THE DELHI RAPE CASE: Causes, Results, and Cures that Need to be Addressed
After the Delhi rape case,
1. Many tourists are starting to realize how bad things are in India,
2. Western business men are cutting off their ties with India,
3. Western companies are also beginning to cut of their relations with India,
4. And people and countries all over the world are waiting to see what happens.
Here are a few articles which take a look at what should be done about the conditions that take place because of attitudes that need to change, and make way for the need to keep the Vedic Dharma alive in every home which trains everyone in proper respect for others, especially women.
The Unspeakable Truth About Rape in India
As a teenager, I learned to protect myself. I never stood alone if I could help it, and I walked quickly, crossing my arms over my chest, refusing to make eye contact or smile. I cleaved through crowds shoulder-first, and avoided leaving the house after dark except in a private car. At an age when young women elsewhere were experimenting with daring new looks, I wore clothes that were two sizes too large. I still cannot dress attractively without feeling that I am endangering myself.
Things didn’t change when I became an adult. Pepper spray wasn’t available, and my friends, all of them middle- or upper-middle-class like me, carried safety pins or other makeshift weapons to and from their universities and jobs. One carried a knife, and insisted I do the same. I refused; some days I was so full of anger I would have used it — or, worse, had it used on me.
The steady thrum of whistles, catcalls, hisses, sexual innuendos and open threats continued. Packs of men dawdled on the street, and singing Hindi film songs, rich with double entendres, was how they communicated. To make their demands clear, they would thrust their pelvises at female passers-by.
If only it was just public spaces that were unsafe. In my office at a prominent newsmagazine, at the doctor’s office, even at a house party — I couldn’t escape the intimidation.
On Dec. 16, as the world now knows, a 23-year-old woman and a male friend were returning home after watching the movie “Life of Pi” at a mall in southwest Delhi. After they boarded what seemed to be a passenger bus, the six men inside gang-raped and tortured the woman so brutally that her intestines were destroyed. The bus service had been a ruse. The attackers also severely beat up the woman’s friend and threw them from the vehicle, leaving her to die.
The young woman didn’t oblige. She had started that evening watching a film about a survivor, and must have been determined to survive herself. Then she produced another miracle. In Delhi, a city habituated to the debasement of women, tens of thousands of people took to the streets and faced down police officers, tear gas and water cannons to express their outrage. It was the most vocal protest against sexual assault and rape in India to date, and it set off nationwide demonstrations.
To protect her privacy the victim’s name was not released publicly. But while she remains nameless, she did not remain faceless. To see her face, women had only to look in the mirror. The full measure of their vulnerability was finally understood.
When I was 26, I moved to Mumbai. A commercial and financial megalopolis, it has its own special set of problems, but has, culturally, been more cosmopolitan and liberal than Delhi. Giddy with my new freedom, I started to report from the red-light district and traveled across rough suburbs late at night — on my own and using public transit. It seemed that something good had come out of living in Delhi: I was so grateful for the comparatively safe environment of Mumbai that I took full advantage of it.
The young woman, however, will never have such an opportunity. On Saturday morning, 13 days after she was brutalized, this student of physical therapy, who had, no doubt, dreamt of improving lives, lost her own. She died of multiple organ failure.
India has laws against rape; seats reserved for women in buses, female officers; special police help lines. But these measures have been ineffective in the face of a patriarchal and misogynistic culture. It is a culture that believes that the worst aspect of rape is the defilement of the victim, who will no longer be able to find a man to marry her — and that the solution is to marry the rapist.
These beliefs aren’t restricted to living rooms, but are expressed openly. In the months before the gang rape, some prominent politicians had attributed rising rape statistics to women’s increasing use of cellphones and going out at night. “Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark,” said Botsa Satyanarayana, the Congress Party leader in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Change is possible, but the police must document reports of rape and sexual assault, and investigations and court cases have to be fast-tracked and not left to linger for years. Of the more than 600 rape cases reported in Delhi in 2012, only one led to a conviction. If victims believe they will receive justice, they will be more willing to speak up. If potential rapists fear the consequences of their actions, they will not pluck women off the streets with impunity.
The volume of protests in public and in the media has made clear that the attack was a turning point. The unspeakable truth is that the young woman attacked on Dec. 16 was more fortunate than many rape victims. She was among the very few to receive anything close to justice. She was hospitalized, her statement was recorded and within days all six of the suspected rapists were caught and, now, charged with murder. Such efficiency is unheard-of in India.
