Unmasking the superheroes!

The idea of a superhero comes from pain and desire to be protected! A guardian angel saving you from the troubles is what you expect. We have seen parodies of these superheroes. The graphic novel and movie Watchmen shows how such massive power can also be used against us, how a rogue superhero can be super-villain. A show called ‘The Boys’ explores the disadvantages of having a superhero. To protect us from crime and unjust, we have these fantasies of Ubermensch, the super-human who can do more than us.

Superman turning evil

If Superman, with his godly powers, uses them to his advantage, to fulfil his desires, it would be horrifying to imagine. It’s not these powers that make someone a superman. It’s the detachment from their worldly desires, their self-lessness, that makes them a protector and saviour.

We don’t have these mutants to help us in real life. But we did give certain people special powers. We did provide them with the right to judge and act to protect us from the unjust. They are called the police, and their ability is their uniform. They are civil heroes and crime warriors. Whenever there is a crime, there’s a super-power called law, and its warriors called police. We are trained to submit and co-operate to them for the betterment of our society. But what if these special grants of rights are misused? And if the men in their costumes are vulnerable to their desires? What if they use these powers to satisfy their desires?

We do remember many movies we have seen about corrupt and rogue cops. But that’s not fiction. That is very much real and happening. The things you saw in the bad cop movies are genuine and more brutal in real life.

Do you remember Kunan Poshpora? It’s okay if you don’t because the authorities have made sure that it won’t make much noise, for it will remain unheard! On February 23rd of 1991, there was some shooting by militants, and the paramilitary troops had to check nearby villages in Kashmir to make sure no militants are hiding. The forces have finished searching the twin-village Kunan and Poshpora. But that’s not the end of the story. What happened that night will always be a scar on the minds of that village-folk. Their doors were bashed, husbands tied off far away, and their women… Raped! Paramilitary forces have allegedly raped women ageing 8 – 80, and even a pregnant lady! They were beaten, tortured and sexually assaulted. Statements were taken from 23 women, and many more kept silent. The pregnant lady who was raped gave birth to an infant with a fractured limb.

From the documentary “Ocean Of Tears”, made on this very incident.

I have used the word ‘allegedly’ because there is no proof that puts the offenders in the list of accused. Regular police investigations were ignored, police were transferred, testimonies were scrapped, and there is no way to prove that this had happened. Human rights have found ‘circumstantial evidence’ for this situation to be actual. But it is not enough to establish. The medical tests that were done were too late for the semen traces to be found. The bruises on women’s chest were called off because “It’s normal in the villages” they have said. But is it believable for the entire village to give false allegations for more than twenty years? Is it normal to pretend to cry and be traumatised for an event that had not occurred? Is it not enough to believe them? The protectors, the force we respect, our justice warriors have penetrated their lust so hard inside the loopholes of the very right we gave them to act for us. This ghastly incident is just one of the many similar events that have taken place in our most scenic, Kashmir.

If you say that as an act of army and nothing to do with civil servants who roam around us and keep us safe, then you are wrong. There was this girl, Mathura in 1972, an Adivasi (tribal) belonging to Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. She was being forced to marry, and her brother filed a report against this forced union. Two policemen took a particular interest in Mathura, then 15-year-old girl, and raped her while her family were waiting outside the station. This is the case which opened the eyes of our blind justice system. This is the beginning of understanding rape and especially custodial rape. It evoked women from all over the nation, they have protested and formed the Forum Against Rape. This incident is when people understood the laws allowed policemen to rape as there was no definition for what consensual is. The rules mistook submission for consent and have granted a license to rape to the men of authority.

25th March 1980: Members of the ‘National Federation of Indian Women’ demonstrating outside the Supreme Court, New Delhi as they demand the re-opening of the ‘Mathura rape case’. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Custodial rapes are rarely reported for the one to report is the very policemen. Not only women, even men and people in general fall victim for this legalised crime committed by people licensed with weapons and granted with the right to violence. There are multiple cases of Police brutality. I don’t want to say the statistics, as they are freely available for you to google. There’s nothing in statistic, just numbers. But those numbers, are people who were assaulted and beaten to death by the men of authority.

We have recently seen the death of George Floyd, the overreaction of a cop killed a man. A man who was suspected of giving a counterfeit note was choked to death by an overreacting police officer. That very month, there is another case of police brutality from India. The case of Jayraj and Fenix (Bennicks). This case is surprisingly being suppressed and almost unheard. The national media is busy covering the star hero’s newly bought underwears and wardrobe malfunctions than something they must genuinely be reporting. Jayraj, age 59 and his son Bennicks, age 31 were taken into custody for allegedly violating the lockdown. The police are yet to prove if they really violated the COVID lockdown rules.

New CCTV footage tells a different story as it appears that they had arrested Jayraj even before the government declared time for curfew. So according to the police, they have arrested Jayraj and Bennicks together for violation. But this has also been proved false, as the found CCTV footage clearly shows police arresting Jayraj and Bennicks voluntarily going to the police station. It is a clear case of false FIR (First Information Report) by the police, trying to mask the incident. They have tortured both Jayraj and his son Bennicks to death. Don’t know if the duo had a dispute with the police, or there was a sadistic reason. But, they were bleeding from the rectum, their lungis (outfit) were blood-soaked behind. They had to change multiple lungis as they were continuously bleeding. They were beaten, sexually assaulted until they died in the hospital. Bennicks was dead because of internal bleeding and Jayraj because of Pneumothorax (punctured lung). This is a clear case of the arrogance by authorities.

We, the people, submit, co-operate to the police, granting them to our judge and punisher. But the available loopholes in our system allows sadistic criminals and sociopaths to be recruited as police enforcers. Hunting, conversing and tackling with the criminals have made many policemen no less than the people they hunt. Few are just very criminals but legal. Few of them have joined because of the benefits they have as police. We all shamelessly ask if they are taking bribes and getting rich if a person we know is a cop. We all seamlessly submit without questioning their arrogance. Just because they have the right over us, does not mean we can be silenced. For the deaf to hear, the sound has to be rather dramatic! No matter how scary they look, remember that it is we who have given them the authority. And it is us they serve. We actually have more rights and freedoms to act and judge on them. This is a democracy. We can change the system because we are the system! It is time for us, the people to start talking about this unacceptable brutality; to bandage the bleeding justice. 

Let us all Unmask the superheroes, with no fear!

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Manoj Sri Harsha

A filmmaker who's also a philosopher and I have always been a writer. My urge to tell stories have provoked and boosted me to write my thoughts out as words, sentences and essays! I treat storytelling objectively and would always try new things to tell any story in a different way. Big fan of the Avant-garde!

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