the RAPIST, not of the poor victim. Instead of interviewing the tear-stricken face of the victim and her shame-faced family, they should focus completely on the inhuman rapist and his family/friends!!


This, should not be ‘Aruna Shanbaug Case’. It should be ‘Sohanlal Brutal Rapist’ case!

(2) Our wonderful society very often seek to explain and justify WHY Sohanlal raped the victim.

Almost every link from the internet has featured this sentence:

The man was motivated by intense resentment at being pulled up for his misdemeanours and being ordered about by her.’

and this:

Walmiki was motivated partly by resentment for being ordered about and castigated by Shanbaug

No offence to any authors/websites please. I am MERELY WONDERING, if our SOCIETY SEEK TO JUSTIFY RAPE?

All the articles try to explain WHY Sohanlal raped the victim. It is almost a Cause and Effect scenario. So somewhere, in the darkest recesses of our mind, we are probably trying to ‘UNDERSTAND WHY HE RAPED’.

That, to me, is dangerous. There is NO REASON, NO EXCUSE for a man to rape someone!

(3) Our WONDERFUL judicial system convicted the rapist, of what had been legally proved. Robbery, and ATTEMPTED murder.
Take a look at the justice meted out:
Honestly, what was that all about? Sohanlal was convicted of minor offences, and was awarded two sentences that ran PARALLELY?!
Today, he lives a free man! While Aruna serves a rigorous life sentence!
Wonderful! I have nothing to add.
(4) And lastly, to all our WONDERFUL self-righteous-humanitarians – Why are we jubilant about keeping the poor woman alive?
What are we celebrating? The spirit of life? The wonderful selfless service of the nurses who are keeping her alive? Or is this a tribute to a ‘survivor of rape’?!!
Wait a minute – In all this, WHERE IS ARUNA???
Read this excerpt from The author has written to

this, she does. because it is her last memory — of being sodomised in her workplace, of being strangulated with a dog-chain while being raped.’

Please watch this quick interview with Pinki Virani:

She asks a simple question – ‘Would YOU be willing to spend even a moment in Aruna’s shoes?’

The Supreme Court has now legalised PASSIVE EUTHANASIA. So someone in Aruna’s place NEED NOT go through the hell she is still living. A patient’s blood-relations can move for passive euthanasia. That is a minor victory, no doubts. But is it enough, atleast for Aruna?

Life! Wonderful Life!!!

You know what would REALLY BE WONDERFUL?

1- Media HUNTS DOWN Sohanlal, shames him enough to last a couple of lifetimes, and then hands him over to the judiciary!

2- The judiciary re-opens the case, and awards him punishment that is fitting, for his crimes! It is never too late, is it?

It would be wonderful to see Sohanlal hanged in public, on the same day that Aruna might die!!!

3- Going forward, we must jointly expose rapists rather than the victims. Let us stop embarassing the poor victims, and make them feel they are still part of our society, and that it is the rapist who does not belong!!!

What do you think?


0 19 March, 2011 India Matters March 19, 2011

About the author

He is the lead man of GingerChai and plays the multi role of chief author, editor, business development and also of a chaiwala! (Tea maker!) He is the master brewer at Ginger Chai.

View all articles by Lakshmi Rajan


      1. Pallavi

        I agree too!!! Such people don’t deserve the right to live!!! And he is untraceable, probably living happily ever after. How unjust is that!

  1. David

    Though I am against death sentence (since I firmly believe a human does not have the right to take a co-human’s life) 7 years of punishment is ridiculous , a mockery.

  2. Usha

    wow! An outpouring of emotions I just witnessed here and back at Pallavi’s blog.

    If the perpetrator cannot be tracked down, and things do not seem to be changing and the fact that people are again discussing this and not when that dude was released (i’m assuming years ago) appears to be a controversy on Euthanasia and not “why the dude was released in just 7 years”. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    By the way, when the case was registered; who provided the crime account? I doubt it was the victim considering she was knocked out immediately, so was it Sohanlal?

    For Aruna, I think Euthanasia is the best option. Although many would argue that taking a life away is not our job and perhaps our right even. But the resources that are spent on her will be useful for many others in dire needs.

