The trial for India's soul


Two days back a 23-year old medical student and her friend saw a movie and got into a private bus around 10 pm in Delhi. Little did they know, that their evening would take such a turn for the horrific. Within minutes, the 6 males inside the bus started verbally and physically abusing the girl and her friend. The girl was snatched away, gang-raped and repeatedly beaten with an iron rod on her abdomen. They finally threw the semi-naked couple on the streets. While this crime was going on, the bus driver was calmly driving the bus around the streets of India's capital including crossing three police patrol points.

Is this the country I want to call home?

Gang-rape is not unusual in this country. Every once in a while, we come across men who turn into beasts and throw all regard for human life and decency to the wind for a few minutes of savage pleasure. But still such a brazen violation of every tenet of human dignity inside our own National Capital is a chilling reminder of the sickness that resides in the hearts of some Indian men.

Hinduism, the major religion of this country, places women on a supreme pedestal. Even Vishnu is identified by the Vedas by the position of his consort within his heart. How can such degenerate, vile minds flourish within a country that cherishes her women? We have had women Prime Ministers, Presidents, Chief Ministers, Judges and Bureaucrats, why can't we make India safe for women even after all this?

The opposition is obviously gunning for the Delhi Government and for the lives of the perpetrators of this heinous crime. For a change, I whole-heartedly support it. The Delhi Government has miserably failed in protecting its women and has played a crucial role in the transitioning of our Capital into the Rape Capital of India.

Capital punishment for rape or gang-rape will no-doubt make many lawyers and human rights activists queasy. Leave alone 'rarest of the rare', such incidents are no longer even 'rare' in India. They will undoubtedly object to making scapegoats of just these criminals to teach a wider lesson. While there are valid concerns from either side, I believe that this incident should be taken in a wider perspective. This is not just about justice for this one girl. This is a trial for India's soul. How many more young girls must be devoured before we wake up? I consider rape to be a greater assault on the right to life than even murder.

Public humiliation of the perpetrators of this crime will undoubtedly appease many sections of the public, but that alone is not enough. Heads must roll in the establishment of the government and the police. Let each and every police constable on his rounds remember that he will not survive another rape within Delhi.

Education is often cited as the tool to weed out the animalistic tendencies of the human mind. But I strongly believe that irrespective of education, tradition and culture, vermin will always exist. It is up to us to root them out. These are people who will claim to be protecting 'Indian culture' while raping innocent women.

Let us not let such people hold our souls in ransom. Let us snatch away the soul of this country from them. Let us show them that even though India has a high toleration level for crime, touching our women and children is where we draw the line - a strong, inviolable line. 

Comments

  1. Totally support your views..
    It's high time we realise things have gone terribly wrong. ..

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  2. Dai AV what do you expect the police and government to do? Before you criticize them understand their helpless position.
    Let us take case by case all the things that they can do:
    1. If they stop all vehicles and check for drunks/rapists/illegal activities : There will be hour long traffic jams and everyone will blame the government for not implementing infrastructure.

    2. If they kill all rapists : People falsely accused of rape will die. India is one of the few countries where the word of the victim is sufficient for conviction. Imagine if you piss some girl off to such an extent that she accuses you of rape. You are dead then. Besides how is killing one person going to PREVENT another person committing the same crime. If capital punishment worked then we would never have terror attacks or murders in India.

    3. If we castrate them, the problem is same as above.

    4. You talk about education. Everyone knows that murder is wrong, rape is wrong....that doesn't stop people. Knowledge has no control over emotion and there is nothing that heightened awareness can do.

    5. Public shaming : better solution but inhuman and cowardly. Why should we stoop to their level to teach them a lesson? How is this going to PREVENT rape?

    Whenever a person commits a rape in India, they assume they will get away with it due to public shame. Most rapes aren't even reported to the police. We live in a hypocritical culture where the girls are blamed for the rape.

    As of now there are three things that can be done:
    1. Women who feel unsafe must take self defense classes. These must be available free of cost to them. Tamil Nadu and few other states have this facility. Workshops are conducted by the police. They are also advised to carry pepper spray/knife with them if they travel at night.

    2. We must use our public media to portray women respectfully. It seems the only way a normal woman can become widely known now is if she gets raped or if she gets arrested for her facebook status.

    3.Men must step up WHENEVER they see a woman being treated badly. Only men can protect women when they are being eve teased, sadly. I have seen with my own eyes a group of 5 girls being eve teased by 3 guys and I shamefully didn't do anything.

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  3. I agree with nitish for the most part

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  4. Nitish I agree with most of what you are saying. Definitely policing a country the size of India is a daunting and sometimes, unrealistic exercise.
    But I also believe that as a country there comes a time when we are collectively ashamed of ourselves. When we finally open our eyes and look at what we have made of ourselves.
    As an example, take the Scotland school children massacre in the 90s, the collective national shame and anger that resulted led to a ban on handheld weapons in large parts of Britain. Sometimes these moments of collective disgust and remorse are important turning points in a country's history.

    Rape is not new to India, but then so was not the suicide of a vegetable vendor in Tunisia. But we never know what may or may not inflame the national image to stir to action. I believe (more likely, hope) that this incident will prove to be something similar.

    Policing is largely an exercise of intimidation. As long as there is the fear of the Law catching up with you, people tend to limit their urges. Over time, with better moral education, they can become become human beings.

    As I have clearly said, sometimes nothing works and shameful things happen. THat is an unfortunate truth, but when they do happen, maybe we must act with greater vigor and sense of urgency.

    The death penalty or public humiliations are appealing to the masses, but as you pointed out impractical solutions. Imprisonment, maybe for life is the best solution.

    Why do you think that most of these incidents go unreported in India? Because people do not have faith in the system to deliver justice to them and they fear the shame that accompanies with the entire ordeal. While there is not much we can do for the latter, let's try to work against the former.

    Rage against the government during such difficult times are important for a democracy to keep its rulers in check. Every voice that demands an improvement gets magnified during such times and we must act to leverage such tragic moments to build a better tomorrow.

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