Rapes in Uttar Pradesh no longer shock - neither the political masters, nor the government and not even the people. Even as there was a national outcry against the recent twin gang-rape, brutal assault and ghastly murder by hanging from a tree in Badayun's Katra Sadatganj, forcing even the UN to sit up and take note, the powers that be in the state are unfazed.
Soon after the incident, opposition parties bayed for the blood of the state's Samajwadi Party (SP) government but forgot that the situation during their regimes in the past was no different. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi rushed to the village in the company of national and regional TV crews to express his condolences. "This situation is not acceptable. Women are not safe in this government," he declared.
Little did he remember, and others present realized, that in 2011 he had said the same thing when a minor while herding her cattle was gang-raped in a Lakhimpur Kehri police station and then hung by a belt inside the premises. The only difference between then and 2014 is that the reins of the state have shifted from Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP's) "Behenji" (Mayawati) to the SP's "Bhaiyya ji" (Akhilesh Yadav).
In 2011, the Congress-led UPA-II government at the centre did nothing as it depended on the support of the 43 MPs of the SP and the BSP.