Guest Post by PRATIKSHA BAXI
Following the terrible gang-rape of a Danish woman in Delhi, Chief Minister Mr Kejriwal castigating the police for dereliction of duty pronounced his theory about how rape tendencies form. We are told that rape tendencies flow from drug and sex rackets; and when police corruption sustains these rackets, rates of gangrape are bound to escalate. Rape in this formulation is not an expression of sexualized power or preferred and targetted male violence against women. Rather it is linked to a series of vices located in certain geographies, circuits, substances and bodies, which produce a specific form of sexual venality. And, the technique of “raid” is a privileged form of sexual governance.
To sustain the technique of raid (or sting operations) as the privileged form of governance to stem sexual violence, a certificatory genealogy is instituted. A leader of AAP recites his gender credentials by tracing raid governance to the “damini” protests and experiences of state violence during these anti–rape protests. Mallika Sarabhai’s gender credentials are now interrogated by citing her purported absence from the “damini” protests. Some of us who did not experience police violence during the protests are now vulnerable to the charge of faking our commitment to the anti–rape movement, since certification comes from one kind of participation in the “damini” protests. However, can the badge of being invested in the kind of transformative politics required to challenge rape culture be so easily earned? When men participate in anti–rape protests, we are expected to applaud them and not feel offended when they deride women like Mallika Sarabhai who risked their being to speak against rightist manifestations of sexual impunity and immunity in Gujarat. Continue reading The Politics of Raid Governance – Aam Aurat v. Khas Aurat: Pratiksha Baxi