In retrospect it wasn’t the brutality of the attack on the young woman that made her tragedy unusual; it was that an attack had, at last, elicited a response.
‘Strict Laws needed for Women’s Safety’ demands VHP Chief Dr Pravin Togadia
The sad demise of the Delhi rape victim has sent the waves of sorrow as well as anger throughout the nation & the world. Speaking on the issue VHP International Working President Dr Pravin Togadia on Dec 29, said, “The Delhi victim’s sad demise does not end the problem. It is not some political issue of one off incident; it is a mentality that has been setting in the society in all classes irrespective of social backgrounds. Immediate solace to the Delhi victim’s soul & to her family will be the fastest & strictest punishment to the culprits. Generally, all provisions seem to be made available to the culprits but the victims are silenced again quoting some corner clause of some law. This is the time, all political parties, social groups, religious groups & professionals to come together, show solidarity without any blame game & punish the culprits hard.”
Dr Togadia further demanded:
1. It is sometimes difficult to prove rape if medical examination is not done in time & victims either are dissuaded by the families or by the police from even filing a complaint. Union & state Govt should set up Medical Examination centers under the professional medical set up headed by women & away from the influence of rigid administration. The certification by these centers should be treated as valid for judicial purposes. The centers can be monitored by an apex body to avoid any fake certification.
2. Generally current laws in such cases have some provisions for strict punishment but they are vague which gives benefit to the culprits. A separate law related not only to rape / gang rape but also physical / mental / financial assault on women & children is the need now. Experts in Law, Sociology, Psychology, Culture & administration should form a team to create such a law considering a peculiar mind set of the society here. Youth representative should also be a part of this team as the youth have newer ideas & young women can contribute to such a process as they do experience many types of assaults daily.
3. Politics usually takes over in Bharat when it comes to many socio-cultural issues like rapes / gang rapes / sexual assaults on kids, rights of differently inclined or that of physically different. Such issues should be strictly kept away from political blame game & only politicians can resolve to do so.
4. Help at hand in case of emergency is important & only the calling number is not enough but the entire speedy system should be independent of govt or any particular ideological interference.
5. ‘Sensitivization’ Training programmes for the police, judiciary & lawyers & even of general public will help create an atmosphere of support for the victims. Family embarrassment weighs on the victim’s mind in such cases either in her own upbringing or due to social pressure. Such predicaments should not deter women from bringing culprits to justice & therefore sensitive society is must.
1. Strangely, discrimination is made even in handling or publicizing such crimes. Poor, backward classes or village victims get ignored or suppressed whereas the urban cases get high-lighted. There is also a ‘pick & choose’ attitude by the social groups & media depending on their political inclination. This is a dangerous trend. ‘This rape is serious & that not so’ attitude mars justice & leads either to suicides or suppression. If Delhi student’s gang rape is heinous then so is that of a Pratapgadh (U.P.) scheduled caste poor girl’s & of all others. This means, media sensitivization is also must.
2. Rehabilitation of the victims with utmost respect in such cases is an important step which not only govts but also the society at large should take with open minds & compassion. Work, housing, medical treatment, education or any other social activity for victims should be made available for them as normal as possible.
3. Trauma centers for the victim & the family will help reduce the forced guilt feeling on them. Culprits are guilty; not the family or the victim & this needs to be indoctrinated in their minds & in the minds of the society. Govts & social groups should start centers for this.
Dr Togadia offered that VHP can hold camps for youth to make them aware of ‘good & bad’ whereas Durga Vahini can train women in keeping alert mind & agility to keep themselves safe. He said that Durga Vahini had been holding self defense camps for girls but when it is a gang rape, it is not possible for a lone girl to handle the situation. Hindu Help Line can offer to set up Counseling Centers, Medical & legal help for the victims & the families. In case of emergency, Hindu Help Line can help the Govt emergency call numbers to handle limited number of calls if needed.
Dr Togadia added, “It is a matter of Samskaars to respect women of any age. Hindu Dharma has taught it always but when the basic principles of the Dharma are ridiculed in the name of modernity & secularism, such way-ward behavior takes place. Families have high responsibility in it. Not only by youth, many such crimes are committed by all age-groups. This is a mentality & it needs to be handled differently & strictly.”
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