    Thought provoking article Pallavi. 🙂


    1. Pallavi

      Thank you, Usha. You are right on, the uproar in India, is primarily about ‘Euthanasia’ and not about the injustice!! Imho, that itself defies logic!! I don’t understand what the nurses were celebrating! Would they themselves want to lead a life like ARuna’s?? I agree with you, and that is the crux of my post too, I wish we had the courage to LET ARUNA GO IN DIGNITY. I would love it too, if we could hunt down Sohanlal and castrate and hang him!

    2. Keeravani

      Hmmmm… if your contention to rest her to sleep is that the resources that are spend on her will be useful for many others in dire needs, sorry to say it only reflects an in humane business like approach. For God’s sake, life cannot be measured in that terms. If we believe so, all men and women past their productive years could be labeled burden and put to rest, so do all children and people who are mentally challenged. If people start thinking in terms of life and measuring them with resources and productivity, Human kind is doomed.

      I appreciate and applaud the anger of Pallavi otherwise. The problem with Indian society is it is docile and have become largely impotent when it comes to social responses.

      1. Pallavi

        Keeravani, thank you for your comment. I think we are not just docile, we are rather selfish and INDIFFERENT. As long as it is happening to someone else, we are fine with it. We turn a blind eye and go on with our life.

  3. Purba

    It is now a tussle between Pinki Virani and the nurses of KEM hospital. Who decides on her behalf, her right to live or die with dignity?
    Sadly it’s not about her anymore…..

    1. Pallavi

      ‘It is not about Aruna anymore…’ you hit the nail on the head, Purba. This is all about one set of people wanting her to live, to celebrate their commitment or solidarity or whatever it is they want to celebrate. I really wonder if any of those nurses would want to be in her shoes for even a day?!!

  4. Anu

    very well written and pertinent.. loved reading it, esp since I totally agree with you… every time the paper mentions her and so completely ignores the man who put her there in the first place, my blood boils…. people at home have stopped talking abt her, since i get so angry every time she is mentioned.. after what she went through, at least she could have been spared the indignity of living in such a state, but we cant even give her the satisfaction of dying…. as to the nurses who are taking care of her, well, frankly, wouldnt their love and care be more useful for those lakhs of people who throng the same hospital everyday?

  5. Usha now I sound hardly humane aye..sobs. Maybe you misinterpreted. Infact, I highly respect lives, which is why, I think, the nurses who care for her will have more time to care for other patients.

    wait, are you against euthanasia or just my opinion? O.o


  6. Anney

    Did you say that he was re employed?! OMG have people gone insane? The man commited a henious crime and he is scott free?!
    You are right our society need to focus on the criminal and not on understanding them.

  7. Nona

    You should check out this link

    Way back in 2007 baby Nurin was so brutally tortured, violated and murdered that all Malaysians risen up in anger wanting some blood to spill. She was so brutally violated that her parents were in denial that it was their child and refuse to identify her as their daughter in the beginning. It changed something about Malaysian landscape. Now days most parents don’t even allow their children to walk over to neighbors unsupervised. That including me. I am paranoid after that incident. The demon whom did this was never caught till today. The thought the he/she is walking among us is extremely scary.

    1. Post author
      Lakshmi Rajan

      Nona I just read the link you gave. It is heart wrenching and disturbing. How could anyone think of committing such a barbaric crime against an innocent little girl? And to know the demon is still on a prowl is more alarming for society.

      1. Pallavi

        OMG! THat was so gruesome and disgusting. I really really am shocked that people can be SO inhumane!!!!! What is wrong with them?!!! The poor parents of the poor child….

  8. mani

    hi Pallavi, a great effort on your part to write about this. You are right about the need for focus on the rapist rather than the victim, but again its the media who is to blame. If they forgot Sohanlal here, they were quick to catch Shiny Ahuja.
    and Judiciary is one of the greyest area I feel. If I feel like a woman, then the thought of violation instils a wish for revenge in its worst form, in fact that comes as a reflex , but then David has a point too. Neverthe less, 7 years is too less. Maybe stripping him of all his assets, family, society, country, qualifications, n banishing hm to lead a nameless faceless solitary life in a remote island wud have been better. The anger is there but its diffuse and needs to be channelised

    1. Pallavi

      You’re absolutely right, Mani, the anger has to be channelised so that something worthwhile comes out of it, and it does not remain just a blog post….. Thank you…

  9. Bikram Mondal

    That bastard should be killed at point blank. If kept alive he will repeat what he did.

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